There are four fundamental factors that determine distance on pitch shots:
1) The length of the club.
The longer the club, the further the ball goes, plain and simple. Use a longer club for long shots and a shorter club for short shots.
2) Grip position.
If you grip high on the club, you have a longer lever, which will provide a bigger swing useful for longer shots. If you grip low on the club, you have a shorter lever, which results in a smaller swing.
3) Weight transfer.
On small pitches, you can keep your weight steady on your left foot, since you won’t need to fuel your swing with too much power. On big pitches, transfer your body weight into your shot, moving your weight from one foot to the other. That will give your shot more force.
Remember that the golf club works just like a pendulum. When you need more power, you have to add a longer backswing. When you need less force, you can use a shorter backswing.
Try a quick pitching drill: Lay your golf bag on the ground four feet in front of the ball and pitch over it, making a divot. Experiment with different lengths, grip positions, weight transfers and back swings. Keep your body relaxed and your mind focused on the goal at hand as you follow through on each swing.
Contributed by Doug Weaver, Director of Golf Instruction, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
For more information, please call (866) 627-4506 or visit palmettodunes.com.