How to Attack Any Pin
These three shots take the guesswork out of pitching
By Dana Rader
Top 100 Teacher
This story is for you if...
• You use the same swing for every pitch shot
• When you try to hit high, soft shots you end up hitting grounders
You're 20 yards off the green. Your lie is good and your path is clear.
You're tempted to grab your sand wedge and make a long backswing if the pin is back and a short backswing if it's up. But how short is short? And how long is long? Guess wrong and you could end up miles from the hole and that will cost you strokes.
Each of the three possible pin positions (back, middle and front) requires a distinct amount of loft, spin and carry if you want to get the ball close. That means learning three specific pitch shots. Luckily, these don't stray very far from your everyday technique.
2 of 4Bob Atkins
CLUB: Lob wedge
BALL POSITION: Off right foot
WEIGHT: Over left foot
Don't make the mistake of trying to lob the ball into the air. That takes perfect execution. Plan for a low shot (which is why you're playing the ball off your right foot) but use your lob wedge. It will give you just enough height to stop the ball close.
KEY MOVE: Keep your wrists quiet and make a simple pendulum stroke back and through with your arms, like you would on a long putt.
3 of 4Bob Atkins
CLUB: Sand wedge
BALL POSITION: Middle
In this situation you want to land the ball on the front third of the green and then let it track to the hole. If you're more comfortable with a gap wedge, that will also work, but a sand wedge gives you a bit more spin to help slow down the roll.
KEY MOVE: Take your hands a bit farther back (to about thigh height) but don't break your wrists.
4 of 4Bob Atkins
CLUB: Gap wedge
BALL POSITION: Middle
Land the ball halfway between you and the pin. Since you're counting on the ball rolling just as far as it flies in the air, make sure you know which way it will break once it hits the turf. If the pin is way back or the green tilts uphill, drop down to a pitching wedge.
KEY MOVE: Hinge your wrists so the clubhead is just above your hands. Keep your arms together and your hands ahead of the clubhead all the way into impact.
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