You play well, but you want to shave those last few strokes off your handicap. Pitching it closer is a guaranteed way to save shots every single round.
HOW TO PITCH IT CLOSE TO ANY PIN
Pin position is everything when it comes to planning and executing an effective pitch shot. Here’s how to attack a short pin, which requires the ball to quickly sit down, and a long pin, which will demand plenty of roll.
SHORT PIN: USE LOFT TO MAKE THE BALL SIT
You’re 20 yards off the green, with a pin cut near the green’s front edge. To stop the ball quickly, use your most lofted wedge and play the ball forward in your stance, to increase the club’s effective loft. A heads-up: The clubface will want to close and point left of your target, so open the face a few degrees and check that you’re properly aimed.
Settle your weight over your front foot and make an even-paced swing back and through. There’s no need to hit down sharply on the ball or to try to generate extra spin—the loft on the face will give the ball plenty of height and stopping power. Let the loft do the work for you.
LONG PIN: REMOVE LOFT TO MAKE THE BALL RUN
Let’s say you’re 20 yards off the green but the pin is way in the back, some 40 to 50 yards away. You want to take a less-lofted club (such as your gap wedge) and play the ball farther back in your stance, opposite your right instep. This leans the shaft forward and reduces the effective loft, so the ball will run after it lands. With a gap wedge, expect the flight/roll ratio to be about 50/50.
Know that when you play the ball back in your stance, the clubface tends to open and point right of where your body is aimed. So close the face by a few degrees and point it at your target. Then make a nice, even stroke back and through and let your setup adjustments do the rest.