The technique used for pitching the ball is basically the same as with other full shots with a golf club. The only changes are a smaller swing, a slightly opened stance, and an open hip position that most good wedge players use. This is done because the smaller swing of the wedge. By opening the stance and hips, it gives the body a little more room to clear through the shot.
The length of the backswing and speed of the downswing influence the distance control on pitch shots. A longer backswing increases the potential speed of the clubhead.
There are several different theories on how to control distance. Some advocate the length of backswing dictates the distance hit. Others control the distance by swing speed. Personally, I think that is a combination of the two. However, I prefer to rely on swing length as a guide and swing speed as the ultimate control under pressure.
There are various styles that we can use to accomplish a successful pitch but there are a few fundamentals that should be followed:
- The pitch shot is just a small swing with a lofted club.
- Feet and hips should be slightly open to the target. This makes it easier to see the target line and to swing down the target line.
- Set the weight more to the target side to promoting a stable impact position. The set-up should nearly mimic the impact position.
- For most pitch shots, there is very little rotation of the clubhead on the backswing and through the impact area. The clubface should remain square to the target well after impact.
- Feel as if the clubhead is a broom brushing the ground at impact. There is no need for a huge divot.
There is a variation of the pitch shot where the ball is pitched into the air and releases upon landing. The shot is executed the same as a normal pitch, except the non-target hand releases more at impact. The clubhead is allowed to rotate over after impact to encourage for the pitch and run shot.