My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Pitching:

I have trouble sticking it close with shots under 100 yards. Any practice tips to help improve distance control for 50-100 yard shots?

Pitching is what I consider the grey area. It is hard to teach someone feel, but that is what you need here. Feel and a lot of practice. It is fairly easy to hit a small chip and everyone can make a full swing. To shoot somewhere in between can be tricky.

The range of 50-100 yards that you are talking about is less than a full swing for a lot of players. There are many ways that you can control distance. Among them are ball position, length of the swing, length of the club, club selection, weight shift and speed. Let's start with ball position.

Playing it further back will make the ball shoot out lower and roll more thus going farther. Playing it up further in your stance towards your front foot will make the ball shoot up higher and roll less once it hits the green.

Next, length of your swing, length of the club and club selection. Obviously the longer the swing and the longer the club, the further the ball will go. Switching to a shorter higher lofted club, choking up on the grip or making a shorter back swing will all lessen your distance. You can make a shorter swing by controlling the amount that your arms swing and/or controlling how much wrist angle you have.

Now for weight shift. To hit shorter pitch shots you can simply keep your weight on your front foot throughout the entire motion. To generate more power and hit the ball further, you can shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot.

Lastly, speed can control distance. The faster you swing, the farther the ball will go. If you have trouble over shooting, simply slow down your rate of rotation through the ball.

By:

Other Related Tips on Pitching
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)