Control Pitching Distance: Keep Your Stroke Simple. It’s a Mini-Version of Your Swing

The fate of more than half of the shots on a course are decided within 50 yards of the hole, so every drill that focuses on improving your short game is a drill well spent.

The following distance control drills can help you simplify your stroke and improve one of the trickiest shots in the game of golf—the pitch.

  • The Clock Drill
  • The Underhand Drill
  • The Target Drill

Why is a pitch so tricky? There are a few reasons, but most amateur golfers feel that they are the most challenged in the 30- to 70-foot range which requires a different approach at this more uncomfortable distance.

That’s why learning to control your distance is critical to see improvement on your pitch shots. Try the following drills to develop a simple stroke that improves your swing with good old-fashioned practice.

Developing a Short Backswing and a Long Follow-Through

The Clock Drill is focused on developing a short backswing and long follow-through. A lot of players try to create a big backswing and then decelerate toward impact and completely neglect a good follow-through.

You want to do the opposite. In this drill, you want to focus on a longer follow-through that follows a shortened backswing.

A good way to think of this is visualizing your swing as the hour hand on a clock face. For instance, if your arms swing to the 9 o’clock backswing spot, follow through to 3 o’clock or more.

Continue imagining your arms are the hour hands on a clock, and note how far your ball goes with various backswing positions. Make sure to swing with a steady tempo and follow-through properly to master your improved pitching technique.


Learn What Feels Right for Your Swing

The Underhand Drill will help you learn how to get the right feel for your swing and develop a better follow-through. You don’t need your club for this drill. Choose several different targets at varying distances and face the direction of your target. Toss the ball underhand at each target with your dominant hand.

Get a feel for how your muscles relax while you make the toss. In an underhand toss, your body, hand, and arm are not very tense. Also notice how your hand is higher the farther away the target is.

Repetition and Practice are the Keys to Successful Pitching

A Target Drill will help you improve your pitching because it relies on repetition and practice. Simply set targets at various locations and distances and start practicing! Another technique is to place your targets near and far throughout the course, and you’ll begin to develop a better feel for a simpler swing technique.

Focusing on developing the skills learned in these drills will help you begin to master one of the most challenging shots and help you lower your score. GolfGreens® Pin Seeker is the perfect artificial turf for practicing longer approach shots. Consider adding a custom green to your home or business!