There’s something about shots from 30 to 60 yards that give a lot of golfers fits. The biggest problem is making a backswing that’s too long, and then, in fear of hitting the shot too far, slowing the club down as it approaches the ball. The typical result is contact with the ground behind the ball – the dreaded fat shot. If this is your issue, here are four ways to make your pitching swing foolproof – or fat-proof, if you prefer.
1. Choose Wisely
You’ll have a lot more success if you use a wedge with the right amount of bounce. Bounce references a design feature that helps wedges produce crisp shots no matter the lie. For most lies, an adequate amount is 10 degrees of bounce, though less is helpful for firm turf or wet/packed sand.
2. Stand Narrow
You don’t need to make a big swing here. A narrow stance will promote a shorter, more balanced swing. Stand with your heels a few inches apart and roughly 60 percent of your weight on your left leg. This stance will help you make crisp contact.
3. Shorten Up
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to get the ball to fly up to 60 yards, so making a big backswing is overkill. It also promotes the deceleration in the downswing we’re trying to avoid. A good rule for these shots is to swing back only until your lead arm is parallel to the ground.
4. Copy That
Acceleration is crucial. That doesn’t mean swing down super fast. It just means the club should be increasing speed through impact. Try to finish with the trail arm parallel to the ground, like a mirror image of the arms and club in the backswing. Don’t fear hitting it too far.