How to hit a perfect pitch: 4 keys from an LPGA pro for half-wedge shots

Want to lower your scores? Try dialing in your scoring clubs.

In theory, every club in the bag is a score club. Any shot you hit adds to your score, right? And while this is true, scoring clubs are normally recognized as the shorter clubs in the bag — short irons, wedges and putter. If you want to improve your game, you’ve got to be lethal with the short clubs.

Short irons can set you up for birdies, and putter will help you convert on those chances, but it’s the wedges that can make all the difference, particularly on pitch shots. Hitting full shots gives you a predictable distance every time, but with pitch shots, you’ve got to alter distances and feel out the power on each swing.

To help with dialing in pitch shots, we enlisted the help of LPGA Tour pro Paula Reto. And in this week’s episode of How to Hit Every Shot, she talks with GOLF Top 100 Teacher Nick Clearwater and shares some tips on hitting perfect pitch shots.

Watch the video above or read below for four tips for a perfect pitch shot.

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1. Stabilize your lower body

The first key is making sure you create a stable base to rotate around on the shot. Don’t sway away from the target because it can make it difficult to create consistent contact with your wedges.

“I like to have a stable lower body,” Reto says. “I’m able to just turn through it, which is a little different than I do in my longer game. But I feel like that’s the best consistency I’ve gotten in the past.”

2. Keep your weight forward

Reto says she likes to keep her weight distribution a little bit forward on shorter pitch shots. This helps her drive her hit the ball first and make a nice divot in front of the ball, giving her proper spin.

3. Minimize wrist hinge …

The arms and wrists should stay quiet on pitch shots. You don’t want to flip your wrists too much or you risk fat and thin shots. Instead, use your body to turn through the ball and feel connected throughout the shot.

4. … unless you need more spin

Wrist hinge can make consistent contact more difficult, but once you get into the lower single digits with your handicap, you can begin to add some hinge to increase spin. Hinging and unhinging the wrists creates more clubhead speed, which increases spin. But don’t try this move until you master the basics.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.