Top 100 Teacher: Groove this key checkpoint to improve your pitches

By Tina Tombs   /   Luke Kerr-DineenBy Luke Kerr-Dineen
October 10, 2019

Tour players hit an average of 11 to 12 greens in regulation per round. For amateurs, that number is considerably lower. Pitching, therefore, is a critical element in improving your score. The better you pitch, the lower your total. If your short game isn’t up to snuff, this tip will make you money in no time from 50 yards in.

The error we’re targeting here is “heavy-handedness.” By that I’m referring to the times when, suddenly, the club feels too heavy in your hands, caused by the clubhead moving to the inside of the target line while your hands are still outside or on plane.

Make your pitch backswing, stop when the shaft is parallel to the ground, then turn your head to look at the clubhead. What you want to see is that the shaft and clubhead are still outside your hands (see below). With the club outside, you can set it on a steeper plane, which allows it to feel lighter sooner, making it easier to control.

A steeper plane also allows you to swing the club more to the left and better utilize the bounce. With just one look you can check and correct your position so it’s perfect every time. If you’re still struggling, make sure your right-hand grip is more on top of the handle (V pointing to your nose) and that you’re keeping your hands low and your arms close to your chest.

The rest of your pitch swing is now on autopilot.