Short Game

Use this simple technique to hit perfect pitch shots every time

krista dunton shows how to hit pitch shots with a straight arm

Try any way possible to groove a pitch swing with your trail arm straight.

Christopher Lane

Weekend players are constantly searching for magic-bullet fixes for their swing. These are often hard to find, but here’s a good one: Keep your trail arm straight when hitting pitch shots. It works so well that I keep a length of plastic tubing in my bag of tricks to help students learn the move almost immediately.

An extended trail arm creates the wide and shallow bottom in your motion that you need to catch the ball cleanly. When your trail arm bends and your wrists hinge quickly, you create the opposite: a very steep and narrow bottom to your swing that brings the fat and thin shots into play. You can get away with steep and narrow on most full swings. On pitches, a wider bottom is much more forgiving.

Even in the absence of a piece of tubing at the ready, practice your pitch shots while using as little trail-arm bend as possible — just a touch of bend should do. What you’ll find is that keeping your trail arm straighter allows you to deliver the club to the ball with your arms, hands and clubhead forming a straight line at impact. This leads to the wide and shallow swing bottom you’re looking for. Your reward? Contact and spin consistency so your pitches land and come to rest as you expect them to. 

Try it. If you can mimic the pictures on this page, you’re well on your way to perfect pitches.

Krista Dunton is a GOLF Top 100 Teacher and is the director of instruction at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, S.C.

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