A simple guide to pitching

St Andrews is home to some of the worlds’ finest tightly mown, firm, fast and rolling fairways. However, when it comes to pitching, these conditions can reduce a golfer’s margin for error unless they can create the correct set-up position and use good technique.

As instructors, we often see players compensate their swing due to flaws in their set-up position. Here I am 40 yards short of the green at the second hole on the Jubilee Course demonstrating the correct pitching technique.

I would always encourage you to make several practice swings which will ultimately be a replication of what you are about to execute – you do this by controlling the length and speed of the swing based on the distance that you need to cover.

Once you’re feeling comfortable with the length and speed, assume the correct set up position, i.e. slightly open stance, ball position opposite your sternum and weight slightly favouring the leg closest to the target, then complete that same swing – here you can see that I am using a ‘half swing’.

You are effectively then trying to mirror that in the through-swing, however notice how my body is ‘clearing’ through impact.

This is crucial in both quality of strike and ultimately distance control. Give it a try!

Words by Scott Wilson, Academy Instructor

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