Shot: How To Hit From Hard Pan

By | on May 10, 2013 | 22 Comments | FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites (see below)


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Author Description

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

22 Responses to “Shot: How To Hit From Hard Pan”

  1. shorten it up please norm

    • There was no way to shorten it. I was giving you a lesson on how to hit a shot not a quick tip. 15 mnin. to learn one of the hardest shots in golf. Seems like a good deal to me.

  2. Paul,

    Can you use the technique for longer shots like 125- 150 yds?


    • Yes, you can use this technique for longer shots. When you do make sure your stance is a little wider and do a loner backswing.

  3. June 13, 2012


    on longer shots , with this technique are arms as powerless as in reg shots, we use the normal lower body move.

    • On longer shots you are taking a longer backswing. On the way down you are going to feel arms. This is because the weight is on your left side. Plus, you are going to be holding the angle in the wrists to stop it from re-hinging. So pick it up going back. Holding the angle coming down. The hips will move along but you are not really thinking about them.

  4. July 20, 2012


    on longer shots is tendency to fade ball some as in fairway bunker shots,since more arms involved.

    • Yes, you will fade these longer shots due to hitting with the arms and the head still. You need to compensate for this shot be re-aligning your body.

  5. October 5, 2012


    Hi Paul. You indicated you can use any club from a sand wedge to a nine iron for these hard pan/tight lie shots. Would the bounce of the sand wedge have to be considered in these shots to prevent the club from bouncing into the ball, if you hit slightly behind the ball? For some reason, I’ve always thought the sand wedge was a poor choice for hard lies because of the bounce. I’m sure some article in Golf Digest or some other publication is the source of my confusion.

    Thanks for any clarification, Ron

    • Paul Wilson

      October 5, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Ron, This will not happen because hitting knockdown shots from hard pan has your hands well ahead of the ball. When you move your hands ahead the back of the club comes off the ground allowing the leading edge to sole itself. To see it hold you club in the air so you can see the clubhead. Then tilt the grip ahead of the face. When you do you will see this will allow for perfect contact with a descending blow (if everything else is correct).

  6. October 16, 2012



    Great tip..!

    As you mentioned, this hard pan execution has similar attributes to your chipping technique. Also similarities with the knock-down and punch shots…. Perhaps I missed something, but you mention “picking the club up” and hitting down on the ball. (wanting to encourage hitting the ball first…) I’m trying to make sure you’re still promoting powerless arms when faced with these conditions? Are you also advocating powerless arms to your pitching technique?

    It’s been tough grasping the powerless arms approach, so if I need to turn them back on, please advise.


    • Paul Wilson

      October 17, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      For this shot you are picking it up which means you will be feeling arms. I like the picking up feeling so I feel the club will be descending coming down. So you can use arms on this shot.

      Pitching – the arms are powerless.

      When you are working on swing positions you will feel your arms. When you are hitting full shots and playing you are keeping the arms powerless which means you are not trying to hit or help the shot in any way with your arms.

  7. Hi Paul. This is good tip for hitting irons from a hard pan lie. I winter/golf in Arizona and found myself too frequently on hard pan like sand/desert especially on par 5′s. How do you swing a fairwood off such a lie.

    Thanks again. Gerry

  8. Sorry I am so late on this, but I cannot view this video at more than 7 seconds before it freezes for 7 seconds and then replays for 7, freezes for 7 ect… First time I have had any problems.

    Anyway, I notice on these hard pan shots you do not bend at the knees and grip down as you do with regular pitching. I assume this is because you tend to be further out than the air-to-roll ratios of pitch shots. Just want to make sure my understanding is correct.


    • Randy,

      I am not talking about this video. I know some of the old ones without the thumbnail are jittery that is why I am trying to find a service that works better. We will be switching all videos shortly to the new service so they all run great.

      I am not bending etc. because this is more like a real golf shot. I am farther from the green and I have to hit it kind of hard to get it there. The adjustments are in the grip and setup. Then picking it up going back so it will hit down. The ratios do not apply here. You are trying get it on the green if you have enough green to work with or you are trying to 1 hop it on the green if the pin is cut close.

  9. December 7, 2013


    Hi Paul

    This is an old tip that I came back to and I hope you receive this message. For this shot I use, systematically, my 8 iron, with great results. In fact I always use it when I am close to the green as I find it more dependable than a shot that flies high and the backspin stops it. The problem is when beyond the hardpan there is an obstacle like a bunker and the hole is short sided. Should I simply take my medicine and to the same thing with a high lofted club?


    • Paul Wilson

      December 8, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      If the pin is cut close with a bunker in front you may have to play this shot to the back of the green or even off to one side then chip on. So there are certain situations where this shot may not work. If so, you are going to have to decide whether or not to pitch or play it another way.

  10. Hey Paul,

    Question about this tip, and how it may apply to similar situation:

    Coming out of winter here in Minnesota, we have tons of dormant grass. Also, the ground is very wet and soggy from all of the melting snow and spring rainfall. So, basically a lot of very tight, spongy lies. On shots from the distance where I would use your pitching technique, in these conditions, I often end up with results the same as you describe in this tip; blading it over the back of the green, or hitting it fat and having it travel half the distance. Would the technique in this tip also help in these conditions I’m describing? I’m inclined to think it would. I think making ball-first contact in these conditions would also be very important, to give myself half a chance. The margin for error is so small that anything I could do to help ensure solid contact would seem to be beneficial.


    • Mike,

      You can certainly hit knock down shots from these conditions. Just make sure you have enough green to work with. With the wet conditions the ball will not check up for you. So if the pin is cut tight you will be long.

      For normal pitch shots just make sure you get the weight off the back foot in the downswing. Then you will not hit it fat. Keep the arms turned off and HINGE/TURN with the arms turned off. Then you won’t hit them thin. HINGE/TURN.

  11. Fantastically interesting lesson and video you show here, Paul!
    It’s seldom or never a Golf Teacher shows you how to play this very tricky shot .
    On the course I play here at CANNES (CANNES MANDELIEU golf course ,founded in 1874),it’s bordered by very very old “parasol”pine trees ,planted at the time of NAPOLEON THE THIRD (Circus 1850)!
    When you hit in these tree ,the ball stays there until the next storm!
    However the prorblem is getting out from the pine needles below :is the technique to utilize the same as from hard pan ?
    Moreover ,you have to hit it low ,to escape the overhanging tree limbs !
    I play the punch shot with the closed 6 iron you showed us recently .

    • Paul Wilson

      August 15, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Depending on the lie, how stable your footing is, overhanging branches etc. would determine whether or not to hit this shot from pine needles. The beauty about this shot is that you can put the worst swing in the world on it and still make pretty good contact. If you are not hitting this shot and your feet twist, you look up or something else the shot could be really bad. I really don’t like to take too many chances in bad situations. I used to try for miracle shots all the time only to be rarely successful. It is a great feeling when you are but those times are few and far between. Now, I get it out the best and easiest way I can. Get it back in play and keep high numbers off the card. It is a great feeling when your worst hole is a bogey and you rarely have high numbers. This makes you confident.

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