How To Pitch The Ball

By | on March 23, 2016 | 140 Comments | Array


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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+

140 Responses to “How To Pitch The Ball”

  1. June 19, 2012



    On shorter pitch shots, say 10-30 yards, every now and then I’m catching the hosel. Would that be because I let my upper body slide towards the target on the downswing.

    It doesn’t happen on longer pitches when the club hinges up.

  2. August 12, 2012



    in this video you mentioned you will explain the shorter pitch shots in the future. Any thoughts about the time you are going to publish them?

    Best regards, Thomas

  3. August 26, 2012


    This is a brilliant tip I’ve played twice now using this technique. It feels good looks good and is a real confidence booster. My only minor problem is I’m pushing it slightly to the left ( I’m a left-handed player ) which I’m sure is just practise to correct. My other concern the distance is pretty much set with my sand and to make it go further I use my wedge. No arms and body turn only not sure how to vary the distance??

    • August 26, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Paul, it is a great technique. This is not me saying this. This is every pro I have shown it to. You speed up by turning your body at different speeds. This is all in my pitching video. If you are pushing it you need to loose the wrists to allow the face to square. Just roll them over a few times early in practice swings then think about the body when hitting your shots. This should loosen them up.

      • October 13, 2018



        I believe that your pitching technique is also great practice for one to feel and understand powerless arms in the full swing. In this pitching technique the arms are just pure dead. Whenever I use my arms pitching, I can count on having a very long putt for my next shot.


        • Avatar photo

          October 15, 2018

          Paul Wilson


          Exactly, it is great for turning the arms off because if you use your arms doing my pitching technique it won’t work (as you see).

  4. September 15, 2012


    Paul, your tips are amazingly simple to follow. It didn’t take but a couple of tries to get really nice pitch shots and chipping. Could you also do a tip on how to put backspin on the ball? Your methods really make it easier for beginners to learn how to hit effectively. Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • September 17, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      George, Thank you very much. Here is what I usually say about backspin:

      To get backspin there are many factors. Here they are:

      1. Correct swing fundamentals.

      2. Angle of attack

      3. Clean grooves.

      4. No grass or other material between the ball and grooves.

      5. Soft fast greens.

      6. Green sloped towards you.

      7. Proper loft on club.

      8. Fast enough swing speed.

      etc. etc.

      So keep working on the proper fundamentals and have the right equipment and conditions and you will get backspin.

  5. Paul, I really do like how simple your teaching is, my scores keep improving using your techniques. I was wondering how to pitch the ball to different distances. Keep up the great work and the great tips. Maybe I can make to your school next year!

    • October 8, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      George, I have not shot these tips yet. I will get to it at some point. This is all information in my short game series. Basically, you are hinging your wrists different backswing lengths then turning your belt buckle different rotational speeds. Here is one pitching tip:

      How to Pitch:

  6. October 17, 2012


    May I ask a basic question from a high handicapper.

    How would you explain the difference between a Pitch and a Chip?

    Thank you.

  7. October 23, 2012


    HI Paul,

    When pitching and using short irons, I was previously told by my instructor to have my hands in front of ball to give a forward shaft lean on club, do you advocate using this for short irons/pitching using your teaching methods?


  8. January 4, 2013


    I am starting to hook my pitches. I suspected it is too much body or hip movement but I am not really sure. Please advise!

    • January 4, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      If you are hooking pitches without trying to hook them your grip is too strong. You need to immediately neutralize your grip. This will take the spin off the ball then you can see if there is a direction problem. If so, you need to work on your body rotation to get the ball on target.



      Also, check to see that your ball is not too far back in your stance and you are not re-gripping the club changing it to a strong position before you take the club back. It is highly unusual to hook a pitch shot so there is something severely wrong. Start checking your grip/setup and fundamentals.

      • January 5, 2013


        Ok Paul I just found out I was not choked up enough. I about mid way into the grip now and the ball is going straight. Thanks again!

      • March 15, 2021


        When pitching do you have your weight on you front left leg for a right hand player?

        • Avatar photo

          March 31, 2021

          Paul Wilson

          pitching you would want your weight 50/50 between both legs. You are only putting your weight on the front leg to flight the ball down like a punch shot or chipping.

  9. January 24, 2013


    Paul went to the range today and at end of the session I always do some pitches.well I was flipping at it and was hitting line drives(I did review the tip after)I wasn’t halfway dwn the grip was this causing the flaw or was it the Turn or lack of? Also your Pitching Technique isn’t it the same as your bunker tech minus tge grip and digging in the sand??

    • January 25, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      No idea. I would think you were hitting normal shots then you gripped down and were not used to it. So you were either looking up due to trying to hit the ball, lack of confidence or uncomfortable. If you are hitting it thin the club is coming off the ground. This could be from raising up or buckling arms. Just relax the arms, turn the body to hit the shot and keep watching the ball until you hit it.

      The pitching technique is the same as the bunker technique except in bunkers you are not gripping down so the club will enter the sand. If you grip down the club will be at the level of the sand.

  10. March 15, 2013


    Can you please do the short, 10/20/30 yard pitch shot video. Then follow it with the 70 yard plus pitch shots. My short game could sure use the help.
    Thanks, Rich

  11. March 22, 2013


    what is the importance of gripping down on this typ e of shot?

    • March 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      You are gripping down on any shot that is less than a full swing so you shorten the club. This tells you that it is more of a delicate shot, it allows you to use the butt of the club as an indicator to point at the ground or target, and it shortens the club so you don’t hit the ball too far.

  12. April 24, 2013


    Paul could I use this technique for my full swing sounds easy?

    • April 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      It’s okay for now. I just don’t like the early wrist set but if you are having trouble hinging the club to the top then do it. Also, you need to go through to the full follow through touching the legs and touching the head. Oh yeah and make sure you are coiling your shoulders fully in the backswing.


      DRILL: Touch Legs Touch Head:

  13. April 30, 2013


    Hi Paul For the 90 degree and 45 degree backswing pitch , how weight distributed at address eg more on front for some. For these pitchs are we not so concerned about 1 piece take away Y intacted as we are just hinging the club to the 90,45 positions

  14. Paul I been using powerless arms with my swing working so far with
    driver thru wedge with full swings but when is a pitch of 50yds or less it feels like I’m going to hit the hosel I actually hit the hosel a couple of times
    any drills or thoughts you could give me, is when I thinking turn the belt buckle thanks****

    • Carlos,

      Check your setup. A lot of people like to get too low. Stand up tall even with short irons. This is new so you are not used to it. You are hinging you are turning. Let the wrists stay loose and turn over when you hit these shots. Sometimes people tighten up, want to watch their ball before they have hit it and try to help the shot.

      The only way you are shanking it is if you are getting too close to the ball. This is due to hitting. It causes you to roll onto your toes in the downswing. So as I said, loose up. Focus on turning. This turn allows the arms to come down to hit the ball. If all else fails hit these shots with the weight on your heels for a while. This will stop you from rolling forward. The problem is you are still hitting. So keep practicing.

  15. August 17, 2013


    Hi Paul, enjoying the tips. I am only just starting to use my body and turn arms off. Arms almost feel like s pendulum in free mode. Anyway a couple of queries re pitching.

    1. Setup the same as far as weight moving to right foot on short backswing?, than move back to left foot (others suggest pre load on front foot)
    2. Do we consciously hinge for earlywrist set or is it automatic as the body stops on short swing and inertia causes the hinge just like the full swing.

    Forcing the hinge seems to be my downfall as I start hitting again.


    • August 18, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      1. Yes, shift weight to right foot. I really want you thinking of the hinge though. This should be happening without you thinking about it. The weight would be on your left foot hitting knock down shots.

      2. For pitching I need you to manually hinge the club. This way you can hit he same backswing lengths for each of the shots. In your real swing they should be hinging through momentum. Just gently hinge it. Remember, you don’t hit it going back. Set it then start the lower body the other way to hit it.

  16. August 18, 2013


    Paul, Lately I’ve been hitting every third pitch shot dead right. I don’t think it’s a shank, more like an open club face. I think it’s because I’m getting too armsy and not turning. Does this sound right? It’s so bad right now I took my 60 degree wedge out of the bag.

    • August 18, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Obviously the face is open. If you do not turn the club will just swing right. I though you were to be HINGING and TURNING to do my pitching method? If you don’t turn there is no way this will work. So HINGE then turn your belt buckle left of target to hit the shot. If you still don’t get it just roll the wrists over early about 5 times. The forget the wrists and focus on the turn. You should be able to fix this pretty quickly.

  17. Hi Paul,

    Have you made a 80-100 yard shot video yet? I’m very interested to learn, as the 9 hole course I play in Golden Gate Park of San Francisco has a couple downhill 100 yard holes.

    • September 5, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I have not shot this yet. This is the same as this tip:

      How to Pitch:

      Just do a longer swing and turn at slow, medium or fast rotational speeds to vary the distance of the shot. Basically it is your normal swing except you are thinking about hinging and turning.

  18. Paul,

    I was just watching the short game series to brush up on some techniques, and you said we should think about turning our belt buckle instead of pushing off of our back foot as we would in our full swing. I feel I make better contact when I think of pushing off of my back foot just like I do in my full swing. Is this a bad thought? I can hit three different distances with each length of backswing as long as I think about how fast I need to turn. Also how high should say your medium pitch shots be? My medium shots are fairly high and have very little roll. I do not feel like I am using my arms, as you have stated in other tips that a high ball flight is an indication of hitting with your arms. Thanks for all the great tips that you give us.

    • March 11, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Typically, short shots don’t require a big leg drive. The legs turn the axis (your body). If the legs aren’t driving hard then you need to manually turn your body. If you can do it with your feet and it is working then keep doing it.

      How high should a medium pitch shot should be? Fairly high. You are putting enough power in it to hit it a medium distance. If the proper contact is made the club will be hitting it with quite a bit of loft. In doing so, the ball will stop quite quickly. This is the whole point of hitting a shot like this. You want it to go high so it does not roll much.

  19. March 22, 2014

    Rick g.

    I went out to try your pitching technique and I was having a lot of problems hitting it consistently. I don’t think I ever hit so many fat pitch shots. It seemed as if because of the slower turning and not developing any centrifugal force that when I turned my arms off the club head would drop too quickly behind the ball. Even on half decent shots the club wasn’t going into and through the ball. And no I wasn’t trying to help it into the air that is something I don’t ever try to do.

    • March 23, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      This is because you had all your weight on your back foot when you hit these fat pitch shots. Get off the back heel and you will hit these shots perfectly. Try again. Then tell me how great you did.

  20. Hi Paul,

    Using your pitching technique, with the shorter (butt of the club towards the target) pitches, I feel very confident and hit good shots. However, with the longer (butt towards the ground), I shank a lot of them. I feel as though I’m following your technique correctly, simply saying to myself hinge, and turn. Until I stop shanking the longer pitches, should I more consciously be thinking of releasing the club, since for whatever reason just thinking “turn” is not squaring the clubface for me? Any other thoughts?

    Thank you,

    • March 30, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      If you are shanking the weight is on your toes in the downswing. This is due to you hitting with your arms. I would think you need to have your chest up too. Most people start bending over too much with these shorter clubs.

      Also, if you need to release it then release it. Get good at it then turn the arms off. I have no problem with this.

  21. Paul I so love this tip and you say it so well. I just had a Girl Scout group all 2nd & 3 rd graders first I me even holding a club so this is the shot I taught as I knew it would equal a high % of successful shots and happy young ladies. And I was right they could all make successful contact and some improved greatly before the hour was over. I so want to come to one of your clinics! I retired now so I have time ….$$$$ is the issue . Someday I will be there! For now I will stay faithful and continue to use your tips to support my instruction… I will do anything to get a kid golfing! Thank you “fore” all of the tips!

    • Deborah,

      Glad they did well. That team must be pretty good if not the best by now. I hope so.

      I’m sure one day you will make it out. Love to meet you.

  22. When I pitch ,or Play the short or m

    • Raymond,

      This is the setup for a knock down shot which is fine.

      You won’t hit it fat with my method if you just get the hips rotating before the club comes down. As you know, fat shots are caused due too having too much weight on the back foot at impact.

      Well, I don’t care what Pelz said. My pitching technique is amazing! Every pro I have taught it to says this.

      Tour players are guessing. In order to do so, they need to spend hours practicing these shots. I don’t like wasting time.

  23. Hi Paul,

    I’m loving the website great tips, it’s already improving the consistency of my swing and shots and I’ve only been subscribing for a couple of weeks. I’m extremely happy. I think I will probably purchase your video courses too soon.

    I was wondering if you could help on one thing. I’m having trouble with my club reaching round to parallel the target line at the top of the backswing, my wrists don’t seem to hinge that far and if I really try I can’t hold onto the club at the top. The only way I can manage it is if I rotate the hands so it appears a much flatter plane.

    Any help would be much appreciated. I’m also trying to keep my left arm straight so maybe this isn’t helping either.

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Kind Regards

    Jose Kishtoo

  24. Hi Paul,
    it’s nice to get tips on such an important aspect of the game like pitching. One thing I still have trouble with is the release of the wrists during the D/S when I hit wedges, especially the 3/4 or less. At some times, I noticed that I had a good finish position (touching legs, touching head), the divot shows the club path was in line but the ball flies to the right at something between 1 and 2 O’Clock. The bias is of course aggravated with the high lofted wedges. At first I thought it was due to a non-mastered rotation speed, so I tried to hit these shots at the slowest possible pace, but it doesn’t make any difference.
    So, I guess this has something to do with my wrists, I must subconciously “lock” them in a hinged position, hence hitting with an extremely open face. Is it something you experienced with your on-field students and is there any specific drill I could work on to get rid of it?


    • Pierre,

      Just roll it over a bunch of times first. Even purposely hit some pulls/pull hooks. This gets the club releasing. Then stop thinking about rolling it and go back to think about your TURN.

      This will apply:

      Please Learn How to Hook It:

      DRILL: 3 Ways To Roll It Over:

      I would think you are getting the body too far ahead of the arms. This holds the face open. Rolling it will get the club squaring sooner. Then you can straighten it back out with the body turn.

  25. Hey Paul,

    Your pitch shot works I also it to practice touching my knee as a drill using this shot. However with the addition of trying to get the clubs up over and behind my head from another practic drill you recently sent, I cannot find a way to touch my knees? The higher swing plane and set position at the top blocks the knee from touching every time. Can you suggest a fix for this?

    Best Jay Jay Gerald

    • Jay Jay,

      Why would a higher backswing top you from touching your legs? The only thing I can thing of is you are thinking so much about your arms you are not thinking about your legs.

      This is a way to work on your backswing. If this the case you should be working on the backswing thinking of this. Then you couple it with the through swing. Meaning once you get it you then forget it. It took me 2 weeks to master this. I did it in practice swings a home every night. Don’t reach up too high. Slightly above your head with the shaft should be fine.

  26. Hey Paul,

    Yep my mind was on reaching up and behind my head so no lower body and leg touch resulted. Will try to trust that the clubs are getting in position and think turn & touch and finish. Will it ever get consistent?

    Br the way I was not billed for April so have accounting charge my account for two months in May.

    Best Jay Jay

    • Jay Jay,

      You need to start knocking these positions one at a time until they are mastered. If you focused only on the touching the legs position it shouldn’t even take that long to get them touching on every swing for ever. The feedback I teach is for this very purpose. If you are not getting this you are not doing and checking it every time and/or you are working on too many things at and not mastering one thing.

      If you are in doubt you should be doing a video golf lesson. Yes, it does cost money but it’s a small price to pay for confirmation you are on track. If no, the know the positions. Focus on grip set up and follow through until you do them exactly the same every time with all clubs. Only when you get this do you work on the backswing. You need to look for this feedback “every time.” So focus on it like this and master it.

  27. This shot has completely eliminated the anxiety of coming up 20 to 50 yards short of the green. If you just practice following his step by step. It’s a pleasant surprise how well this shot works with a sand wedge. It works just as well for me with a 60 degree from 20 to 30 yards out. Love it

    • Robert,

      Very good. I’m so glad you tried my pitching technique and were successful. I see people’s faces light up all the time at the schools when they finally stop flubbing and sculling these shots. No better feeling than knowing what you want to do then doing it.

  28. Paul,

    Thanks for this simple technique which is easy to apply. However, I sometimes feel as if I was cutting under the ball adding a huge amount of loft resulting in very short shots.

    Any clue of what I am doing wrong?


  29. Avatar photo

    August 25, 2014


    Hi Paul,

    Could you please help with pitching on a downslope? In particular to a very fast down sloping green.

    To date your pitching tips have helped me greatly however I struggle with the above.

    Many thanks for all your help to date.


    • August 25, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      I don’t have tips on this right now. I plan to shoot some in the future.

      I would open the face and aim left. This would add loft to the club to make up for the slope de-lofting it. I would play the ball back a little and swing left if aimed left. The ball will go right due to the open face. HINGE/TURN like I show in this video.

      How to Pitch:

  30. September 6, 2014


    Paul, I’m having difficulty with 50-90 yard pitch shots. I seem to be “confused” as to what technique to use for these short shots that are longer than the 40 yard pitch shot. I usually use a sand wedge or gap wedge for these 70-90 yard shots, but I’m not sure what technique to use. That is, should I use the pitching technique or the full swing? A tip on this would be very helpful.


    • September 7, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      You need to learn my pitching technique. It works amazingly well and it is simple.


      How to Pitch:

      You would do 3 backswing lengths and 3 rotational speeds of your body to dial every shot in. I do not have every shot broken down yet but you can find all of my pitching tips using the red navigation bar at the top of any page. Go to SWING TIPS > PITCHING to watch them.

  31. February 6, 2015


    Another great video. How exactly can I get credit (extend my membership) for getting friends to join your site? I saw something on this previously, but can’t find it now.

  32. February 11, 2015


    Paul…Just found your site. My big problem is the short game and your tips are great. I can see some of my problems in the tips. Here is my question…I play in Florida on courses that are not overseeded in the winter. So many chips and pitches from hard bare lies. Does any of your advice change on these kinds of lies?

  33. Great technique. I just grabbed my 58* wedge and tried the 10-20-30 yard method and it worked awesome. Still had some mishits but generally it was solid. Almost holed a 20 yard pitch over the bunker a couple of times. Looking forward to practicing this a lot. I’m going to do the same with my 54* tomorrow. After that I’m going to combine the 58 and 54 with my 50* and start some medium length pitches. Does this sound like a good plan?

    • I forgot to mention thT when I tried to “make it look good” I really had some nice shots.

    • March 10, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it thanks. Do it my way you know exactly what you are going to do so you not guessing plus you don’t have to practice that much to master it. Great feeling because I used to spend hours hitting pitch shots (wasting my time).

      Let’s say you hit your 58 degree 60 yards. This means you would do a full swing slow and fast for 50 and 60 yards. Then you would hit the 54 degree with a full swing only and a slow. med and fast rotation to get 70, 80 and 90. Then you are doing a full swing with the 50 for 100, 110 and 120 at slow, med and fast rotation. Then you are at a full swing fast with PW and so on.

      The concept is this, you should only be doing an abbreviated swing when you have to. If you have done your full swing 500,000 times and a half wedge 3,000 times why would you do the half wedge swing. So do the full swing with different rotational speeds as much as you can.

      • Well that makes it easier. With a job and young family, anything that makes my practice time more compact helps. I guess I just need to find my 40 yard shot.

  34. March 26, 2015

    Barry Bower

    Hi Paul Hard time getting the belt buckle turn towards target feeling, can get feeling of bringing right knee over to touch left knee that seems to do same thing ,is this a bad way to learn pitching tech,or should i try to get that belt buckle feeling down

    • March 26, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      Sure you can. In doing so your hips have to be moving. Anything to get you hitting it with your body is how I want you starting the downswing.

  35. RE: Pitching Video

    I’ve watched all the Pitching Videos, and three of them very recently; you mentioned using the sand wedge, and perhaps the lob wedge as an alternative. But nowhere in the Pitching Videos do you hint at using a pichting wedge?? How come?



    YOUR SITE IS TERRIFIC AND GETTING BETTER!!! Thanks for giving me a golf game I can really use–and improve on.

    • Eric,

      Because you are only ever hitting one shot with a pitching wedge. This is a full swing at full speed. Why would you hit a half pitching wedge? This is totally unnecessary and a shot you never practice. Don’t practice and you have no confidence. Now you will look up and hit a poor shot when you try to do it. Why not hit a sand or gap wedge full swing varying the rotational speed of your body. This way you are still doing a full swing that you are practicing all the time. RULE: Only abbreviate your swing when you absolutely have to. For me it is 60 yards and in.

    • Eric,

      Glad you like the site. More additions to come.

  36. December 8, 2015


    Hi Paul,
    How wide would you have your feet for 70- 100 yard Piching shots.
    Also I’ve been trying out a narrow stance for all shot from 10 – 100 yards which seems to work well.
    What do you think about one stance for all shots up to 100 yards ?

    • December 9, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      You would have your narrow stance with your 7 iron down because 70-100 is your full pitch shot.

      I teach 3 width of stance from Driver to Lob Wedge:

      Width of Stance:

      I want you to use this stance for full pitch shots, narrow 1 ball width for medium and 1 more ball for shot pitch shots. You do not need a wide stance on a 20 yard shots. Makes no sense. All of this would be in the Dashboard under SHORT GAME > PITCHING.

  37. I have hit several really good pitch shots then I hit a shank! Are my wrists too tight or am I taking the club back wrong? I’ve tried to figure this out, but would like your insight.

    • March 24, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      If you are shanking it you are either too close to the ball or too tilted at setup. You need to stand tall with shorter clubs. When you are bent over too much you will hit with your arms in the downswing. This is rolling you onto your toes in the downswing. When you roll onto the toes you are getting too close to the ball and you shank it. My students never shank it after I get them doing the taller setup.


      Stand Tall with Short Clubs:
      Short Game – How To Stop Shanking Pitch Shots:

  38. First of all I’m grateful that you answered my concern. I’m really impressed and I will stand taller over all my clubs in the future.

    Many thanks,


  39. Hi Paul
    For pitching (and chipping), do we still need to move the shoulder flat (rather dipping) as in normal swing? Thanks

    • April 21, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, you are still standing tall. With a taller set up your shoulders will turn on a more level plane. This will stop you ever shanking it. You tilt too much you better be prepared for some shanks. My students never shank it. And I have fixed hundreds of shankers by getting them to stand taller.

      Stand Tall with Short Clubs:

  40. Hi Paul

    Is there a spine tilt during the turn in pitching? thanking you in advance


  41. Paul –

    I always have had problems with my manual wrist hinge techique for lob and short pitch shots.

    I know you have done tips for the automatic/natural wrist hinge on full swings, but I’m not aware of one for the manual hinge on shorter swings – I for one would really benefit if you’d make it. Of course it could be that you did make it, and I just don’t know which one it is. . Please point me in the right direction if so.

    Take care –
    Tim W in St. Louis

  42. Paul,

    Love your techniques. You have helped my game greatly. One area on pitching I find myself in trouble is on tight lies. I saw your tutorial on hard pan but that doesn’t seem to apply at my golf club where the ground is soft yet the grass is mowed extra tight in the fairways and approaches. I find myself either chunking or sculling the ball with tight lie pitch shots on this type of grass. I think tight lies shots probably are similar for me in fairways as well. Any suggestions for that? Thanks, Bryan from New York.

    • Bryan,

      You obviously need to practice the pitching technique a lot more. There is no secret to it. With a tighter lie you need trust and the technique has to be precise.

      Fat shots – too much weight on the back foot at contact. This is you not thinking of turning the hips to hit the shot.

      How To Cure Fat Pitch Shots:

      Thin – this is you will no trust so you are looking to see if you pulled off the shot or not. More practice would allow you to trust it.

      I would be using the shot from hard pan even in your situation. This is the shot I hit all of the time because at least I know I am going to make contact with the ball first. It doesn’t matter if it’s hard pan or not.

      So you use that shot for now and whenever you are in doubt about the lie. At the same time you keep practicing my pitching technique for all shots. This really doesn’t take long. You just need regular practice for a while until you trust it.

      Short Game – Long Pitch Shot:
      Short Game – Medium Pitch Shot:
      Short Game – Short Pitch Shot:
      How to Hit a Short Pitch Shot:

  43. Hi Paul. Just wondering if you hinge and turn holding the angle of the wrists when you turn or if the wrists should be loose and rehinge on the other side as for full swings?

  44. July 23, 2016


    Paul, I do this shot great in practice because I understand technically how it is done.. I do get in grooves when its works in playing. In the heat of competition I often spoil the shot but hitting it too far, fat or move forward and hit it thin. I feel the tension even though I am thinking hinge turn but the tension ruins the motion. My body just doesn’t listen.

    Once I do this in a round, I lose confidence and I wind up do half chip/body swings to avoid completely screwing up the next hole.

    This is especially true on tighter lies on the fairway, pitching up hill to carry a crest. I know you have to hit down to go up but I feel too much tension. Do you think if I hit this shot with dead hands it will help in these situations?

    • Jeff,

      You are just making way too much of this when playing. Just remember, you are not playing in the masters. Light up, loosen up and don’t care so much. Also, watch how long you are standing over the ball. This may help in all shots:

      How to Pull The Trigger:

      Tight lies – hit the knock down shot. This way you will at least make half decent contact with the ball.

      Shot: How To Hit From Hard Pan:

      This is just like a long chip. You can even do your chipping set up and take a longer backswing. Gradually keep lengthening and you’ve got it.

      Your hand should be dead. I teach powerless arms as you know. If you arms are powerless your heads are dead.

  45. Paul, I am over 70 & started golf 8 years ago my handicap today is 20. I feel the difference when I implemented your tips since I joined two weeks ago! I feel great confidence in my game & doing very well by following your techniques…thanks

    • Saad,

      Glad to have you on board. Glad you are improving.

      Please make sure you follow the lessons in order that I teach them. Use the other tips on the site to supplement them.

      At a 20 handicap you will need to work on developing a great swing. Just do the position I show every night at home in practice swings focusing on the feedback of each position. When you are at the range, do 3 practice swings then hit 1 ball. If I can get you to work on your swing like this now you will make the changes quickly and dramatically lower your scores.

  46. August 8, 2016


    Hey Paul. You made a video awhile back about feelings during the back swing. It was some of the most helpful instruction for me. I’m having difficulty with what I should be feeling in a hinging backswing for pitches and bunker shots. When do the wrist start breaking? Is the wrist set the same as full swing? Do I leave straight back off the ball?
    I’m getting to handsy in these shots and rolling the face open sometimes and hitting terrible shanks. Thanks for the help

  47. October 15, 2016


    Hi Paul
    How do you pitch a ball to an elevated green which is less than 10 yards away? Thanking you in advance

    • Avatar photo

      October 17, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      You would add more yardage based on the slope. Slight slope probably 5 yards. Higher slope, 10 yards. I may also do a flop shot depending how close the pin is to the edge of the green and how high the slope is.

      In certain cases I would hit a knock down shot (low) into the slope and try and bounce it on the green.

      You will have to practice these shots until you can dial them in.

  48. Avatar photo

    January 29, 2017



    I just watched the Pitching Hinge/Turn Tip. I want to ask about your left arm when you take your backswing. When you are at the top of the backswing (club head is pointed down) is your left arm bent or straight?



  49. Thanks Paul. I’ve had positive results with the Hinge & Turn technique. I was wondering if you could use a similar technique in bunker play with some modifications? I watched a few of your bunker tips and I believe it was a -Hinge & Turn move. Look forward to your response.

    • George,

      You certainly can. You can also do your normal swing. If you did your feet in you are lower than the ball. If so, your club would hit the sand behind the ball without even thinking about it. So if you did your normal golf swing with the face open, feet dug in and aimed open you will hit perfect bunker shots without changing anything. I prove this all of the time to students.

      Body and Club Alignment:

      Bunker Technique:

  50. I am getting better using your pitching method 40-50 yard out. Most of the lower handicap guys that I play with however use an 8 iron or Gap wedge bump and run shot much more effectively. While I am happy to get the ball on the green my friends are knocking it close to the pin. Should I be using and practicing more bump and run shots? My overall game is getting much better following your full swing methods.Unfortunately I am still losing at least 5-6 shots a round on my approach shots.

  51. Hi Paul, are you still standing as tall as you would do on normal shots? Only less angle in wrists?

  52. September 6, 2017


    This is a great technique! After spending an hour or so I am pitching five times better than before. I found as long as I am standing tall and keeping my wrists loose I make great contact every time.

    • Avatar photo

      September 7, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Very good. Glad you see it. It works amazingly well in minutes not years. As you keep doing it you will be amazed at how well you can dial it in. Keep at it. Make sure you watch the flop shot tips too. Just type flop shots in the search and they will all come up.

      • January 15, 2018


        As a follow up to this, I found that when I hit bad shots it’s usually because I tense up. So I started working on just feeling the club drop(powerless arms) when I turn and I hit most of those really well. My question is this: I’m trying to apply that same feeling on a full swing of the club just dropping as I turn. Am I on the right track for getting powerless arms on a full swing? Have I stumbled on to something here? Seems like practicing these pitch shots with powerless arms might help me transfer the feeling to the full swing…

        • Avatar photo

          January 15, 2018

          Paul Wilson


          You can think of it as a dropping. At the moment you start down it is a thought of not helping it. If that feels like it is dropping then you are most likely doing it or getting the feeling. Cannot drop if you are trying to kill it.

          I did a tip on it here:

          Drill: Let the Club Fall Down:

          Short shots do not require you to swing hard so that is a good way to get the feel. Once you get it start moving up. If you lose it go back down.

  53. October 4, 2017



    Does the distance from the ball change at all because we are choking down? Can I use the same spread thumb/finger to check my distance or should that distance now be from the top of my left hand instead of the top of the grip?

    • Avatar photo

      October 5, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      No, you would be getting closer the more you grip down so you can’t really use that for anything other than a full swing gripping at the end of the club.

  54. November 27, 2017


    Paul, still working on this shot with great results so far. One question: on a 40-50 yard pitch from a fairway to a normal flat green, would you expect this shot to check up or roll a few yards? (Using a sand wedge as an example) I’ve found out of the rough or other type lies I tend to get about 10 yards of roll that I can allow for but am less consistent from the fairway. Hit properly what should the ball be doing once it lands?

  55. Hi Paul. I know you are not thinking hand and arms swinging through, but is the arms releasing the same way for pitch shots as for the full swing (arms stretched, etc.)?

    • Stian,

      Yes, but for the medium pitch you would slightly abbreviate the follow through. The short pitch has the club around vertical in the through swing so well abbreviated.

  56. In the medium pitch shot is the hinge constant throughout the shot and the belt buckle brings the hinge through the shot?


    • Peter,

      Don’t over analyze it. Take your set up. Start back like you normally do and focus on pointing the butt at the ground. That’s it. Once hinged TURN to hit the shot. HINGE/TURN nothing more. I have taken students who couldn’t hit a pitch shot to save their life and in 5 mins. they are hitting pure pitches. You need to keep it simple.

  57. August 23, 2018



    Great tip!

    I find this technique seems to be closely related to your sand trap technique – other than digging your feet into the sand to find the base, what would be the differences between a chip shot technique and sand trap technique?



    • Avatar photo

      August 23, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Not much. You dig in, open the face. That’s at about it. I teach it even more simple now. Just do the setup then your normal swing getting through to my follow through. If you dig in your club will take sand and you are out in seconds.

  58. hi Paul, as pitching is a miniature of a full swing, would that be ringht to say that the following are required:
    1. spine tilt and spine angle in the downswing
    2. shoulder turn for the backswing

    Thank you

    • Avatar photo

      August 29, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      You are not thinking of any of these things unless you are doing them wrong. You are hinging going back. Yes, the shoulders move too but you are doing a short version of your real golf swing so they would coil without thinking about it.

      Once set, you are then thinking belt buckle to hit the shot. As you do this you would be staying behind the ball if you were doing it right. So again, you would not be thinking of this. If you were moving forward and topping it or hitting it thin then you would stay behind it more. You can easily do this by watching the back of the ball. Keep it as simple as possible. I never have an issue getting people to hit amazing pitch shots in minutes thinking HINGE/TURN.

  59. November 2, 2018

    Steve Weber

    Paul, When I miss on this shot it’s almost always a thin skull. Is that caused by the wrists tightening or arm tension? Most of the time hot this well by nothing worse than being 10 yards off the green and skulling it all the way over….

    • Avatar photo

      November 2, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      That is called hinge and whack at it not hinge and turn. Just keep the arms more relaxed. You are hitting so the harder you hit the more you will loose to see what you hit. If you have no arm strength or hitting you are not even generating enough power to hit it over the green. So even the real bad ones aren’t that bad.

  60. January 18, 2019


    Dear Paul,

    Stand Tall – does that mean a slight bend in knees? How do you know if one is standing tall? On the pitch is the weight distribution more on the front foot? In the pitch shot is the take away similar to a regular shot? When you talk about that belt buckle is that the same movement as the uncoil in a full shot?

    When trying to go from full shot to a pitch it was disastrous this afternoon.


  61. March 10, 2020


    Hi Paul,
    This is such a wonderful lesson. I almost automatically hit good pitch shots right after I saw it. There are two errors I have that occur occasionally. I hit it thin, which probably has a simple explanation. The other error is that the ball goes way right. I have hit maybe one or two fat shots also, but I saw you have a tip on that. Any ideas about the other errors? By the way, I get so many compliments from my golfing buddies on my pitch shots it is almost embarrassing.

    • Avatar photo

      March 19, 2020

      Paul Wilson

      The thin shots could be from looking early or probably from being too tight. I would do a few of my “roll over” drill. Basically trying to cure a slice. It’s the same principle to cure the thin/right shots in a pitch shot as it is for full shots. Manually Square the Clubface:

  62. Paul,

    I am confused about the need for the one-inch choke down. Is that to merely provide a pointer as to shaft position at the conclusion of the backswing or does it have some other purpose in successful executing the pitch shot?


    • Avatar photo

      March 26, 2020

      Paul Wilson

      2 things: first its to have some leverage on the golf club, makes it a little easier for you to hinge the club into the backswing. Second, so you have something that can point towards your target and know exactly where the golf club is into the backswing. You dont need to grip at the end of the golf club when pitching because you’re not looking for maximum distance…you need accuracy.

  63. Paul,

    Are your pitching distances carry distances or pin distances?


    • These are carry distances, but youre going to have to figure out how far the ball will run once it hits the ground and this is dependent on type of golf ball (soft or hard), firmness of green (soft or hard) and wind (down or into). Then you will know how much the golf ball will move once it hits the green, best to test it out for yourself for a week or so.

  64. Thanks much Paul!

    I figured these were carry distances. Figuring the rollout always makes this game challenging because, as you noted, there are sooo many variables that must be plugged into the equation.

    Are you still able to play and teach at Bears Best right now? We are all closed here in WA state. I’m having serious withdrawal symptoms. This looks like it might last a while.

    i enjoyed your indoor tips to focus on while we are stuck in. Reminds me of some of the drills I did around the house when I was learning your swing principles. (BTW, you have a beautiful home. Mrs. W has it decorated well!).

    Take care and stay safe.


  65. July 2, 2021



    5 years later and I still say hinge/turn in that shot!!! Is like so automatic. My buddies are pretty amazed by the shots I have done from 20-70 yards…which plagues so many folks. So here’s confirmation of the method!!! 😉


  66. Paul,

    This is a great tip. As a high handicapper trying to learn, I’m not used to seeing my pitch shots land on the green but that’s exactly where they were landing yesterday after watching this.

    Why is it important to grip down on the club? What effect does it produce? Thanks,


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