Make Sure Your Practicing Your Pitching

By | on April 15, 2016 | 21 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+

21 Responses to “Make Sure Your Practicing Your Pitching”

  1. October 13, 2013


    My short game is pretty good. (Self Talk)

    I have a variety of shots depending on the situation i.e. Chip, Bump and run, Pitch, Hinge and Hold, Paint Brush, High Lob, spin and stop..

    For practice:
    1. Various clubs the same distance (for control)
    2. One club various distances (for feel)

    Technique for pitches, usually turn and rotate from different “clock” positions up to full swings with varying amount of effort.
    High Lobs, More static, 3 o’clock to 9 O’clock
    Low percentage, short distance, wide open, wide arc lob. alla “Phil Mickelson” (-pretty good at it at times)
    very wristy lob, takes a lot of practice. (not necessarily recommended – but not all that difficult). I can even do “stymies”

    For me, its a “fun” time, but with a purpose. My backyard is not all that large, but I make the most of it. Driving area into net, life like mats with different tees and turf areas already set up, long putting strip into small plastic Folgers coffee can. 50 ft pitch/chip into the six foot wide capture area, allows me to visualize mini draws and fades. Add a video camera with self timer and tripod. My “facility” is complete with the exception of actual greens, stimp meter, bunkers.

    • October 13, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I’m glad you practice your pitching and all the different shots and you have set up an area to do so. Too many people do not practice because they forget, they are running to the course or they don’t like to practice it. Keep up the good work.

  2. February 24, 2014


    Quick question on the pitching.

    I will go through periods where my pitching is great and I feel like I can get up and down from anywhere. It just feels easy.

    Then all of a sudden the backswing on short pitches starts to feel too short so I start either getting really long with the backswing and then slowing down swing or taking short backswing but then getting really quick with the down swing to try and make up for short backswing.

    I know both of these are wrong and then I get inconsistent contact and results.

    When this happens any advice on turning this trend around? It seems like the harder I focus on it the worse it gets because then I get too much tension in my hands and arms.

    Thanks for any help.

    • February 24, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Your pitching should be great all the time. This is quite easy to do. You need 3 backswing lengths. As I explain, short pitches have you pointing the butt at the target. Medium shots you are pointing the butt at the ground. Full shots you are pointing the butt away from the target. This way you are focused on the butt not on the whole club or hitting anything. You set the backswing (slowly) because you do not hit it going back. You are setting it up to go forward.

      Once set you immediately switch your thought to the belt buckle. Once thinking of the belt buckle you are determining the rotational speed of the body for the shot you are trying to hit. So you are thinking: HINGE/TURN.

      By doing it this way you should be able to hit the same backswing each and every time because you know where the butt it and you know where the target, ground and away from target is. This will make the backswing consistent. Once set you are using your body to hit. Doing it this way you are never guessing. I hate guess-work.

      Not sure if you have seen the other Pitching tips. If not, you need to go through them all. Just access them in the red nav bar. I go through the technique in most of them.

      • Hi Paul,

        I have a question about distance control for short irons. For example, I use 9 iron for 145 yards. I use P Wedge for 125. For 135, I use 9 iron and grip down 1 or 1.5 inches. But, I am not confident. Maybe a shorter back swing is a way to go??
        What would you recommend?

        For 110 or 100, I use my 54 degree wedge and I am confident. But, I lose confidence when hitting 80 or 90 with the same wedge.



        • Kwangsoo,

          There is something wrong with your swing or your clubs because the gap between your 9 iron and wedge is too great. It should only be 10 yards. I don’t want you abbreviating your swing or gripping down on the club. For all full swings you should be doing full swings. The only time you would grip down or abbreviate your swing would be from about 60 yards and in. All other swings should be full swings.

          You do this because you are not practicing a grip down swing or shorter backswing on a regular basis with longer clubs. You do practice them with your SW or LW. So have your clubs checked or look at your swing to see what is causing this gap.

          To gain confidence at 80 and 90 you need to hit more of these shots. This is your normal swing so you should not be having a problem with these shots at all. I get the feeling you are changing your swing on these shots. Stand tall and do your full swing on the 80-90 yard shots as well as pitching wedge.

  3. October 24, 2015


    I am really having fun with your technique for pitching. I am having a little trouble with the pitching technique from tight lies at 10 to 15 feet from the green with a close pin, 10 to 15 feet onto the green. I am hitting the ball thin and too far into the green. It is like I am in limbo between pitching and chipping the shot. Maybe I am looking a little early…. However I found that I can use a combination pitch/chip technique (with my hands forward like the chip technique) to make better contact from tight lies. I have used the combo technique pitch/chip out of the taller grass around the green with some success. Seems to me it is kinda like the technique you demonstrate for shots from bare lies. Any suggestions?

    • October 26, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      These are the toughest pitch shots to hit so you need to be working on them. Get the technique with a little rough first. Then once you are good at these shots then go to tighter lies. If you keep hitting poor shots from tight lies you are not going to be too confident. The key to these shots is trust. To hit the ball this short you are literally letting the club fall to the ball. In other words you are not helping it in any way. This takes feel and trust.

      If you are going to chip these shots you need enough green to work with so these are important shots to learn when the pin is cut close. If you have enough room to allow for roll then chip it. With the hands ahead it allows for great contact from any lie. I usually chip whenever I can.

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    November 8, 2015


    Paul, This is unbelievable. My first round after practicing this way for just a week I pitched lights out! My chipping ratios were spot perfect too. Amazing. Because it’s golf though I was pulling all my short putts. Do you have a cure for missing putts left? Thanks , Ben

    • November 8, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, my pitching technique works great. Wish I would have thought of it when I first started. Instead, I had to practice for years to get good a it.

      Pulling putts could be many things. You need to check your alignment first (lay a club or alignment stick on the green). Also, check you putter. The grip may be on wrong.

      Putter Check:

      Check your through stroke. Make sure you are not rolling the face closed when you putt. Into the through stroke you shouldn’t point the toe at the target. Also, make sure the putter is sitting flat on the ground at set up. Too toe up could cause it as well as eyes too far inside the line.

      Are you doing my putting technique:

      Why Throw the Ball To the Target When Putting?:

      As you see there could be may things causing it. I would think it is face or body alignment.

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    April 15, 2016


    Hi Paul
    I have a 60 degree lob wedge but only use it in the bunker with relative success. However, I can’t seem to get it to work for me over bunkers. Any advice please.
    Many thanks Paul. I really love your site.


  6. A very valuable training session ,Paul,for pitching to various distances ,except I never go to the range and CAN do it only on m’y lawn ,to the dispair of m’y wife who objects to me spoiling the lush grass ..
    The only difficult pitch shot I encounter on the golf course is shot pitching over a greenside bunker from a pine needle lie ( There are man y ,man y very old ” parasol ” pine tres around on the CANNES MANDELIEU golf course ,planted at NAPOLEON THE THREE ‘s période ,circa 1850).You have to be pretty accurate with the cluhead/ ball contact to deliver a short sweet Quick stopping shot on the Green .
    Any tip to Play this shot ?
    Paul a question on the rôle of the abs : I just saw a tip saying you should contract your ABS as if you were to receive a punch in the belly when you swing ,to better CONNECT lower and upper body .
    But then ,it’s difficult to stay loose and fluid in the swing .
    What do you think of this tip?

  7. December 14, 2017


    Like your technique: it works well. Feel I can get up and down consistently. My question is: When you hinge, do you turn shoulders back at all?

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      December 14, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, your shoulders are turning like in a real swing. I just don’t want you thinking about them. I need you thinking about hinging the club at the right spot for the shot you are trying to hit.

  8. August 21, 2018


    Hello Paul.
    You talk about the distance that you get with your sand wedge. I believe the maximum distance that I get on my sand wedge is about 65 yards. Where does my pitching wedge come in? I that club used only in a full swing and short pitch shots and chip shots.
    I am having difficulty using my pitching wedge in the medium and shot pitch shot.


    • Avatar photo

      August 22, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      You would be using SW to let’s say 60 yards. Gap wedge to 70, 80 and 90 doing a full swing turning at 3 speeds then you are up to pitching wedge at 100 yards. You need to adjust this if the yardages are different than what you are hitting. Turning slower or faster adds or subtracts yardage so keep this in mind as you apply this to your clubs.

  9. May 13, 2021


    Hello Paul,

    I’ve noticed that you don’t suggest having (and keeping) the weight on the forward leg for pitching, unlike many instructors. Do you believe that it’s better to have the weight 50/50 at address – and if so, why do you feel that works better?

  10. July 31, 2021


    Hi Paul! I practice your pitching technique and usually have good success with it. However once in a while while pitching I will squib the ball off to the right. Any ideas on why this happens??

    Thank you,

    Al Mancini

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