Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Pitch and Run

If you go back a few posts and review my post on chipping, you will discover I feel the chip swing is always the same length.  When chipping, I always try to land the ball just onto the green and let the ball run to the hole.  The loft of the club you are using to chip with will determine how much roll you will have.

With this thought in mind, you will chip the ball when you are within one to four yards from the edge of the green.  If you get in the zone from five to ten yards from the green this presents an opportunity to pitch and run the ball to the hole.  When you are in this zone, it is difficult to make your chip swing and get the ball to land on the green. 

Now, there are times when you may chip and run the ball; for instance, if the hole is cut very close to the edge of the green and you are in the five to ten yard zone, you may chip the ball through the fringe.  We will discuss this in a later post.

Back to the pitch and run.

For the pitch and run you will use your wedges (50 - 60 degree loft).  The more run you need, the less loft you will use.

The set up for the pitch and run is just like that of a chip shot.  Note the ball position is located off my right big toe.  My hands are located on the crease of my pants.  This set up keeps the flight of the ball low and encourages more roll after landing on the green.

My goal when hitting the pitch and run is to land the ball approximately two paces onto the green.  This provides me a little margin for error.  If I miss my target by a pace, I will still end up with a pretty good result.

The pitch and run backswing is similar to a chip swing except you add just a bit of wrist hinge.  You can see
my hands travel just past my right leg and the club is parallel to the ground.


The follow through for the pitch and run is like that of a chip shot.  Note how the shaft and my left arm are in alignment.  This finish will produce a low flight and more roll out.

I always strike the ball first and then the turf when hitting a chip shot and the pitch and run.  I find it helpful to take a practice swing before executing the shot just to get a feel for the turf.

I will discuss the high, soft pitch shot in the next post.

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