Standard pitch shot
THE pitch shot is a must in your green side arsenal -- the second most used shot around the green (first is a bump and run). Basically, you are hitting the ball about halfway to the target in the air and then letting it roll to the hole.
To hit this shot, put the ball just forward of centre of the stance, lean your spine slightly toward the target and lean the shaft slightly toward the target. Not you are set up in an excellent position to make great contact every time.
During the swing, we want the club to bottom out under the ball (or slightly after the ball) and the shaft to be returned to the same position at impact -- leaning slightly forward. If you accomplish this you will become an excellent pitcher of the ball.
There is not a lot of wrist action in the pitch shot -- keep the club head low to the ground on the way back and through. This will allow you to use the bounce of your sand wedge -- ensuring the club head will skid, slide and brush nicely through the ground. As a result, even your bad shots will get close to the hole.
After getting set up properly, it is the smooth, flowing, tempo and rhythm of the shot that turn the "notes on the page into beautiful music." The arms and body must be relaxed and soft to let that happen. Without it, you will not be able to be your best. With it, you will hit magical pitch shots.
Derek Ingram is the head coach of Golf Canada's national women's team and the teaching professional at the Elmhurst Golf and Country Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is the only two-time winner of the Canadian PGA's Teacher of the Year and recognized as one of the top high performance golf coaches in the world. You can sign up for his newsletter or get more information on lessons, clinics, golf schools and corporate outings at www.derekingram.com