Tips about hitting a high pitch shot

Subtle secrets of a high flying, soft landing pitch shot. �Russell Pritchard/Presseye
Subtle secrets of a high flying, soft landing pitch shot. �Russell Pritchard/Presseye

The whole key in playing this shot is firstly in the set up and a different mindset towards a swing movement through impact which will be a little different than normal.

Setting up!

The first thing that is needed to even consider this type of shot is that the ball should be sitting in a decent lie. Do not try this off a bare hard pan lie!

1.Aim the clubface squarely at the target, making sure that the club handle is directly above or lying very slightly behind the clubhead. By doing this you will add more loft to the shot and utilise the sole of the club properly, so that it slides better as you swing through the ball.

2.Once you’ve taken aim, make a stance that is about hip width and more importantly, stand 2-3 inches further away from the ball than normal. This will help you get your hands a little bit lower and in turn will promote a cleaner shot that will come off more softly and stop more quickly on the green.

3.Now that your aim, stance and body to ball distance are good, just make sure that the ball is placed in the stance centre or to err on the safe side, have it a little more forward in the stance to promote a clean contact.

4.You’re now ready to play the shot and I’d like you to hold the club quite softly. Have a grip pressure at around a 3 on a scale from 1-10. Keep the body, arms and hands soft and relaxed.

5.Distance will be controlled by the length of swing used. More upper body turn for more distance and also more or less distance as you control the speed of hip clearance through the ball. If you can imagine that you have a speed dial on your belt buckle and when you want to add some distance, just clear the hips a bit more quickly or for less distance, clear them more slowly.

6.The key to gaining more height in this shot is the ability to release the clubhead with more speed on the downswing. To further maintain height and distance control, try to feel that the clubface finishes pointing more towards the sky.

A great image to have in mind, is that of a top tennis player when they hit an undercut shot just over the net. They really try to skim the racket along the underside of the ball, keeping the palm of the trailing hand pointing upwards.

So remember:

ADD LOFT BY LEANING THE CLUB HANDLE BACK BEHIND THE BALL SLIGHTLY

GET A CLEANER, SOFTER STRIKE BY STANDING A COUPLE OF INCHES FURTHER AWAY

CONTROL DISTANCE WITH BODY TURN AND SPEED OF HIP CLEARANCE

GET MORE HEIGHT IN THE SHOT BY HOLDING SOFTER AND RELEASING THE CLUBHEAD EARLIER AND FASTER

MAKE SURE YOUR LIE IS GOOD BEFORE YOU EVEN ATTEMPT THIS1

Michael Langford

Golf Performance Ireland

Roe Park Resort