How to Hit Pitches Over Water

60 yard pitch shot drills tips

Here's the situation, you’re stuck in the fairway between a small lake and the green, you have 80 yards to the pin, and have about 15 yards to work with on the green. The ball sits on a slightly uphill lie. So, the good news is you have a fair bit of room to work with on the green, the bad, you're hitting a half-shot, so judging distance will be difficult. I would use a lob or sand wedge for this shot, you need the extra loft and spin to get close to the pin.

There are four things to specifically remember for this type of shot. First and foremost, you must accelerate into impact; slowing down or trying to finesse the shot will likely result in erratic distance control or even a chunk. Furthermore, accelerating will give you addition backspin to help stop the ball on the green. I see many players take those long full swings and slow into impact in a pathetic attempt to hit the ball softer. I’ll let you in a secret… it doesn't work. Use a half-swing for this shot.

Second, choke down slightly on the club for added control. Third, open you stance slightly and ensure the ball is centered in your stance. If the ball is too far forward with an uphill lie, there is a tendency for amateurs to slide their bodies horizontally into the shot. This destabilizes the whole swing and leads to skulls and chunks. Stemming from this ball position, keep in mind that you must rotate your hips and body like any other shot.

Finally, use a steady accelerating tempo. This situation requires a finesse shot, to do so you must be smooth and controlled, not erratic.

Remember, there’s nothing worse than coming up short on these shots, so make sure you hit the green. Finally get close enough to give yourself a putt at it. You should easily be able to hit 8 out of 10 of these shots on the surface within 30 feet with some practice.

With these tips you should have a much better chance of getting up and down on these dreaded half shots. Give it a try!

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