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How to Hit a 30 yard Pitch Shot

The hard thing about pitch shot is that you often have to make less than a full swing. So lots of golfers tend to hit it fat or top it.

There are few reasons why we tend to hit it fat or top it with less than a full swing.

1) Decelerate through impact by trying to control distance
2) Worrying about the result and lacking concentration to hit the ball

So more than a half of the causes are psychological problems rather than technical mistakes.

How to Overcome Psychological Problems

I think there are two things you can do.

1) Decide the length of your backswing before you hit it
2) Instead of worrying about the outcome, focus of the shot at hand. Just focus on catching the ball solid.

Players tend to take bigger backswing and then decelerate through impact on a shot like a 30 yard pitch shot.

So when you take a practice swing, try to decide how much you take the club back to hit the shot. You should work harder on your practice swings than a real shot.

Players start to hesitate when they are hitting shots from short distance such as 30 yard pitch because they are thinking they have to get the ball close to the hole.

So they are focusing more on the outcome.

But when you are hitting a 7-iron with a full swing, you probably won't hesitate so often by worrying about the outcome of the shot.

That is because your expectation isn't so high. You know that you can't be prefect from that distance. So instead of trying to control the outcome, you should focus on the process such as hitting the ball solid.

As a result, you will likely to hit a good shot.

But once you start to control the outcome by thinking you have to get it close to the pin or get the ball close enough for a birdie, you will soon start hitting bad shots.

All we can do is to focus on the things at hand. And that is the best way to handle any shot in golf.

The Technical Key Points

Now, let's talk about how to hit a 30 yard pitch shot.

There are 5 key points.

1) Put the ball in the center of little right of center
2) Take a narrow stance. Your feet should be the width of your shoulders or less
3) Don't forget to turn your shoulders and hips on the backswing
4) On the downswing, unwind your shoulders and hips. Avoid hitting the ball with your arms alone
5) Your finish should be low and short

Tiger Woods said the same thing about the last 3 key points. He tried to turn his shoulders and hips instead of swinging with his arms alone.

The common mistake is to try to lift the ball in the air. But you will hit it fat or top it if you do so.

So to avoid this mistake, try to keep your finish low and short.

Use the Bounce on Your Sand Wedge to Fix Fat Shot

The shots from 30 yards to 50 yards can be very difficult for lots of amateurs because you can't take a full swing.

Lots of players decelerate through impact to adjust clubhead speed to control distance. But this can lead to a fat shot.

From 30 to 50 yards, players often use a sand wedge. If you hit a fat shot, that means the leading edge of the sand wedge dug into the ground.

To avoid this, you want to slide the sole of your sand wedge under the ball through impact.

To hit the shot like this, you can use the bounce on your sand wedge. For more information about the bounce, please see How to Use Your Bounce on Your Sand Wedge.

Here are 3 keys to hitting shots using your bounce.

1. Take a narrow stance
2. Grip down on the club
3. Don't lean your shaft too much toward the target

If you set your hands too far forward, you will kill your bounce. So the shaft should be slightly leaning toward the target. But you don't want to lean the shaft too much.

When you swing your club, try to slide the sole of your sand wedge through the grass as you hit the ball.

The bounce on your sand wedge will prevent the leading edge to dig into the ground and let it slide under the ball.

However, if you use this technique from a tight lie, the sand wedge will bounce off the hard ground and cause lots of top shots.

From a tight lie, please see Hitting Chip Shots from a Tight Lie.

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