Many golfers consider the middle-distance pitch shot — those around 50 to 75 yards — among the hardest in golf. In my experience with this shot, students struggle with it because they’re nervous and tend to shut down the lower body.
The key to these shots is making sure your tempo and timing of the parts is there. I like my students to picture “marching” into the ball so you can feel your weight moving right and left. You feel the rhythm. As you do that right-left, right-left and begin to swing the club, you get a cadence going, as I’m demonstrating in Photos 1-3. Then take some practice swings and, without lifting your feet, you can get that same right (backswing)-left (forward swing) cadence to match. Transfer that marching feeling to your actual swing will keep your lower body active and moving toward the target (Photos 4-6). You’ll be much more successful with this sometimes difficult pitch.
Tom Morton is Director of Player Development at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, California, and co-director of the Morton Golf Foundation