2 Keys to stress-free pitching over water by Craig Waddell

The 50-yard pitch over water ranks very high on the list of shots amateur golfers wish to avoid at all costs, especially when the flag is cut tight to the front. Why does it cause so much anxiety? The threat of the water tends to amplify any technical flaws in your swing and the awkward length of shot can lead to a loss of rhythm and a failure to commit to your swing.

GD May 14

Keep your weight on your front foot

I see two main errors golfers make when trying to play this shot and if you can eradicate these, you'll start watching your ball land softly on the green a lot more often. The first is a tendency to sway laterally off the ball and move too much weight onto your back foot (right for righthanders). It's vital to stay centered over the ball for a short pitch, and setting up with your weight favouring your front foot will promote a steeper angle of attack and ensure you catch ball then turf. When you make your backswing, feel like your weight stays on your left side. Doing this will ensure a much more consistent strike.

 GD May 14

Turn your chest towards the target on the way through

No shot makes a golfer twitch quite like this one, and as a result I see a lot of people cast the club from the top in an effort to scoop the ball into the air, causing fats and thins that invariably end up in the drink. The solution is simple. From the top, keep your chest turning  towards the target. Your weight will keep moving forward and you'll hit down on the ball, eradicating the temptation to scoop or flip the club with your hands and arms. Give these tips a try on the range and then next time you face a pitch over water, you'll only have eyes for the flagstick.

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