Practicing The 60 Yard Pitch Shot During My Round

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Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2011

During my last round, I took the advise of Jordan Caron who publishes a blog called Peerless Golf Experience. After I wrote a piece about the dreaded 40-60 yard pitch shot, he had a few suggestions for me.

His first suggestion was simply to avoid the shot if at all possible. His belief is that if I layup to a more comfortable yardage, I will not have to worry about it. I can totally agree with that and I would attempt to do so except for one thing. I have a difficult time hitting my 3-wood. I'm either going to hit driver which sometimes puts me at this awkward yardage, or I'm going hit hybrid and be left with a long iron.

He mentioned that the pros always layup to a distance that allows them to hit a shot they know they are confident executing. That's why we always hear the announcers say, "(s)he's pulling something less than driver to avoid trouble or to leave him(her)self with a shot from 100 yards or so."

Mike Southern has giving me some things to work on as far as my 3-wood is concerned, but I just haven't had the time to practice them. Work and the heat of the Phoenix summers have kind of put my practice sessions at bay. I hit balls before each round, but that is not the time to be learning and trying something new. The weather is cooling down so I will be able to give my fairway wood the attention it deserves, but for now, I just have to get better at this in between shot.

The second suggestion Jordan had for me was that if the course was not busy, go back and hit a few shots from this distance. Going back to my last round, I had a long wait once I arrived at the 17th. For someone reason, there was a three group wait, so after I finally finished the the par 5, 17th and was waiting to tee off on the last, I went back to about 60 yards and hit a bunch of shots.

There was no one behind me, so I had all the time I wanted. If you decided to do this, just make sure you refill your divots and move around a little so that you don't leave a patch like you would on the driving range. Your course superintendant will truly appreciate it.

During this little mini practice session, I was able to hit some good shot. Some of which checked up nicely and ended up near the hole. Mike wrote this article about the fact that there are many ways this shot is taught and just as many ways to play it. This is a great read if you are struggling with this shot.

I just need to get better at hitting this shot so that I can keep lowering my scores. Mike once told me that if I can keep my driver in the fairway, then by all means hit driver. If this is going to be my philosophy then other parts of my game need to be in sync as well. It's a constant work in progress I guess. Have a great round and always hit your target.


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Comments (4)

  1. October 1, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Three group wait?!

    Great to hear you were aware of the slow play and remembered to use that to your advantage. Instead of waiting on the tee and doing nothing productive, you got some practice in and on a shot that you know needs work, I love it!

    Back when I was playing all the time in school I would go play in the afternoons at the slowest times so I could practice as many shots on the course. Playing for score wasn't in my mind but I was lucky to have a cheap membership which my parents thankfully paid for.

    For those who have to pay green fees, adopt the same strategy. Book a twilight time on a slow day during the course and get as much practice in as you can. Having the ability to practice on the course is much more beneficial than on the range because it's a real simulation. Especially the dreaded 'tweener shots like this one!

    Thanks as always for the shout out Dexter! I love reading your blog and your progress. It's inspirational in so many ways and it brings me back to my days as a kid.

    Cheers
    Jordan

  2. October 1, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    I also got in some good work on my putting and shorter chip shots around the green. The wait for the groups in front of us actually started on the the 15th.

    On the 15th, I putted. On the 16th, I chipped from just off the green, and on the 17th, I practiced the pitch shot. Helped me to remember some of the good things that I used to do, but had somehow forgotten.

    Thanks again for the advise. Hopefully it will translate into better play during my next round.

  3. October 3, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    If I play during the afternoons I don't mind being a single behind a group. I'm not in any hurry. I may the time to hit several off the tee and practice coming in from various angles.
    Yes, I'm "not playing golf" I'm practicing but that's fine. I agree there are many shots that you cannot practice on the range. I'm also working on my course management (yes, hitting into those trees is not a good idea).

  4. October 3, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    I like to do the same thing Lefty. If the course is empty, I will play two balls on each hole which is kind of like playing two rounds.

    In the trees is not a good place to be, but maybe during my next round, I should find one and practice hitting shots below the tree line. If I had utilized this shot instead of trying to go over the tree I talked about in my previous post, I might have avoided making that awful quadruple bogey 8.