If you can hit a 50 yard pitch

(I am playing in a pro-am today and will see how my game is progressing. I am still caught between the old swing that my body does automatically and the new swing which is simpler and better, but requires effort to do. Oxymoron, yes, but 10+ year old muscle memory is a bear to get rid of. Until I get past this and start thinking about executing shots, instead of swings, I won’t be where I want to be on a daily basis. BTW, today’s post is how I am trying to accomplish this.)

In this age of hitting the ball as far as possible and contorting the body out of natural motions, a basic principle has been lost.

You don’t get better by learning how to hit driver as far as possible and think/hope the rest of the clubs fall in line…you learn how to hit a 50 yard pitch and work your way up the bag, not the other way around.

No one worries about adding/holding lag and getting the lower body turning way out in front (X-factor, coil or whatever else the techno-psychopaths are calling it this week) on a 50 yard pitch. Why? Because that is a horrendous way to hit that shot. There will be a total disconnect of the body parts, they won’t work together in that short of a swing and the consistency will be nil. I bet you can hit a lovely 90 yard bomb while trying to create artificial lag on that 50 yard shot… or at least lay the sod over it and have the divot and the thrown club go farther than the ball.

I doubt many will disagree with what I have just written. Those who do have wedge and short games that will send them to the medicine cabinet looking for Prozak…or something stronger…like rat poison. Even worse, I have experienced this issue in the past and it often caused me to talk back to my mother-in-law on holidays. So you want to avoid this at all costs.

Here is the way I see it and also the way I practice. If you learn to hit a 50 yard pitch, you can learn to hit a:

3/4 wedge and then a
full wedge and then an
8-iron and then a
5-iron and then a
hybrid and then a
FW wood and then a

The changes necessary (e.g. ball position and distance from the ball) to hit the different clubs with the same general movements will mostly be dictated by the difference in club length and loft.

All that really needs to change is amount of shoulder turn, which also naturally will get longer as the club gets longer…which gets me back to my original point.





  1. Al

    Couldn’t agree more. Glad somebody finally put it in writing. Good luck Monty in your quest for the card.

  2. Walter

    Thanks, this is your best and most usefull post yet.


  3. Peter B

    Honey, I would never played Golf if I would have only be allowed to play an 8 iron after pitching well. LOL. Honestly that pitch is the hardest shot in Golf. I mean to put it a meter to the pin. Had a game with an old man, short straight and hcp 5. I did not see him put on the first 9, only short putts scrambled everything. I suddenly knew why I was on 7.

  4. banner12

    Good luck in the actual tournament starting tomorrow. Looks like you’re playing with Bob Heintz who
    just finished 2nd on the PGA tour 2 weeks ago. He’ll be a good measuring yardstick for your game.

  5. Brett Picotte

    I took your advice and hit a bunch of 50 yarders. That is great (and relaxing) practice. I should try to do that most days.

    Where are you playing this week? Wherever it is, good luck.


    • banner12

      He’s playing in the Long Beach Open.

  6. Steve Bishop

    Good luck in the tournament Monte, and absolutely crack on advice.

    Clubface control is MORE important to the short game which requires an element of relaxation to create timing. This EASILY translates to bigger and faster swings, but the little swings should be dialed in first.

  7. Brett Picotte

    Thanks banner12. I must have looked through the Nationwide tournament list of names for this week 10 times. I was starting to think I was going blind. 🙂


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