Golf Pitching & Chipping Drill 112. Technique: Pause and Release


This is a great drill for ingraining the correct sequence and rhythm in your pitching & chipping stroke, and thus developing great touch around the greens.

One of the most common, and destructive, golf pitching errors is a poor transition from backswing to downswing.  Many golfers have been taught that the pitching & chipping stroke is just a mini full swing, but that is the complete opposite of the truth!  The sequence and timing of these finesse shots is completely different – at least it is for the best short game players in the world.

The great news is that the correct pitching & chipping technique really isn’t hard to learn.  You don’t need any special athletic ability to be great around the greens.  You don’t need to be tall, strong, flexible or fast to join the game’s elite.  You may never be as long as Rory McIlroy off the tee on long par 5s, but follow the instruction given here, work hard at your game, use your imagination, and you could soon be a match for anyone in the world from 30 yards and in!


In the full swing, it’s necessary to lag the golf club, to leave it behind your hands from the top and start down with your lower body, in order to generate power and stability – just as we teach you in the full swing transition section.

With the pitching & chipping stroke, however, you don’t need that power, and above all else you require a precise, clean, and repeatable strike that most effectively uses the bounce and loft of the club to launch the golf ball high, landing it softly on the required spot with controlled spin.  Thus, it’s much more effective to keep your lower body quiet – you don’t need it for power, and a narrow stance promotes feel, so you create stability by keeping your lower body still.

Because you’re not using your lower body to drive the swing, the lag that we desire so much in the full swing becomes destructive in the pitching & chipping stroke.  It destroys your rhythm and distance control, your touch.  When you lag the club, even slightly, in the pitching & chipping stroke, you’re likely to hit the ball too low and too far, with little control, even when you do hit it solidly.  You’re also much more likely to stick the club in the ground or hit the ball thin.  Finally, trying to control the club this way will introduce tension, the enemy of good rhythm and touch.

With this drill, you’re going to learn how to deliver the club to the ball smoothly and precisely, with great rhythm and touch, every time…

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…You will find that you are able to make a much smoother, tension-free stroke with great rhythm.  The ball will launch higher and land more softly, and you’ll quickly develop great touch and feel around the greens.

The aim of the drills in the Pitch & Chip like a Champion series is to practise smart, so that you quickly get to that “natural”, non-mechanical, stage, where the correct movement just feels right.  You can then forget about internal factors and just play shots with imagination, with finesse.

For more information on the kinematic sequence for the pitching and chipping stroke, see Golf Swing Sequence and Timing – Pitching & Chipping.

This drill forms part of the Golf Loopy Pitch & Chip like a Champion series, the sensational new pitching and chipping game improvement system that will help you to improve every aspect of your performance around the greens.  The improvements will be dramatic, and they will be permanent.


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