The shots from 50-100 yards are hard to get right. You’re close enough that you’ll get the ball on the green. What’s hard is hitting the ball next to the pin. That means hitting it the right distance.
You can do it if you calibrate your pitching game. You’ll need a laser rangefinder and a notebook. Go to the range when there aren’t a lot of people there, because you will be switching mats all the time.
The idea is to hit your wedges with two basic strokes and find out how far the ball goes with those strokes and each club.
One stroke takes your left arm back to parallel with the ground. That’s your full pitching stroke. The other stroke takes your left arm back halfway that far. That is the short stroke.
Get in front of a marker in the range that is roughly 60 yards away. Take out your sand wedge and pitch to it with the full stroke. Hit four or five balls with that same stroke and the same force.
If they all go too far or not far enough, keep moving to other mats until you find the one from where you pitch exactly to the marker. Then take out your rangefinder and find the distance to the marker. That’s how far you pitch your sand wedge with a full pitching stroke.
Now do the same exercise with the sand wedge and your short pitching swing. When you’re finished, you have two guaranteed pitching distances with your sand wedge. Write them down in your notebook.
Repeat both exercises with each of your other pitching clubs. I have five: 9-iron, PW, 52, 56, and 60.
When you’re finished, get a 3X5 card and write down these distances, in descending order by yards, with the club/swing combination alongside that gives you that distance. This card goes into your bag for when you play.
When I’m 78 yards from the hole, for example, I look on my card and see that the shot calls for a PW with the short stroke. And when I hit that shot, the ball stops within 10-12 feet. If it doesn’t, I mishit the shot.
Pitching close shouldn’t be guesswork. It’s easy when you know what you’re doing.