Eight years ago, I published Better Recreational Golf. Several pages are devoted to a short game shot I call the Hard Chip. This shot is played just like your greenside chipping stroke, the essential feature being no wrist break, but with a much bigger swing. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the Hard Chip functions as a basic pitching stroke.
The pitch is a difficult shot to play, and is one reason why so few recreational golfers I play with pitch the ball very well.
But I found out this wristless stroke is a pitching stroke that can hardly go wrong. All you have to do is take the club back and slide the sole underneath the ball going forward. Because you’re not getting wristy, this is easy to do. The ball pops up and makes a beautiful arc toward the green.
You can hit a Hard Chip with any club from your 7-iron through your lob wedge. Mine goes 105 yards with a 7-iron, 40 yards with a lob wedge.
This video shows how to hit the Hard Chip.
[For some reason, the embedding code to YouTube isn’t working. Use this link instead.]
If you try the shot, it might feel like the club is sticking straight out to the side, though in reality it does arc upward a bit. The key is that your wrists are loose enough that they could break, but you just don’t let them. Locking your wrists doesn’t work out well.
I recommend you take each club in your bag from 7-iron through lob wedge, or whatever you have, and calibrate them. Find out just how far each one goes with a Hard Chip stroke of identical length.
This will revolutionize your pitching game. I promise that you will start getting up and down from distances you didn’t think were possible.
Before you leave home to play next time, spend three minutes watching this video clip over and over. Do it with the sound turned off so you can concentrate on the image. Absorb the feeling of ease and economy of movement turning into graceful, unforced power. Then go out with that feeling and play your best.