By T.J. Tomasi
Most of the time, we think of the pitch shot as a high, arching shot with not much roll to it — a shot that stops shortly after it lands. The chip shot is the opposite; it runs most of the way to the hole.
But for maximum control when you have some green to work with, the best shot is a combo — the pitch/chip, a medium trajectory shot that spends half its time on the ground, half in the air. Most often this shot is used from close range when you have to carry a bit of tough terrain, land well into the green and run to the hole. To put a number to it, you’re five or so steps off the green.
If you do it correctly, you’ll find your hands never rise above waist high on the backswing for a short pitch/chip. But remember to swing your arms with a bit of body turn instead of just lifting them into position.
The key to the shot is your back elbow — it remains relatively straight (but not stiff) with only a slight bend. This allows your hands, arms and clubhead to stay low with not a lot of wrist cock. Experiment with the club you chose; since it depends on the height and how much run you want, it could be anywhere from a 9-iron to a sand wedge.
Weight Shift and Rotation
There’s no time in a short swing for a weight transfer, so your foot width is narrower than your hip width, and your weight stays in your front hip joint, where it settles naturally when you drop your front foot back.
But just because you’re not shifting doesn’t mean you should stand stone-still and just swing your arms up and down. Let your body rotate around your front hip axis as you swing the club.