Advanced Golf Lessons: How to Pitch Over Water

For most golfers, hitting a pitch shot is a challenging proposition under any circumstances. However, if you add some water between your ball and the hole, that challenge only gets more intimidating. When you start to picture your ball coming up short of the target and ending up in the water, it can play tricks with your mind and cause you to hit a poor shot. Pitching over water isn’t a shot that you should have to hit very often, but it is an important skill to have when you need it.

Try using the following three tips to better handle this shot the next time you encounter it on the course.

  • Give yourself margin for error. Don’t plan on landing your pitching shot too close to the water, or you may end up in the hazard if you miss-hit the shot just slightly. Instead, pick a landing spot that is at least a few yards beyond the edge of the water, just in case you don’t make great contact and the shot flies shorter than expected. This strategy might mean that you aren’t able to get the ball as close to the hole as you would like, but that sacrifice is usually worth it in exchange for staying out of the water.
  • Keep your eyes on the ball. A common mistake when facing this type of shot is to look up early so you can see where the ball is going – but that can lead to poor contact and a shot that comes up short. You need to be disciplined enough to keep your eyes down on the ball throughout your swing until the club contacts the ball. This simple tip might be all you need to do in order to improve your performance on all pitch shots – over water or not.
  • Stay confident. Being confident on the golf course is always important, but that is especially true when you are trying to hit a pitch shot over water. When you get nervous and start thinking about all the different ways the shot can go wrong, you are far more likely to get into trouble. Believe in yourself and your ability to hit a good shot. Instead of picturing the ball dropping short into the water, visualize it landing perfectly on the green and rolling right toward the hole. Those positive images will go a long way toward improving your performance.