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Improving your short game is one of the fastest ways to lower your scores. The pitch shot is characterized by a high trajectory where the ball generally flies farther than it rolls. The main club choices are: pitching wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge. Choose your club depending on how quickly you want the ball to stop.

Use body reference points to manage your distance control on your pitch shots. Let the length of your swing determine the air carry of your ball.

Many inexperienced golfers try to regulate the distance of a pitch shot by how hard or how softly they swing the club through the ball. This will generally lead to inconsistent contact and distance control. By learning to control pitching distance by using different swing lengths referenced by parts of your body, you should be able to develop at least a general frame of reference for controlling the distance your ball will fly.

Here is an exercise to help to develop more consistent distance control for your pitching game.

Go to a place where you can mark off distances at 5- or 10-yard intervals.

See how far your ball flies in the air using a sand wedge and swinging the club back and through with the club head only reaching to knee height.

After finding a consistent air carry swinging your club head to knee height, try swinging your club head to thigh high, then to waist high, then chest high, shoulder high, etc.

Air carry yardages will vary in swing length from player to player for a variety of reasons. However, this exercise can give someone a solid basis to practice and improve his or her pitching skills.

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