Hit and Hold for a Pitch and Run

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 14:00 -- Don Trahan

One of the most useful shots a golfer can have in his or her bag is the pitch and run. This is especially true when it comes to getting up and down around the greens. Remember, the closer you pitch the ball to the hole, the easier it is to make one-putt pars and birdies.

3 time PGA TOUR Winner Kenny Knox always said the reason he was such a a good putter was because his short game was so good. It made his putting stats that much better by knocking it close.

Today I'll show you how to "hit and hold." How far you take the club back to start depends on how far you have to carry the ball in the air. It sounds obvious, but you always want the ball to land on the green because it gives you the most control over how it will react when it lands. There's no telling what the ball might do if the first bounce is in the rough or even the fringe.

There are some other issues I see when golfers try to hit the pitch and run, such as clubface control. Check out the video above to see all the elements of a perfect pitch and run.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge


wolftitan's picture

Submitted by wolftitan on

Surge, great daily on a critical shot around the green. I especially liked the secret of having the left thumb directly under the sternum as a focal point for a successful hit and hold pitch shot. Thanks again for a wonderful tip.

Jerry Gaughan's picture

Submitted by Jerry Gaughan on

I am in agreement with the lesson, but one problem I was having is sometimes the ball would check up too soon. A tip from Dave Pelz is that you hood the club closed just a little and aim slightly to the right of your target line. I had some good results with several chip ins at the end of the year using this method. Just use 1 less club. Played Saturday OK for 15 holes, but got a little sore near the end. 2nd winter round a nice tune up, gave me what I need to work on. Surge: when will DJ tee it up next?
Surgites: Stay safe and hit em well.
Jerry - Warren,MI

JohnBubolz's picture

Submitted by JohnBubolz on


My chipping around the green has already improved as a result of you Hit and Hold daily. As you say, keeping the left thumb under the sternum is the key "secret."

Thanks so much!

Punta Gorda, FL

jeffrainaldi@comcast.net's picture

Submitted by jeffrainaldi@co... on

I played last night, and noticed I was having trouble with coming over the top.
This has always been an issue for me.
Mid way through the round, I realized that I wasn't letting gravity work with the bump, and was getting my body out in front of the ball. I hate pull hooking!
So now I may have a solution to my dilemma. by searching your daily videos,
and secret #4, I am going to try to put together a number sequence to help me quit coming over the top, maybe something like this:

1. Get to the bell.
2. Bump and drop, or drop and bump,
3.Arch my body like a bow to help stay behind the ball,
4.Swing up to the T finish.

Maybe you could refine this to help me and others.
Jeff Rainaldi
Beaver Falls, PA


Submitted by KAZOO54@COMCAST.NET on


golferthomas@att.net's picture

Submitted by golferthomas@att.net on


Last night, I re-watched this pitch and run daily, then tried to put it into practice in my round today. My pitching did improve in that I had no chunky pitches (which have been a recurring issue for me). More practice is needed, but it definitely helped.

However, the most significant outcome today was my play with my 3-wood. It has literally been years since I had any consistency whatsoever with it. I thought to myself today, "what if I use Surge's secret with the 3-wood." Surge, i focused all day on keeping my top thumb directly under my sternum at address and it worked! I won't claim that all my 3-wood shots were perfect, but they almost were. No sculls, no chunks, no topping of the ball. Nothing but solid contact every time. That's on 3 tee shots and 5 fairway shots with it. Thank you, thank you!