Originally Posted by Lihu
This ended up working like crap.
The problem is that with the same amount of back swing angle, I can generate +/-10 yards of variation in distance with any partial swing.
I think it has to do with the speed I move my torso relative to my arms, and the amount of pressure on my pectoral and bicep region of my lead arm.
The 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 method never worked very well for me for exactly this reason. With my 60˚ I can make a pitch style swing (something similar to Quickie Pitching Video - Golf Pitch Shot Technique) in a non-ridiculous way (i.e., not trying to smash it from there, not swinging down in slow motion) with the hands to waist high and the club a bit past parallel to the ground and hit the ball between something like 25 and 50 yards. For shots too far to hit even a slightly elongated a pitch style shot, I do take advantage of some of the other things you mentioned, choking up or putting the ball up in my stance a little and trying to hit a higher, shorter shot. I've come to system where I have a sort of general "easy" full swing style swing that I can mix with those adjustments that let me hit shots between full 60˚ distance and long pitch style shot distance. This is fairly reliable at this point, though I've been starting to mix in practice with pitch style shots with longer clubs, like PW-8i, to see if I can have more options that might be more reliable when the situation allows.
Originally Posted by MS256
I don't have much of an answer either. I just see it and hit it hard enough to get there.
To me it's the same as if I was shooting a basketball from 30 feet and the next one from 20 feet. I don't know how I know how hard to shoot the ball, but I just do.
My son and I used to get out in the yard about 70 to 100 yards apart with a ball and our pitching wedges and basically play a game of "catch" for hours and hours. The object always was to hit the ball so the other didn't have to walk anywhere to hit it back.
My trouble with the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 swing style distance control has led me to take an approach similar to this. I've just learned through practice to get pretty good at taking my 60˚, picking a spot in the range I know I can hit a pitch style shot, and just hitting it that far by feel. In the 20-50 yard range I've gotten pretty good at this. But there's a major weakness of this approach for me: when I can't see my landing spot. For uphill shots or when there's a tall bunker lip in the way and I can only see a spot much shorter than I want to fly it and a portion of the flag stick, my distance control is much worse, and I'll often make mistakes either only hitting it to near the crown of the blocking hill/lip or hitting it just past the flag.
In fact I did this twice yesterday. Was hitting my 60˚ quite well when I could see my landing spot, but twice hitting over a tall lipped bunker I landed it on the near side of the lip and rolled it back into the bunker, once on my 3rd shot on a par 5 and once on my 2nd shot on a short par 4. Both times I went from thinking good birdie chance to hoping for a sandy par (I hit okay but not excellent bunker shots both times and bogeyed both holes).