Stretch the defense: Regulate your backswing to gain yards
Football teams have pass plays designed to gain 20, 30 or even 40 yards at a time. When you hit pitch shots, use the same philosophy. Take your wedge and make backswings of three increasingly longer lengths. When you swing through, notice how the longer backswings produce longer shots. Chart how far you hit the ball with each backswing. Those are three stock yardages—your pass plays. If you have three wedges in your bag, you now have nine different yardages for pitch shots for a full arsenal of pass plays.
Move the chains: Advance the ball one yard at a time
Players on offense know just how far they have to go to get another first down. On the green, you should have a good idea how hard to hit each putt to reach the cup. A drill that can help your distance control is to putt a ball one yard, then the next two yards, the next three, and so on. Focus on how hard you hit each putt, and try to ingrain this feel when you play. Remember to grip the putter lightly, especially on longer putts, so the club can release properly.
Game plan: Ready, set, hike!
Just like a quarterback who gets his team ready for the start of a play by saying, "Ready, set, hike," you need to get your body and mind prepared to swing the club. A good pre-swing ritual to try: "Ready," lock your eyes on your target one last time before you look down at the ball; "set," activate your body with some kind of movement such as this Gary Player-inspired "trigger" of kicking the right knee in toward the target; "hike," take the club back smoothly to start the swing.