Sticking your approach – even with difficult pin positions: The knock down shot is usually the forst choice of the pros.
To attack a tight pin with a regular pitch shot is usually a dangerous situation.
Depending on the position of the pin, the condition of the green and the speed of the wind the best chance to stick it close is usually to get the ball to stop on the green as fast as possible.
This can basically be achieved by two things:
increasing the backspin or reducing the forward motion of the ball after it hits the ground (e.g. with a high ball flight / backswpin does this too, of course).
State of the Art
Many tour pros play the ball relatively low onto the green but manage to stop it fast on the green. They usually do the so called knock down shot. Some tour pros even say that this shot is even easier to control than a regular pitch especially when it’s quite windy.
There are two main differences at address between the knock down shot and a regular pitch.
First play the ball a little more back in your stance.
Second shift your weight a little more towards your left leg (if you are a righty). To keep the ball in front of the right side of oyur chest with seventy percent of your weight on your front leg is a good rule of thumb.
These two changes accomplish a steeper angle of attack (the angle the clubhead is coming with into the ball at impact). At the same time the loft of the club is being reduced.
This leads to a lower trajectory opposite to a regular pitch shot and makes the ball easier to control in windy conditions.
The shot itself is especially different in the use of the wrists.
Limit your wrists somewhat on the backswing without keeping them stiff.
This leads to an abbreviated backswing. During the downswing keep your hands always in front of the club head swinging downwards through the ball.
The impact feels as if you are squeezing the between the clubhead and the ground towards the pin.
This leads to the critical spin. The hands are in front of the ball even at impact.
Keep your wrists this way on your way to the finish.
Instead of moving them through like with a regular pitch shot.
This way your clubhead should be a couple of inches above the ground in your finish postition.
The Result of the Knock Down Golf Shot
Here’s an Example of Tiger Woods hitting a knock down punch shot. He’s still doing a full swing as he’s farther away from the green but you get the idea.
This shot has a relatively low trajectory but creates a lot of spin at the same time. It allows you to attack the pin aggressively playing the ball near the pin. It will bounce only one or two times before it will come to rest soon after.