Weekly Golf Tips For All Levels, Men And Women
In previous articles we have worked on proper swing mechanics and now we will talk about different shots nearer the green and what we call scoring shots. “Pitching” will be the topic of this article. A pitching stroke is called for when the ball lies within approximately 0 yards of the green; this shot requires more carry than roll. A 30- or 40-yard carry is too much distance for your chipping stroke to cover.
Pitching with a high lofted club lets you get the ball airborne more easily, fly it a longer distance and land it softly on the green. As in chipping, which club to use depends on your lie and distance from the hole. By practicing with only a couple of different clubs, such as a sand wedge and a 9-iron you will become accustomed to this general carry and-roll characteristic.
In pitching, your body, arms and club move in unison, like a pendulum. The length of the stroke increases the club head speed generated. The motion is similar to a simple underhand toss of a ball to a specific area 30 or 40 yards away or an underhand catch with another person the same distance.
Posture: As in your full swing, bend from the hips and flex your knees. It is critical that your arms hang closer to your body than in the regular golf swing. Let your arms hang to a nearly vertical position. The reason for this is, it permits a more unified motion of body, arms and club. Alignment
Whether you set up open or square for a pitch shot, your hips and upper body should be aligned perfectly. The alignment promotes the unity of their action. If they are not aligned, they work against each other, creating unnecessary amounts of torque. Your arc will be inconsistent as well. Weight Shift
In chipping and putting, there is no need to shift your weight when you pitch. Take a narrow stance, to avoid any weight shift. The narrower the better as any shifting will cause you to lose your balance. Distance Control
This is the same as in putting and chipping, except you are making longer swings. The greater the length of the pendulum arc made by the club head, the greater the club head speed and then, the greater the distance. Distances become a basic math equation; think of your upswing as your input, the downswing as your output.
This last important thought: The pendulum-like action is consistent throughout the entire short-game. A good frame of reference to gauge the distance the ball you hit will travel is by using a clock reference; If you take it back half way that would be 9 o’clock and little further back 10 o’clock and then a little further back 11 o’clock.
Practice and see how much yardage you cover and use this as a point of reference when playing. Have a Great Week!
Next week, we will be covering Putting and because I feel this is so important we will go back to chipping the week after and then again putting. Short Game or individual lessons are now available at Riis Park Pitch and Putt-9 Hole. Please call Joel Garyn, U.S.G.T.F. Golf Pro at 718-253-6816 or 1-347-404-3751.