Pitching tips: Part 2

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Published 21/09/2009 08:17:16
 

Pitching is one of the most important parts of the game of golf and we've got so many tips they couldn't even fit into one page! Part one of the guide is available here .

 

Swing short and steep with scoring clubs

According to Sandy Lyle, to make the most of your "scoring clubs", you need to make a shorter and more compact swing and concentrate on hitting down through the ball to generate the required loft on the shot from between 90 and 130 yards from the green.

 

More wrists for height and backspin

In order to create extra height and still carry the ball a reasonable distance on a full-length pitch shot, Jack Nicklaus breaks his wrists early on the backswing and then throws the club underneath the ball to increase the loft at impact.

Properly executed, this flips the ball high with good backspin.

 

Better wedge play in just five minutes

Once you have a reliable technique, you can enhance your distance control in just five minutes. Carrying three wedges - sand wedge, pitching wedge and lob wedge gives you three basic yardages.

In addition, have three lengths of backswing - hips, chest, and shoulder height, as well as three different grip positions - low, middle, and high.

That means 27 different yardages (3x3x3) meaning you'll have an exact idea of where you can hit the ball.

Try this drill next time you're at the range.

 

Pitching over water - focus on back fringe

On many US courses, you'll often face an awkward pitch over water to reach the green on a par 5. In this situation, it's easy to let your nerves get the better of you. Follow these tips to beat the nerves and pitch with confidence:

  • Select a club that will enable you to comfortably clear the water
  • Focus on the back of the green as your landing area
  • Ignore the water completely and think only of the target
  • Keep your backswing and follow-through the same length and pace
  • Commit to the shot fully

 

Narrow your stance for a slower swing

Tom Kite advises:

"Just as I'm a big proponent of having a wide stance to support a fast swing on full power shots, I am a big believer that you don't want a wide stance when you're trying to hit the ball a short distance with a slow, controlled arm swing.

"So I encourage you to get your free very close together. I also will open up my stance, which gets the right leg and right hip in the way of the backswing a bit, which limits my ability to take a long backswing."

 

Find your best yardage with your wedges

"The key is to find pitching clubs that you like the look of and the discover your 'best lengths' with each one," writes Nick Faldo in A Swing for Life.

 

Find maximum accurate wedge distance

One of the first things you should do when learning to master your wedges is find out the maximum distance you can hit your PW, SW and LW accurately. Most folgers overestimate how far they hit these clubs.

 

Avoid hitting full wedge shots in the wind

Wherever possible, avoid hitting pitching-wedge and sand-wedge shots in windy conditions. Playing a punch shot with your 8-iron or 9-iron will give you greater penetration into the wind while hitting the ball a similar distance to the full-out shot.

 

Chip or pitch?

Always chip a ball if:

  1. The lie is poor.
  2. The green is hard.
  3. You have a downhill lie.
  4. The wind has no influence on the shot.
  5. You are under stress.

Pitch the ball if:

  1. The lie is good.
  2. You have an uphill lie.
  3. The green is very soft.
  4. An obstacle is in the way.

 

Close the gap in your wedges

There's a critical gap between the distance you get with your PW and with your SW, and if you don't have a suitable gap wedge in your bag you're going to find yourself sooner or later lining up a pitch or chip without the right club in your bag.

Gap wedges come in a range of lofts and can help give you a greater choice of shots around the green.

 

Split the green into quarters

From within 100 yards of the green, you should be looking for a good deal of accuracy with your approach shots. To narrow your margin for error and to focus your mind more effectively, I recommend that you split the green into quarters and then aim to play to a specific quarter - usually, but not always, the one that contains the pin.

 




Comments


1.  some great pitching tips for your golf swing here

comment by supra on sale - 13/07/2012 09:05

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