GLF PRO TIP 6. PITCHING

Published on by Gordon McCallum

Before we start this months article I have a question for you -

In Tip no.2 I showed you how tour players practise their Putting with various training aids and drills. How many have you tried, in fact how often since this article have you practised your putting (not counting warming up for a comp.)?

Last month we discussed which shot should be used round the green and one of those was the Pitch. As explained The Pitch is a stroke made with a lofted club like a wedge or sand iron, where the ball will fly quickly high and will stop relatively quickly when it lands on the green. Sound nice and easy but how is it done?

The Set-Up: As the stroke is generally not as far as when a full swing is made the set-up has to be modified accordingly. We want more control over the clubhead so a more compact set-up is advisable. To do this move slightly closer to the ball, which is in the middle of your stance. Move your feet closer together. Move the hands down the grip until they are almost on the shaft. Now comes one of the most important parts - transfer about 60-70% of your weight onto the left foot so that your sternum is left of the ball. Why is this? well in order to hit the ball consistently first and create a good amount of backspin a steeper angle of attack is required; keeping the weight slightly left helps to create this.

The Swing: Using a lofted club (Wedge or Sand Wedge) and keeping your weight slightly on the left foot it’s really just a mini-version of your full golf swing. The length of the swing and speed of the clubhead determine how far the ball will travel. I like to feel the shoulders, arms, hands and the club move away from the ball in one-piece with a slight, natural cocking of the wrists depending on how much swing I require. On the downswing again I like to feel everything working in unison with my hands as passive as possible.

During all this focus on the ball. Anyone who has had a lesson from me will know this is not 'keep your head down' - trying to keep your head down is the most destructive thing anyone can do and this 'advice' is the biggest lie in Golf. This will shock a few of you but if you want to discuss it send me an e-mail or come into the store and I'll gladly tell you why.

Enjoy your practise

Gordon