Simple approach to pitching
Although you are trying to pitch the ball a much shorter distance than with a full swing it is important not to take the shorter distance for granted, and maintain some sound fundamentals. When hitting a pitch shot it is important to understand what you are tring to achieve with the shot. We want the club to make a relatively shallow approach to the ball and almost clip the ball off the turf without digging into the ground too much. To produce these results simply:
- Position the ball in the centre of a narrow stance, with the hands above the golf ball. Don’t lean the club too far forward.
- Maintain a wide arc with the club throughout, this will ensure the club does not get too steep and dig into the ground.
- Keep the length of the back swing and follow through the same, and maintain a relatively even rhythm throughout.
Soft hands with chipping
One of they key’s to being a great chipper of the golf ball is staying relaxed and tension free throughout the shot. Tiger Woods has described it in the past as gripping the club at a grip pressure of 4 on a scale of 1-10. This light grip pressure will mean very little tension in your arms and body throughout the swing. If you can combine this with a sound basic chipping technique, ball back in the stance with the hands remaining in front of the club head, you will find your feel beside the greens will improve dramatically.
Ball position is key for bunker shots
one of the most common misunderstandings we see with bunker shots is where to position the ball relative to the feet. For most average golfers when the approach a bunker they look at it with fear because they are unsure as to how the club should act in the sand, and commonly try to put the ball towards the back of the stance and “dig it out” of a bunker. In reality this couldn’t be further from what we need to do to be a good bunker player. To be a good bunker player you need to :
- Position the ball forward in your stance, two or three inches inside your left foot should be perfect
- Open the club face to allow the back of the club strike the sand first as opposed to the leading edge
- Allow the club head to line up with your hands at impact, a forward leaning shaft could cause the leading edge to dig in too much and cause poor contact.