Article: Flight Your Pitches
by, 06-03-2010 at 11:41 AM (11291 Views)
Distance control is the key to getting up and down with your pitches. Thinking about where you want your pitches to LAND is very important when deciding how to play a pitch. Finding the landing spot is as far as most golfers get when visualizing their pitch and deciding on the correct shot. You cant properly gauge the correct landing spot if you dont consider the trajectory as well. Over the course of a round we are presented with numerous obstacles around the green that force us to think about how high or low we need to hit a pitch. It is important that you are able to manipulate the trajectory of your pitches to meet these challenges. Here are a few tips to help you hit three pitches that go the same distance and different trajectories:
You want to hit your pitch a little lower than normal when the pin is in the back and you have a lot of green to work with. The ideal shot will land just on the green and roll most of the way to the hole.
Ball Position should be center or a little back of center for this shot.
At address, move your hands towards the target. The butt of the grip should be pointing at your lead pocket.
Weight should remain on the lead side for the entire swing.
Feel like the backswing and follow through stay low to the ground.
At impact, the shaft should be leaning towards the target. This means your hands stayed ahead of the club and you are de-lofting the club to keep the ball lower.
This is just your stock pitch shot. You should use a sand wedge and be able to hit this with a lot of confidence. Use this pitch when the pin is in the middle of the green and you are able to land it more than half way to the hole and let it roll the rest of the way.
Ball should be positioned in the middle of the stance.
Hands are in the neutral pitching position- butt of the grip points just in front of your belt buckle.
Weight remains on your lead side to ensure a descending angle of attack.
This swing will be a little longer than the low pitch. You achieve this longer swing with more hinge, not a longer arm swing. Feel like you take the club back about hip high, but do it with a healthy blend of wrist hinge and arm swing.
When the pin is cut just beyond the fringe, you need to hit the high pitch. This is also useful when a fast green is sloping away from you and you want the ball to roll a short distance. Use your highest lofted club and try to pitch it almost all the way to the hole and have minimum roll.
Play the ball further forward in your stance.
The hands can almost be back for this shot, as pictured above. The shaft should either be straight up and down or leaning slightly away from the target. The butt of the club should be pointed at your belt buckle. By leaning the shaft away from the target, we add even more loft to the club.
Open your stance and clubface for this shot. The tendency when playing the ball forward in your stance is for the clubface to close down. Obviously, for this shot we want the clubface to stay open and launch the ball higher in the air, so start with an open face.
This is the longest swing of all the pitches. The higher we want the shot, the more wrist hinge in the backswing. Feel as if the wrists hinge as you take the club back to shoulder height. Unhinge the wrists on the way down and follow through to a waist high finish.