Article: How to Attack Pins with Your Pitches
by, 06-03-2010 at 11:45 AM (4177 Views)
Most of the students that come to me seeking help with their pitching need to re-think how they see this part of the game. We hear on TV that the best pitchers of the ball on the PGA Tour possess exceptional touch and feel. This is a part of the game where finesse and delicacy are championed. While those things are certainly important, I think it can be a little misleading to the amateur golfer. Because you can rarely take a full swing, too many golfers are a little TOO delicate with these shots and end up taking too long of a backswing and decelerating into impact. Decelerating causes the dreaded fat and thin shots that can ruin a good round. So, take on a more aggressive attitude for these shots and hit them with confidence. You will see some improvement if you focus on shorter backswings and a controlled acceleration into impact. Below are some tips to help you attack the pin with your pitches:
What’s the Goal?
Shots from 80-10 yards from the green require a pitch shot. The goal with a pitch shot is to get the ball higher in the air, land closer to the hole, with minimum roll.
The set up for the basic pitch, don’t differ much from our chipping setup.
• Stance should be narrow with most of the weight on the lead foot (the weight will stay on the lead foot for the whole swing)
• Hands are slightly ahead of the ball
• The only thing we change from our chipping setup, is that the ball is in the center of our stance and the buttons on our shirt should be directly over the ball, as pictured above
To achieve the higher trajectory for pitches, we need to bring the club back with more hinge of the wrist. This helps us attack the ball on a steeper angle and encourages the downward strike we need.
In your practice, see how short you can keep your backswing and still achieve the desired distance. By keeping a tight, controlled backswing; you force yourself to accelerate through impact. Its when we get too long with the backswing, that you feel the need to compensate by slowing down through impact.
Achieving the correct acceleration and tempo should be your biggest focus in your downswing. Since, we are taking the club back a little shorter, its imperative that you achieve a gradual acceleration of clubhead speed through impact. You don’t want to be hurried, but be a little more aggressive to achieve a more solid strike.
As pictured above, the hands should be slightly ahead and the left wrist should be flat. There is no scooping motion in the model above. You don’t have to help the ball up into the air, let the loft of the club do the work. And remember that you should swing THRU the ball, not just TO the ball.
Remember, the most important element in your chipping is that you achieve a controlled aggression with these shots. Hit more solid pitches by setting up properly and accelerating through impact. Control your distance by tightening up the length of your backswing. And right before you hit your pitches, get in the right frame of mind. Think about ‘attacking’ this shots with a lot of confidence. Commit to the club and distance that you have chosen and attack!