Pitching

Is your pitching shot working for you?

The Stroke:

As you can see, the pitching shot swing is between 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. The speed will gradually increase during the downswing reaching its peak at impact at approximately 6 o’clock.

I consider the pitching shot as the 3rd swing in golf. It is usually done with either the Pitching Wedge or the Sand Wedge and the resulting shot has a relatively high trajectory. A rule of thumb is to carry the ball 2/3 of the distance in the air and let it roll the other 1/3. Again the swing is initiated with the shoulders and arms and ranges from about 9 o’clock to about 3 o’clock. Make sure your hands stay ahead of the club head  throughout the forward swing (no breaking of your wrists). It is similar to the chipping swing but only longer as seen in the photos below. 


The Setup:

Your stance and body position should be narrower and more open (facing the target) than for a full shot.

Grip down on the club for better control and play the ball closer to your feet. Position the ball inside the left heel so it is struck while the club is traveling on a slightly downward path.

The upper body, arms and hands, should be relaxed so they can be influenced by the movement of the shoulders.

Backswing:

The arms go half way back to about 9 o’clock.

 

 

 

 

 

Shoulder Turn:

The extension of the left arm is maintained as the arms and hands respond to the initial movement of the shoulders. The wrists cock is a natural result of the swinging motion of the arms and hands.

GLOL_0018_Golf 148d

Weight Transfer:

There is a slight weight transfer resulting  from a larger backswing than the chip shot. 

 The Forward Swing:

The forward swing is initiated by a lateral movement of the left leg followed by a rotary action of the legs and hips toward the target. 

Be sure to maintain your posture and arm extension after impact.

 At Impact:

The ball is contacted while the club is travelling slightly downward just prior to the bottom of the swing.

Notice the extension of the arms at impact and your weight being more pronounced on the left foot.

GLOL_0018_Golf 148d

Follow Through:

During the follow through maintain the same hand position and arm extension as at impact (no breaking of the wrists) with the hands pointing toward the target. The amount of follow through with the body should be proportionate to and coordinated with the speed of the swing.

 

 

 

 

You can see that both arms are fully extended for better control and accuracy. The weight shift is completed with most of the weight now on the left foot.

The knees are closer together at this point due to the rotation in the follow through.

GLOL_0023_Golf 148aLength of the Swing:

Notice the extension of the left arm as the swing is almost at the 9 o’clock position.

GLOL_0009_Golf 148b

Here the follow through is almost at 3 o’clock and the weight has shifted to the left side with the body turned more towards the target.