18 April 2018
A Misconception of Pitching
If played correctly, the pitch shot can provide you a huge platform to rescue a hole or increase your chances of making a birdie. However, there are some common misconceptions surrounding pitching which lead to inconsistent pitching technique.
As an instructor, one of the most common questions surrounding pitching I’m asked is, “how do I get the ball higher to make it drop and stop when pitching?”
Trying to achieve this has led many golfers to ‘flick’ their wrists at impact in an attempt to scoop the ball up. This leads to the right hand undertaking the left which in turn fires the club face towards the ball with no control. You can see this in the graphic.
What this leads to is inconsistent distance as we are manipulating the clubface with an uncontrollable speed. Furthermore, and more importantly, when the right hand undertakes the left hand we start to bring the leading edge into the equation which can also cause inconsistency in strike and distance. The result can be thin and fat shots.
To fix this problem it is important to understand that the wrists should remain passive throughout the pitch shot, especially at impact (graphic 1).
It is important to note that clubs are designed to help the ball up into the air so require no manipulation just good technique. This is achieved by using your body rather than your wrists. By turning the body back and through the pitching movement instead of using your wrists to hit the pitch shot, you will notice a far greater consistency in strike, height, and distance control. If you happen to require more height, just take a higher lofted wedge and make sure you continue to move the club with your body rather than solely your wrists. You can see from the graphics how the clubface is kept square and there is no leading edge.
Achieving consistent results with your pitching technique does not need to be difficult, but good results will not be achieved using the wrists. Instead, use your body and different loft clubs in your bag. You will be able to achieve a repeatable movement allowing you increase your consistency when pitching and thus giving you the opportunity to lower your score.