And today we are going to have a look at pitching, and just the simple concept for pitching.
Pitching is actually one of the simplest shots in golf. All we need to do when hitting a pitch shot is to start with the club down near the golf ball and then we try and return the club underneath the golf ball.
If we can do that we are going to hit a good pitch.
I’m going to show you a funny way to do it.
So here’s a strange way of teaching people how to hit a pitch shot. I quite often say to kids when I teach them “What makes the ball go in the air”?
It’s actually quite a simple thing. What makes the ball go in the air is the loft of the golf club. Provided there is loft on my club. And provide the club comes down underneath the golf ball. The ball will go in the air.
I’m going to show you how it’s done.
As you can see there, there is definitely loft on my golf club. I’ve got the ball in the middle of my stance. All I need to do is let the club get under the ball and the ball goes in the air. It’s pretty simple really isn’t it. Try that one at home.
Today I’m going to teach you how to improve your pitching.
It’s a little bit of a strange drill, but you are used to me using strange drills now.
Today is one of my better ones. I hope you enjoy it.
Okay, we are going to do some pitching today.And when I play with amateurs, most people go wrong when they try to hit pitch shots because they are trying to help get the ball in the air and they are lifting up. They are not necessarily lifting their head, that’s what their playing partners are actually telling them.
But it’s lifting the whole body so they are hitting it on the up and I’ve got a 56 degree sand wedge here. There is enough loft on that 56 sand wedge to get the ball in the air. What I have to do is get the club down underneath the golf ball. So provided my golf club can get down underneath the golf ball, I have a chance at getting the ball in the air so I am looking for a downward strike. I am not looking at hitting it on the up. So the drill that I use to teach people how to hit with a downward strike.
Is to take a normal setup and then get their right foot back here with their toe on the ground and their heel up.
That forces your weight to go on to the left foot, it moves my upper body slightly to the left and that encourages me hitting the ground. So you can see there I’m easily hitting down under the golf ball.
And that’s the type of swing we want to use when we play this shot.
So we take our setup and then I just hit down and the ball went up in the air quite nicely.
It’s a simple drill, it’s effective. If you use that on a regular basis I think you’ll find your pitching will improve.
Thank you for letting me help you with your golf.
I’m Brian Fitzgerald The Golf Doctor.
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Today we are going to be doing the high soft pitch.
I did try and do this video several months ago. But my video camera was pretty poor and I’m going to have a go at re-filming it today. I hope you enjoy it.
So here we have a shot of about 20 to 25 meters. It’s going to be over the bunker and not many people like this shot.
It’s bad enough when your ball is in the bunker, but when you have to hit it over the bunker people really don’t like that one.
So the way to play it is to keep your club low to the ground.I have my 60 degree sand wedge here. A sixty degree sand wedge has a lot of loft. I want to use that loft as much as I can.
I don’t want to try and manipulate the club to make something special happen.
If I just swing the club back keeping the club low to the ground. keeping a shallow angle of attack, the loft of the club should get the ball in the air and that will stop the ball.
When I do that, I’m going to be inclined to stop on it. We don’t want to do that. Stop on it and you might hit a good shot but in all probability you won’t.
As much as you possibly can you really want to try and make sure that you keep that club head moving and I try and get my follow through to about shoulder height.
So I swing it slowly, that stops the ball from traveling too far and I’m gripping the club very light. It took me a long time to actually get the confidence to grip the club light when I play this shot. I kept wanting to grip it tight, the ball went a bit lower and when it landed the ball ran on a bit too much.
So I really want to keep it light. I want to keep my swing slow and I just want to get the club sliding underneath the ball.
I’ll see how I go.
So you can see the ball went up nice and high, it landed quite softly and it ran just a little bit past the flag stick.
For the lack of practice that I do lately I’m pretty happy with that shot.
But the ball did go high, I didn’t take a massive divot and the ball did land soft. So first and foremost you want to make sure you get it over the bunker. You don’t want to leave it short.
I’m pretty happy with that, I can get a putter out with my next shot.
So give that one a try at home. Grip it light, have a full swing but a slow swing and keep your angle of attack shallow.
I’m Brian Fitzgerald The Golf Doctor. Thanks for letting me help you with your golf.
If you like my videos, you can get further information from my website which is www.thegolfdoctor.com.au that can be found here.
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There are three simple things golfers of all standards can do to improve their golf.
1. Make your bad shot better,
If your bad shot is a 30 meter slice with your driver and you can turn it into a 20 meter slice your score will definitely improve.
2. When you have a wedge of any description in your hands, get it on the green.
How many times have you found your self hitting a wedge into the green. You have the hole at your mercy and instead of getting the ball on to the green you leave it short in the bunker or blade it over the green. This is quite often compounded by a followup bad shot as you are steaming from missing the green the first time. You may even three putt for good good measure.
3. Stop 3 putting
Nothing ruins your golf score faster than 3 putting.
If you imagine a hula hoop around the hole on long putts. Try to get your ball to finish inside the hula hoop rather than trying to get the ball into the hole.
Alternatively place a club 1 club length behind the hole and try to get four balls between the hole and the club from different distances. Say 4 meters 8 meters and 12 meters. If you get your first putt close to the hole you will 3 putt less.
During the US Open, I found it interesting to see Martin Kaymer choose the putter from just off the green instead of chipping.
Putting is an easier shot than chipping as it is much easier to make solid contact resulting in more consistent distance control.
A highlight for me was when he was playing the 16th hole in the last round he had a shot where there was a bunker between him and the flag. If he had chosen to play a little pitch over the bunker it would have been a great shot just to get it within a couple of flag sticks from the hole. If he miss hit it the bunker was an option or going over the green bringing the possibility of a double or triple bogey.
Instead Martin chose the putter (taking the bunker out of play and making his worst score a bogey), hitting it to 20 feet with little risk.
My suggestion to golfers is the first choice is to putt, second choice is to chip and third choice is to pitch.
If you use this rule as a guide you will see your scores improve and become more consistent.