2 Common Problems in Pitch Shots

…You Might Be Making (And How to Fix Them)

A missed pitch shot causes enough frustration for you to bend a horseshoe out of your pitching wedge and throw it into the pond.

How about being in a position, to knock one close to the pin, but instead, you hit heavy behind the ball, watching in horror as the shot screams off the leading edge of the club across the green.

Or worse yet, watching in utter disbelief as the ball goes sideways… turning into the dreaded shank!

In order to effectively correct simple mishaps upwards to a really bad pitch shots, take a look at the reasons why they happen then use the correct solutions to get back on track. There are a few items that will be obvious to you, if you first know what to look for, that can make or break your short game…

The Club face Is Aimed Toward the Left or the Right

This is a very common mistake, which in its simplest form can result in a pushed or pulled shot, however, in a more exaggerated form resulting in shanks. This is when you know the wheels just fell off and your score card starts seeing the sparks. There is a process in all good shot making which begins in your pre-shot routine, followed by aiming the leading edge of the club face at a pre-determined spot in front of the ball. Do this in every setup with every club in your bag and you’ll be assured, your aiming at the desired target. Watch your grip and grip pressure which can change the direction of the club face if you’re not attentive to the routine. Then and only then do you align your body to the club face at address position.

As long as you are not in a hazard or sand bunker, you can ground the club behind the ball. Then begin by allowing the shaft to lean slightly ahead of the ball. While holding that position, place your other hand on the grip and take your final setup from there. Be comfortable on your feet with good posture over the ball and remember to have fun.

Practice this routine and it will quickly develop into a consistent routine, with confidence, which results in increased accuracy. More often than not, problems evolve from a poor pre-shot routine or lack of one.

You May Be Overlooking Your Ball Position at Address

If you play your ball too far back in your stance, the odds are likely that you are swinging down to steep, resulting in hitting the ground first, before striking the ball. That’s a fat or heavy shot resulting in a missed green or coming up short. Playing the ball too far forward results in hitting it thin, which sends it low and usually too far off the golf course you intended to play on.

A proper pitch shot begins with the ball placed a ball back of center and a slight open stance. Make a point to align your body and shoulders parallel to your intended line. Your clubs shaft needs to be leaning forward into the left hand at address, so as to be the leader in this shot. Keeping the club moving back and through and finishing low without your hands turning over will put back spin on the ball, staying low into the green and will stop with some planned control.

Weight on your left side (For R/H) will assist in hitting the ball first. Another tip is to take four or five practice swings without a ball in front of you and swing through completely each time clipping the grass. This drill determines where the bottom of your swing is. You can experiment with ball placement from there which is usually a ball or two either side of where the divot begins. If you feel the need to slightly hover the club head just at the tops of the blades of grass behind the ball, do so as this will promote an even takeaway every time into the backswing.

Enjoy your day and share my tips with your friends…

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