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Quickie Pitching Video - Golf Pitch Shot Technique


iacas

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I've been waiting for this video, was thinking about it just the other day actually when I was hitting a pitch shot on the course. A couple of questions.

BOUNCE - The goal of a pitch shot is to use the bounce. Executed properly, you can hit high pitch shots off a putting green with little to no damage because the leading edge doesn't contact the ground - the bounce on the sole does.

Where does the bounce of the club first strike the ground?

Does the club travel down still while hitting the ball, or does the leading edge of the club kinda squeeze in between the turf and ball, popping it up? What are the mechanics behind it that prevent you from bouncing the bounce on the ground and blading it? Can you do this with different degrees of bounce, or is say 10º+ too much from a tight lie? I can execute this shot well from a fluffy lie, but struggle when I'm on the fairway where the ball sits down on the ground. Being able to hit these high pitch shots over bunkers to a tight pin location is useful.
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Where does the bounce of the club first strike the ground?

Good question. Partly depends on the lie. If there's a lot of room under the ball (i.e. thick rough), the bounce might never hit the ground. If the lie is really tight it'll contact the ground just a fraction after the ball - almost at the same time. If the lie is one of those in between types, quite frankly, the beauty of bounce is that it can contact the ground before OR after the ball - you can hit the ball an inch or two fat from many lies and still get the same result.

So the answer is that it depends on the lie, but the goal is to contact the ground or whatever's directly under the ball a very, very short while after impact, with some "slop room" built in on most lies for hitting the ball a bit fat or thin. A good picture is to "thump" the ground under the ball. Not dig into it, but thump it with the bounce. Right under the ball. The little scuff mark will often go forward a few inches but it'll start, like a divot, basically right under the ball. Just might be tough to see since it won't really be a "divot" at all, just a scuff mark.
What are the mechanics behind it that prevent you from bouncing the bounce on the ground and blading it?

Bounce glides more than the leading edge will. But yes, if you hit really far behind it, you can bounce the club into the ball. So you develop the proper motion and that's never an issue - you can hit pitches off pavement and not bounce the clubhead into the ball. Same with the full swing - weight forward - to keep contact from being too far back.

Can you do this with different degrees of bounce, or is say 10º+ too much from a tight lie?

Stan Utley can attest to the fact that he hits his 58/12 wedge from the parking lot just fine.

I can execute this shot well from a fluffy lie, but struggle when I'm on the fairway where the ball sits down on the ground. Being able to hit these high pitch shots over bunkers to a tight pin location is useful.

A good drill is to practice hitting these shots with your right hand. Feel "float loady" and then you can't really "hit" at the ball, you can just turn through and let gravity get the club onto the ball.

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I love this video, Its the short pitches that I have been working on. It ensure that you do not hit the shot fat. I use this same swing for my irons shots and have hit my best irons shot ever.

Thanks for sharing the video, lets see some more!
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So what yardages does this apply to assuming a clean lie on the fairway - I'm guessing for the SW 75 yds? A PW, 100 yds?
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So what yardages does this apply to assuming a clean lie on the fairway - I'm guessing for the SW 75 yds? A PW, 100 yds?

Whatever length you make it... ??? I use the same technique from two yards to 80 yards or more. It depends on how far you take the club back and how fast and far you pivot through.

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Very good video and information... spot on in my view. I hesitate to say it but to the question of "how far" I can answer I have hit a lot of shots with mid-irons from 140-150 yards (with fairway lies) doing just this. Short pitches and chips are just smaller versions of the same motion. The control is great and conditions may well dictate this is the best choice for a shot. You guys look like right-handed Phil Michelsons with the smooth hinge and turn through the shot. And I love your use of the word gravity. Yeah, gravity keeps our shots from going as far as we might want, but it also is a key to learning how to feel a shot. The mistake I see most often is players who hit at the ball before letting gravity start to work its magic. They rush it, jerk through the turning point from backswing to forward swing, and flip it or fat it. Let's have a big cheer for gravity, a most important component of developing feel and good mechanics.
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  • 1 month later...
Just tried the techniques from the video yesterday today. I used to pitch from back in my stance, but that's over. Also, I'm actually rotating my lower body with the turn rather than being stick rigid. The idea of letting gravity help bring the clubhead down was a great swing thought. Between those, I had a great pitching day today. When put in a 3/4 to full pitching swing, I finally broke the 55 yard barrier that I'd been unable to hit by gap wedge beyond. I was hitting 60 yards with a 3/4 swing, and up to 80. Can't wait to keep working on my pitching tomorrow.
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Basically the same as Phil Mick's hinge and hold technique video shows. Best way to chip/pitch in my opinion. Easy to control and hit consistently as long as you do not "chicken out" with your swing as I do sometimes. I hit a beautiful shot from 70 yards to within 2 feet this weekend. It is definitely a feel kind of shot so practice practice practice.
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What would you use for a 50y pitch and how far would you take back the hands? Surely you couldn't hit it 50y with that minimal hand and arm movement ike you used in the video? I'd imagine you'd have to be at least P3 to hit it that far. Or can you really develop that much power from a P2 position?
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What would you use for a 50y pitch and how far would you take back the hands? Surely you couldn't hit it 50y with that minimal hand and arm movement ike you used in the video? I'd imagine you'd have to be at least P3 to hit it that far. Or can you really develop that much power from a P2 position?

I'm pretty sure I go past P2 on a 10-yard flop shot. I can use this technique or feeling out to 70 yards if I want, sure. I don't typically opt for that choice that far out, but if the ball's sitting in the rough the feelings are virtually the same.

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Uh, no, not really. Half (or a third) of "Hinge and Hold" but no more than that.

I also think it's similar to hinge and hold method. Could you elaborate a bit more why they are different?

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I also think it's similar to hinge and hold method. Could you elaborate a bit more why they are different?

Simply put, there's no attempt in my motion to "hold" anything.

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I'm not a huge fan of the wall of the text at the end. I've seen a few demonstrative videos that have a follow-up to the lesson at the end of the video but they correlate each summarizing sentence with a clip or photo of it being done earlier in the video.

You guys should talk to the camera more too :)

(And no, I don't have any comments about the actual content in the video :P)
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