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Quickie Pitching Video - Golf Pitch Shot Technique


iacas
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Thanks!   I haven't had a chance to practice these techniques much, but they feel very good!  I went out to my Monday night league & tried it cold with no practice - and seemed to hit the pitch shots more on-line & closer to the hole too!

The videos are very helpful - I appreciate the effort.

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Thanks. Also check out this thread which I just started: http://thesandtrap.com/t/60526/erik-hitting-a-few-chips-and-pitches .

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Went out after my nine-hole league round & practiced 25 yard pitches.  Hit 3 sets of 5.  Holed out once, and put 4-5 others within 4 ft!  Last 5 balls were within a 10 ft diameter circle.  Next I tried to hit the same length shot with the higher launch - wider stance, hands lower, bigger swing.  No problems.  Balls landed very soft with little rollout.

The other great thing about this style of pitch is that my direction is so much better than before.  It feels like point & shoot golf.  Before, I tended to pull the ball left - even on short pitches.

Then I moved to 50 yards and practiced the same technique.  Not quite as close, but all on the green and the direction and spacing between shots was much better than before too (from this distance).

I am doing this with a 54* Nickent Arc wedge with 10* of bounce, so I can imagine that a wedge with more bounce might be easier to use.

Finally, some of these shots were off of tight lies (basically dirt & dead grass).  This type of lie always killed me before - virtually garanteed to hit it fat or thin.  I just can't believe how much more consistent I am using this technique!  Thanks again, Eric!  I am having so much fun working on this - I'm sure my scores will start to come down too once I get the distances more dialed in.

Now if I could just do this consistently from the sand...

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm doing something horribly wrong. I watched the video 10 times and took my new 60-degree wedge (bounce of 8) down to the range. I hit 20 consecutive shots 45 degrees right and along the ground. I managed to get out of there without crying :-) Is there something really obvious I'm doing wrong? And guidance greatly appreciated.
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Originally Posted by woody365

I'm doing something horribly wrong. I watched the video 10 times and took my new 60-degree wedge (bounce of 8) down to the range. I hit 20 consecutive shots 45 degrees right and along the ground. I managed to get out of there without crying

Is there something really obvious I'm doing wrong? And guidance greatly appreciated.

Tough to say, a video of yourself would help.  Off the top of my head I'd say the left knee isn't staying flexed long enough.

Copy Erik's left knee

http://thesandtrap.com/t/60526/erik-hitting-a-few-chips-and-pitches

Mike McLoughlin

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Thanks mvmac.  I'm back at the range on Thursday and will give that a go.  I'll also see if a friend's available to video.

I should mention, that I get a decent result from the full pitch i.e. with the arms at 9 o' clock and the butt of the club virtually pointing at the ground.  It's when I try and do the same swing with arms at 8 o' clock or 7 o' clock that the horror begins.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Monday night in my league I was underneath a tree, with a bunker between my ball and an elevated green (with water behind the green).  Rehearsed this technique & hit a pitch to within 1 foot!   I am generally hitting my pitches & chips closer to the hole, and taking fewer putts.  As with anything, the more I practice, the better I get & the more confident I am hitting "tricky" shots that used to totally psych me out.

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  • 3 months later...

Its very easy to get into a groove around the practice green and get the right feel. But once you take it out on the course, it's easy to lose the feeling for pitches and chips. I shot an 84 today and somewhat easy course. I started double, bogey, bogey and thinking back, I attribute four extra shots because of yips chips/pitches. I continued to force myself to hit those shots when I could have easily used a putter from some greenside /fringe shots.  I started to get better using the Padraig Harrington recommendation (weight completely on the forward leg and no weight transferance).  I was able to hit a few good ones without the flip instinct. Thanks for all the help. I also have been using Shawn Humphries recommendations that he gives on his weekly "hump day" video tips.

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  • 2 months later...

Erik, thanks for linking this within the thread about the "New School Pitching." It explains alot of what I felt intuitively and gives me something to work on around the pitching greens this week.

You mention this shot can be hit from fairways, rough, hardpan, concrete, etc. - my question to you is, can it be hit from wet, soggy, loose turf? In other words, does the "slide" that you are referring to still apply when the turf is so soggy that even a light swing has the potential to take a 6 inch divot?

I have always thought that the only way to play a pitch/chip under these conditions is to make ball first contact, and that there is little to no margin for error on the "fat" side. Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Big C

Erik, thanks for linking this within the thread about the "New School Pitching." It explains alot of what I felt intuitively and gives me something to work on around the pitching greens this week.

You mention this shot can be hit from fairways, rough, hardpan, concrete, etc. - my question to you is, can it be hit from wet, soggy, loose turf? In other words, does the "slide" that you are referring to still apply when the turf is so soggy that even a light swing has the potential to take a 6 inch divot?

I have always thought that the only way to play a pitch/chip under these conditions is to make ball first contact, and that there is little to no margin for error on the "fat" side. Thoughts?

If you consider that the AoA of the "pitch" I like to hit is very small - like -3° or so - then it stands to reason that the pitching motion is better than a chipping motion that uses the leading edge, because even being 1/8" off with a leading edge will cause a whole lot of digging on soggy turf.

Make sense?

The reason why this technique works on hardpan AND soggy turf is simply the glide. With such a shallow AoA the club glides along the ground. With a sharp AoA and a sharp leading edge, on hardpan you'll bounce off it when you hit the ground behind the ball, and on soggy turf you'll dig right in.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Since this got revived again this week, I have a lingering question I'd like to ask about the standard pitch. What's the reason you suggest moving the hands so little? I'm 6'3", and have issues with getting too steep at impact. I've been trying to incorporate this type of shot, but sometimes I feel like I pick the club up (since my hands don't move back much), and I get too steep coming in to the ball. I know thats the opposite of what we want, which is shallow AoA to use the bounce, etc.

Waite and Mayo posted a pitching video today that stresses similar things to Erik's and Mike's videos, but the main difference I noticed was that they never advocated keeping the hands close. I just wanted to get your guys' thoughts? Here's a comparison:



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Originally Posted by colin007

^^^

I would imagine that they are demonstrating a longer pitch shot in the other video.

Yes Erik is hitting a much shorter shot

Originally Posted by dkling8

Since this got revived again this week, I have a lingering question I'd like to ask about the standard pitch. What's the reason you suggest moving the hands so little? I'm 6'3", and have issues with getting too steep at impact. I've been trying to incorporate this type of shot, but sometimes I feel like I pick the club up (since my hands don't move back much), and I get too steep coming in to the ball. I know thats the opposite of what we want, which is shallow AoA to use the bounce, etc.

Waite and Mayo posted a pitching video today that stresses similar things to Erik's and Mike's videos, but the main difference I noticed was that they never advocated keeping the hands close. I just wanted to get your guys' thoughts? Here's a comparison:

One of the great things about this site is that we give you little secrets like that The hands not moving as far compared to a full swing helps you swing the club head without creating a lot of "power" and expose the bounce, "thump" the ground.  I can tell you Grant agrees.  To do this, the feeling it that you rotate your left forearm as you keep some cup in your left wrist.  Like I'm doing in this video http://thesandtrap.com/t/65064/new-school-pitching/18#post_813263

Check out these pics of Grant pitching and full swing.

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Mike McLoughlin

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Originally Posted by dkling8

Waite and Mayo posted a pitching video today that stresses similar things to Erik's and Mike's videos, but the main difference I noticed was that they never advocated keeping the hands close. I just wanted to get your guys' thoughts? Here's a comparison:

Mike nailed it - creating speed, controlling low point better, and exposing the bounce.

Grant was hitting the ball probably 50 yards or more, while I was hitting it about 10.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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Originally Posted by iacas

Mike nailed it - creating speed, controlling low point better, and exposing the bounce.

Thanks a ton guys, that cleared up some things.

It's still not super intuitive to me though... When I'm moving the club a lot, and my hands a little, the swing radius is very small. Almost a smaller radius than nearly any other type of shot, right? It just seems to me like a Stricker-like pitch would be the best if you were wanting to engage the bounce for the longest time, and have the shallowest approach. That style of pitching has a much larger radius, and while low point control may be slightly worse, it seems like the even larger margin for error w ould offset that.

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Originally Posted by dkling8

Thanks a ton guys, that cleared up some things.

It's still not super intuitive to me though... When I'm moving the club a lot, and my hands a little, the swing radius is very small. Almost a smaller radius than nearly any other type of shot, right? It just seems to me like a Stricker-like pitch would be the best if you were wanting to engage the bounce for the longest time, and have the shallowest approach. That style of pitching has a much larger radius, and while low point control may be slightly worse, it seems like the even larger margin for error would offset that.

The problem with that method is largely about speed. You're relying on your big muscles for touch and feel and not your fingers, hands, and wrists.

The radius is exactly the same in both methods at the golf ball - it's your shoulder down your arm and the shaft into the clubhead.

People who dead hand their pitches will often not create the same amount of speed (it's nearly impossible, unless you make MUCH larger swings) and will often succumb to poor distance control because anything that gets in the way of the clubhead will slow it down quite a bit. The actual rotational rate of the clubhead is much higher with a "hinge" backswing than with a "dead hands" takeaway even though the radius of the entire apparatus is the same at impact.

Who saw Geoff Ogilvy's pitch shot from behind the 16th green yesterday? He used a method like I'm describing, and you can see it here in this video from 2011:

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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Thanks - was only practicing this technique for 3 hrs N Texas in great weather yesterday.

It took a while to put all the parts together - I typically will make all the errors - too much swing, not enough hinge, forget to pivot around, get too quick - crap, I hate looking like I don't know what I'm doing - blading the ball across the green.

And to say my lies were tight is an understatement - like the grass received a very close shave. Unforgiving.

After working out the kinks above and having my 6 yr old doing the "tug the club" to help me float the club, the last part was soft and relaxed arms, and keeping the front knee bent on the pivot around. I had to work on the speed - hinge, hesitate, pivot with some speed to get the club going.

Do y'all talk about speed? because it seems like a slow swing on video but when doing it, I've got to feel something faster - momentum building.

Still, I was inconsistent - some beauties with  nice floating height of 6-8 feet, and then some with 3 feet of height - ouch -  although softening the arms and hesitating when the hinge was done before coming down to the ball, was a typical answer, but still... I will try a little more forearm rotation while hinging.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

Do y'all talk about speed? because it seems like a slow swing on video but when doing it, I've got to feel something faster - momentum building.

I'll film some in full speed later today if I can.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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Note: This thread is 1349 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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