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Quickie Pitching Video - Golf Pitch Shot Technique


iacas
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Not really. I should make one… it's basically this technique with a wider setup.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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14 hours ago, David Wolfe said:

Do you have any instruction threads for bunker shots?  
 

There is this one.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I somewhat recently saw a video that highlights a lot of these same things when it comes to hitting pitch shots and how important it is to really learn to use the bounce of the club. The coach then mentions a few things that I had never heard before regarding making this shot easier which is that it can be advantageous to have the club head be more open than normal on the backswing and to take the club back on a more vertical plane. He goes on to say that for this type of shot the reverse (flatter swing plane and a closed club head) is essentially a death sentence. The biggest reason he gives is that for this type of shot, low point control is a bit easier when coming from a more vertical plane and the open club face helps utilize the bounce a bit more and make the club less likely to dig into the ground with the leading edge.

 

What is the general thought on that advice? I have to say that almost immediately after watching the video I went outside and did a bit of practicing this shot with my 56 wedge, and the results were pretty outstanding. The miss on these types of shots I'm trying to eliminate is the dreaded fat shot around the green that sends the ball a few feet and is essentially a penalty stroke. With that said, I think it can inferred that my main problem is simply poor low point control on these types of shots as well as not utilizing the bounce to the effect that it can be...two problems that his suggestions are tailored to help mitigate. My anecdotal findings were pretty much in line with what he's saying in that a vertical plane and more open club face on the backswing tend to produce a better shot by way of significantly better low point control and better club/turf interaction.

 

Here's the instructional video in question:

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

The biggest reason he gives is that for this type of shot, low point control is a bit easier when coming from a more vertical plane and the open club face helps utilize the bounce a bit more and make the club less likely to dig into the ground with the leading edge.

I don’t know about the vertical plane part, but the reason you don’t want a closed face is because the leading edge makes contact with the ground and not the sole of the club.

If you perform the technique correctly, the club will be pretty much on plane anyway because you’re not really using your hands to manipulate it.

59 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

Here's the instructional video in question:

 

 

I disagree with what he’s saying the bounce does. It doesn’t bounce the club off the turf. If it did, the club head would elevate and you’d blade the ball.

The bounce of the wedge allows you to slide the club along the ground for an extended period of time. Picture what a hockey stick does on a slap shot. The club travels along the ground.

Bill

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58 minutes ago, billchao said:

I don’t know about the vertical plane part, but the reason you don’t want a closed face is because the leading edge makes contact with the ground and not the sole of the club.

If you perform the technique correctly, the club will be pretty much on plane anyway because you’re not really using your hands to manipulate it.

I disagree with what he’s saying the bounce does. It doesn’t bounce the club off the turf. If it did, the club head would elevate and you’d blade the ball.

The bounce of the wedge allows you to slide the club along the ground for an extended period of time. Picture what a hockey stick does on a slap shot. The club travels along the ground.

I'm not sure I follow. I'd say it's plenty easy to be off plane making almost any kind of swing. It particularly doesn't make sense in this case when the vast majority of the club movement is caused by the hinging of the wrists so I'm not sure what you mean when you say the hands are unimportant. I guess you could argue the wrist isn't part of the hand or something, but that'd be a bit silly. I can very easily hinge my wrists in ways that will produce a vertical or flatter plane.

Point two seems a little bit contrived. I've seen multiple sources that explain bounce very scientifically and then go on to say something like "More bounce reduces the leading edge of the club face DIGGING into the ground. This means that this area  'bounces' (hence the term bounce) or skids the club off the ground."

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1 minute ago, Grizvok said:

I'm not sure I follow. I'd say it's plenty easy to be off plane making almost any kind of swing. It particularly doesn't make sense in this case when the vast majority of the club movement is caused by the hinging of the wrists so I'm not sure what you mean when you say the hands are unimportant. I guess you could argue the wrist isn't part of the hand or something, but that'd be a bit silly. I can very easily hinge my wrists in ways that will produce a vertical or flatter plane.

You hinge the wrists, but if you pivot and let the clubhead fall, the forces generated will bring the club down on the correct plane. That's why I wrote,"If you perform the technique correctly."

3 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

Point two seems a little bit contrived. I've seen multiple sources that explain bounce very scientifically and then go on to say something like "More bounce reduces the leading edge of the club face DIGGING into the ground.

Bounce is the term for the angle of the leading edge and the lowest point of the trailing edge of a club. More bounce makes harder to dig into the ground, but it's technically the sole of the club itself that is actually hitting the turf and preventing the club from digging.

10 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

This means that this area  'bounces' (hence the term bounce) or skids the club off the ground."

The club slides or glides along the ground. That's how you can pitch four or more golf balls. I've seen videos of people pitching six balls or more.

Have you ever seen this video?:

 

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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First, I love how he trucks through "that creates a spin rate of 23,000." 🙂 Or 2349, but you're only off by a factor of ten! 🙂 Hey I get it, making videos is tough.

I also disagree that "chipping" is "the complete opposite of the full swing." Chipping has a lot in common with the full swing; it's pitching that (to me) is the complete opposite.

2 hours ago, Grizvok said:

and to take the club back on a more vertical plane.

Ugh, no. Strongly disagree there. He wants you "above the plane and open" and acts as if "below the plane and closed" is the only other option. Below the plane (barely below the plane) and open is an option, and what I teach.

I also don't love turning your chest open. He just sets his feet open, which have the potential to get the ball back in your stance.

I don't love the "clubhead, chest, lower body" sequencing feeling, either. I worry that people will start trying to manually slide the clubhead under the ball, or throwing it downward. And then when he hits it, he doesn't really do that, either.

2 hours ago, Grizvok said:

He goes on to say that for this type of shot the reverse (flatter swing plane and a closed club head) is essentially a death sentence.

I agree about the bold part. But flatter ≠ "closed."

2 hours ago, Grizvok said:

The biggest reason he gives is that for this type of shot, low point control is a bit easier when coming from a more vertical plane

It is a little bit.

2 hours ago, Grizvok said:

What is the general thought on that advice?

See above.

See also day… seven of my free April practice plan.

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
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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

First, I love how he trucks through "that creates a spin rate of 23,000." 🙂 Or 2349, but you're only off by a factor of ten! 🙂 Hey I get it, making videos is tough.

I also disagree that "chipping" is "the complete opposite of the full swing." Chipping has a lot in common with the full swing; it's pitching that (to me) is the complete opposite.

Ugh, no. Strongly disagree there. He wants you "above the plane and open" and acts as if "below the plane and closed" is the only other option. Below the plane (barely below the plane) and open is an option, and what I teach.

I also don't love turning your chest open. He just sets his feet open, which have the potential to get the ball back in your stance.

I don't love the "clubhead, chest, lower body" sequencing feeling, either. I worry that people will start trying to manually slide the clubhead under the ball, or throwing it downward. And then when he hits it, he doesn't really do that, either.

I agree about the bold part. But flatter ≠ "closed."

It is a little bit.

See above.

See also day… seven of my free April practice plan.

Very interesting stuff. I'll admit that my testing included both swing changes at the same time and not individually so I can't actually comment on where the better results came from (or if they actually were better). The biggest feeling of improvement was in how I felt the club was interacting with the ground, so it seems kind of likely that the biggest influencer there would be the open vs closed club face, which does seem to line up with what you are saying. 

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5 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

Very interesting stuff. I'll admit that my testing included both swing changes at the same time and not individually so I can't actually comment on where the better results came from (or if they actually were better). The biggest feeling of improvement was in how I felt the club was interacting with the ground, so it seems kind of likely that the biggest influencer there would be the open vs closed club face, which does seem to line up with what you are saying. 

A steeper angle does help you manage low point a bit, but at the cost of coming in steeper to the ball, while a slightly "under-" plane (but still opening face) helps you come in shallower.

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
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3 hours ago, Grizvok said:

 

 

I think this guy has definitely been to Sieckmann, which you have to be careful with because he gets the seqeuncing backwards. He thinks club head goes first, then arm and last body.

Personally, I think it's better to feel more level shoulders than open shoulders. Not a fan at all of the "swing left" cue on the downswing, unless you're trying to hit some low spinners. Just YouTube great pitchers like Donald, Tiger, Faxon, Seve, their club heads aren't diving down and left on the downswing.

 

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10 minutes ago, mvmac said:

Personally, I think it's better to feel more level shoulders than open shoulders. Not a fan at all of the "swing left" cue on the downswing, unless you're trying to hit some low spinners. Just YouTube great pitchers like Donald, Tiger, Faxon, Seve, their club heads aren't diving down and left on the downswing.

 

Is not the result of tip #2 a more vertical swing plane?

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11 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

Is not the result of tip #2 a more vertical swing plane?

Did you watch his video? The club goes up the plane. It does in Day 7 too - it just feels slightly under so you don’t take it out and up.

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
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2 hours ago, iacas said:

Did you watch his video? The club goes up the plane. It does in Day 7 too - it just feels slightly under so you don’t take it out and up.

I did. I think it was just me misunderstanding the relationship between the club head's position relative to the hands on the backswing and the swing plane. I get it now though.

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7 hours ago, Grizvok said:

Is not the result of tip #2 a more vertical swing plane?

Big differences here, especially on the downswing, look at how much more shallow Donald is.

Donald's "outside" the hands is basically on the hands (takeaway), also camera is low so it will exaggerate the "out" even more.

pitch 1.jpgpitch 2.jpgpitch 3.jpg

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As usual, I appreciate you guys taking the time to explain this pretty thoroughly. I was able to do a little more practicing yesterday, and I was having success performing the stroke more in line with what you guys are suggesting. Overall, I'm finding the benefits of the shallower plane are indeed outweighing slightly better low point control. Hell, given how little information I have regarding my past pitching stroke (no video or anything concrete, just feels), it's possible low point control was never really an issue and that the crux of the problem was just really poor club turf interaction through a few technical errors, namely a closed club face. I may also look into creating a little more width on the backswing. I think I may have a tendency to overdo the piece on the backswing where the hands don't move much, which if done incorrectly could potentially cause the downswing to be a bit more choppy than desired. 

I hope to get some videos up this week of me practicing this shot. Trying to add some width to the backswing will be contingent on what I see in my initial videos of my current pitching stroke.

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  • 2 months later...

Chipping has always been the worst part of my game by far. I recently watched a video of Kevin Kisner giving someone chipping lessons and the main point of it was to keep your chest centered with the butt of the club and use a lot more body (I was all wrists before) and since I've started slowing things down and using my body more, my chipping has been one of the best parts of my game. What do you think of this technique?
 

 

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Added the pitching segment from my COVID-19 practice plan topic (Day 7) to the OP.

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
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  • 1 month later...
Guest smd
On 6/25/2020 at 1:56 AM, iacas said:

Added the pitching segment from my COVID-19 practice plan topic (Day 7) to the OP.

I only saw the original and your Day 7 video yesterday. I have been struggling with my pitching/chipping for years. I took a few lessons a couple of years ago with a local pro. He had me set me up with a vertical shaft, slight weight fowrard, then use the shoulders. This made me worse. Since then I have been trawling through YouTube for solutions. The guys from Me and my golf, Eric Cogorno, James Seikman,etc all have videos on the using the bounce. I just couldn't get it.

Your two videos are by far the best explanation of, and instruction for, this method of pitching. For the first time I had an understanding of how to setup and how to execute. I sneaked out from work a little early and drove to the practice chipping area of my course. Within 30 minutes I was confidently hitting lovely floaty pitches with a 55/13 wedge and longer lower ones with 9 Iron. After an hour It never crossed my mind that anything could go wrong.

It did take me a few minutes to get there and there were a couple of things that I had to get my head around. Firstly you said put the ball up near the front foot. That to me was critical. Old habits die hard. I had it a little back from centre at the start. As soon as I moved it up. I started to make proper connection and glide under the ball. The other one was timing. Let the club drop first, then turn. For me, the other way resulted in the dreaded "s" word. The "painting" move with the right wrist really helped me with that. 

Now the proof of the pudding will be next weekend when I actually play, but I really feel confident I can game that chipping technique

Thanks for some great instruction.

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