Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
Most golfers that I come across think that if they could just hit their tee shots 10 yards further then their scores would come down dramatically. The fact is, however, that pitching the ball 5 feet closer to the hole with regularity would have a much greater effect on your scores.
The problem that most people have with pitching is that they do not know how to correctly use the golf club for the shot they are trying to hit. Most people use the handle of the club and the leading edge when in reality you should be using the clubhead and its bounce.
In Picture #1 you see the impact position of most golfers trying to hit a simple pitch. Handle well ahead of the clubhead and the leading edge about to dig into the ground. Picture #2 is the ensuing finish position with the handle pulled well left of the target line. This is absolutely NOT how you should be pitching the ball!
I like to tell players that they need to use the club so that it has what I call true loft and true bounce on it at impact. Why use a 60 degree wedge if you are just going to lean the shaft well forward and turn it into a 50 degree wedge and at the same time negate the bounce and cause it to dig into the turf?
The feeling you need to create is one where the clubhead is swinging first in the downswing and catching up to the handle at impact. This will create an impact position where the club has less shaft lean, is using its true loft and the bounce of the club is skidding off the turf. Picture #3 shows a correct impact position to pitch the ball into the air. Then all you have to do is allow your body to react to the momentum of the club and turn through into the position in Picture #4, where the club finishes with the clubhead pointed at your target and the butt of the club pointed at your belly button.
The difference between this and your full swing is that the body is not there to create power so it is actually very passive. The body is completely reactionary to the motion of the club. This is an absolutely tension free movement, that I know for sure, will help you shave strokes off your score!
Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or email@example.com.