- On the range, set up to play a 40-50 yard pitch.
- Imagine a pair of goal posts between you and the target; you must hit the ball under the crossbar using the method described above.
- Next, try hitting the ball high over the crossbar. Did you make solid contact? Or did you flip the wrists trying to slip the club underneath the ball?
Pro golfers hit such pretty shots around the greens – high, spinning pitches that check up and trickle to within inches of the hole. When amateurs try to emulate their heroes, however, the results are often ugly.
Too many golfers are guilty of scooping chip and pitch shots in a futile attempt to lob them high into the air. The typical result is either a fat or thin shot which either comes up well short or skitters past the cup.
In most cases, low is the way to go. Provided there’s no hazard or other obstacle between you and the hole, try to get the ball on the green and running as quickly as possible. This requires hitting the ball with the club traveling downward, pinching ball against turf with a crisp “thunk.” The shot will fly close to the ground and begin rolling soon after landing.
A few basics are necessary to keep the ball down:
1) Set up with the ball in the center of your stance and the hands pushed just ahead of the ball.
2) Place a little extra weight on your left (lead) side.
3) Keep the hands ahead of the clubhead into and past impact.
This drill will give you a feel for hitting low chips and pitches, and teach you why scooping doesn’t work:
Continue experimenting with different swing styles to change shot trajectories. You’ll learn which techniques are effective, and which ones cause mishits.