Being able to hit a stunning pitch shot which checks up near the pin is an aspiration many left handed golfers hold.
The shot looks impressive and can be easily played by achieving the correct positions at set up and by keeping a few key swing thoughts in mind. One such swing thought is keeping the club face open through impact. Firstly, let’s look at a correct pitching set up and back swing.
1. Place the ball in the centre of the stance with feet just under shoulder width apart.
2. Alignment with the club face should be straight down the ball-to-target line with posture as normal.
3. Place about 60% body weight on the right foot and lean the shaft towards the target so the hands are ahead of the ball, opposite the right thigh.
4. The feet and hips can be set slightly open to the target line to encourage a better hip action but the shoulders should be parallel to the target line.
This is a basic pitching set up for left handed golfers to use which should ensure a downward strike on the ball. Now let’s look at the swing and alterations which need to be made to help check the ball.
1. Swing the club away keeping the body weight 60% on the front foot.
2. Vary the length of back swing depending on the distance of shot, however, most pitching swings should never be more than three quarters in length.
3. Swing down into the ball keeping 60% body weight on the front foot ensuring a downward strike.
4. At impact, the hands should be ahead of the ball, opposite the right thigh.
5. During impact and the follow through, keep wrist action to a minimum.
6. Players need to feel the club face is being help open through impact.
7. Striking down will impart backspin but keeping the club face open will help the club maintain its loft.
If the shot is played successfully, the ball will fly out loaded with spin and check up on the putting surface. There is no particular length of pitch shot where this technique cannot be used but left handed golfers should be aware that the shorter the shot, the less backspin they are likely to generate.
Hitting a pitch shot which spins, checks and dances around the pin is an ambition for many players who believe that the shot is out of reach. However, with the correct set up and feeling during the swing, backspin is easier to produce than many players believe.