Let us define two points - what a pitch shot is and what the golf club's 'bounce' is.
A pitch shot is a high flighted shot taken from approximately 20 - 100 yards away from the green. It is a shot that is designed to land on the green softly enough to stop near to where it lands, giving the golfer the accuracy to hit the ball at the flag and get it close.
The 'bounce' of the golf club is the number of degrees that the leading edge of the club is pointing away from the ground. A high bounce angle is a club where the leading edge is lifted significantly away from the ground; a low bounce angle is a club where the leading edge sits next to the ground at address.
So how can a golf club with a high bounce angle increase the chances of a crisp pitch shot?
A pitch shot is normally played by driving downwards through the ball into the ground fairly steeply and taking a large divot. Particularly for senior golfers, ladies or golfers who are lacking in strength, this can be difficult and may even hurt. In this case selecting a club with a high bounce angle allows the golfer to purposefully hit the shot a little 'fat' - slightly behind the ball - ground first before the ball. The increased bounce angle means that the club does not dig into the ground but skims across it, collecting the golf ball and 'popping' it up into the air. The benefits of this shot are that it does not hurt or require huge amounts of power because the ground is barely being hit and that there is more margin for error as the ground or the ball can be hit first which means that either way a good result will occur.
Fantastic, now how do I do it?
Grab your wedge with a high bounce angle (eight degrees or more) and follow these steps.
1. Set up correctly - Position the ball in the middle of the feet, feet narrower than normal and slightly open to the target (pointing to the left of target for right handed golfers). Position the weight so that approximately 60% of the bodyweight is on the front foot. Position the hands directly in line with the ball. These points set you up for a shallow angle of attack through the ball with a slight downward motion.
2. Take a normal pitch swing, approximately half to three quarters in length depending on distance, and make sure that the wrists hinge fully in the back swing.
3. Aim to slide the golf club across the grass underneath the ball striking the grass approximately half an inch before the ball but not taking a divot. Tip - Place a plastic ball marker half an inch behind the ball and try to skim the ball marker and ball together during the shot.
4. Accelerate through the ball. This doesn't mean whack it!! However make sure that you release the hands and attack through the shot with speed otherwise you risk decelerating and either blading the ball across the green or dunking the golf club into the ground.
5. Watch the golf ball pop up into the air and land softly next to the flag on the green.
Use the bounce on the golf club to improve forgiveness and pitch into the green more consistently.