Video Series

Video Transcript

Okay. What we’re going to do now? We’re going to talk about the short pitch and the problems associated with that and with the wrist hinging a little bit too early. The pitch is a typical club that we used from 20 yards away from the green to 80 yards away and basically the pitch is designed to throw the ball up in the air, over the obstacles, maybe the bunker or water and land the ball softly on the green, that’s the idea of a pitch. Get the ball high, land it soft and hopefully from there we’re on the green, we’re on the target or what we call in golf “on the dance floor,” that’s what we call a putting green, the dance floor, so that’s what a pitch is all about.

So, what are the problems associated with this pitch? Well, the problem is that people get themselves so obsessed with the pitch and, of course, the usual one is the classic head up, looking too early, maybe coming in and actually hitting the ground behind the ball, hit the ground behind the ball and take a big divot, you call it hitting fats, fat is hitting a divot early and, again, if you hit the ball on the top, which is called topping, you hit the top of the ball and hit it along the ground, these are very, very common faults and what causes these sort of common faults is down to the wrists, most of other things as well, but mainly the wrist in the short game. To cover the shots we just mentioned, the topping, the fat, the inconsistency, people tend to go over the board, they tend to go, right, I need to get this ball up in the air, I break my wrist and then try and get the ball up in the air.

And by doing that, by going up and down, you can see I’m almost trying to scoop, I’m trying to lift the ball up in the air, not intentionally doing it, but the fact that I’m breaking my wrist very early means I’m going to have to unhinge my wrist and as they unhinge they get down and they’re almost coming back up like this sort of effect, so it’s a scooping effect and if its scooping that club impact is going to be coming in like this, well, that’s the last thing we want to do. The more you try and lift the ball up, the more likely you are to catch the ball. The middle of the ball, the top of the ball resulting in those sort of thins, thins where the ball goes, like, so high off the ground it goes like a bullet. We already discussed where the top is. So, we don’t want to discuss here what the faults are for these shots, but what’s the best way of going about them? A lot easier than what you might think.

The first think we want to do is to make sure when we set up, that the ball position is ahead of center, so it’s towards the front foot. We want you to put the weight in a 60-40 position. Now, this is important because the weight being on the left side is going to help you to actually create a steep plane, so by leaning on the left side, there is an exaggeration, the club has to go up and if it goes up it has to come down and the focus on this shot is to hit down, not up, but to hit down. So, first of all, let’s set ourselves back up again. Put the ball a little bit further forward, not the front foot, but just ahead of center, put the weight on the left-hand side and from here keep your hands well forward. Now, there is your position, that is your set up.

All you need to do now is one thing from here. We want the wrist to have a very slight hinge. So, as we go back, look at that wrist break. It’s hardly anything. Remember what we did right at the beginning, so it’s a very slight wrist bend, so was go back, hinge the wrist back here and as we concentrate and bring the club back down, I want you to focus on hitting down and through the ball, not through and up, but down and through. Think about those words. Where we should club behind the ball? We want that divot to start just under the ball so the divot ideally will start under the ball and through the ball, sort of a five-pound note size, that’s the sort of divot size you’re looking for, so that’s what I want you to do.

So, let me just give you a quick demonstration. Ball position slightly forward, weight distribution, remember, on the left-hand side, hands forward, and watch my wrist break. Very, very slight, keeping the weight on this left side, very slight, back we go, wow! That’s gone high. So, by hitting down that club that you selected, that pitching wedge, the club, 48-52 degrees of loft, that’s going to send the ball up in the air, because you focused on hitting down, so the club did the work for you as the ball rolled back up the face rather than trying to help it. So, that’s how you play a pitch shot.