The Psychology of Solid Pitch ShotsMar 11, 2020
Probably the most important part of pitching is the intention to drive the ball forward. This clear intention will lead us to the right movements to make a solid ball then turf contact.
Professionals launch their pitch shots much lower than club golfers hitting from the same distances. They do this with around 15 degrees of shaft lean (handle leaning ahead of the clubhead and towards the target at impact).
When you combine this 'shaft lean' with a solid body pivot you can all but guarantee a good strike on your pitch shot.
Contrast that to club golfers who take too much loft in the first place and then swing with an intention to hit the ball high. This gets very messy and leads to a lot of 'strike anxiety' which then exasperates the problem.
You can save yourself years of anxiety by learning how to pitch properly in the first place.
The low launching pitch of the pros gives them key benefits:
- A consistent solid strike
- A consistent trajectory
- Increased distance control
- Much more spin by staying in the optimal range of spin loft (See Spin Loft Video)
Never try and 'Find' Strike
When things aren't going well it is forgivable to be too attentive of our contact with the golf ball (ball bound). In this case, we would slow the body down and guide the club into the ball. This is a recipe for frustration.
My key focus points when pitching and coaching pitching are to be aware of the end of the backswing and then commit the body turn all the way through to the endpoint of the follow-through, meanwhile trusting that a solid strike will occur.
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