Pitching the golf all is a key part of any golfers short game. If you are like me, you miss the green at least 50% of the time on approach shots. Therefore, you rely on consistent contact to hit the ball up and down. To ensure your score does not soar, understanding two fundamentals of pitching a ball will help in areas of lower scores, confidence, effectiveness of shot making and just plain fun. I think we can all agree that hitting the ball up and down is great fun and wish we could do it every time. Rickie Fowler and Butch Harmon show us the two fundamental swing mechanics need by every golfer……by hitting through a golf cart?
Before I delve into the two main points of today’s article, here is what Rickie and Butch have to say:
As you have gleaned from the video, less wrist and more shoulder follow through are the key components of any great pitch shot. After years of practice through trial and error, I wholeheartedly agree. By mastering these two techniques has lowered my golf scores and created the environment where missing the green does not always spell disaster.
Less wrist action is very important. If we flip our wrists through a pitch shot, we fail to accomplish the consistency of solid contact on the ball. Flipping our wrists rarely promotes the contact on the clubface required to produce a repeatable golf shot. By keeping our wrists still (as much as possible), we create the conditions for repeatable golf mechanics needed to improve consistency. Additionally, we are better able to gauge distance control because we engage our larger shoulder muscles where are easier to control.
A shorter backswing and larger follow through with the upper body are also key components to successful pitching. This is where I have failed in the past. I tried to keep my upper body still as well and this technique might be beneficial for very short pitches, but it does not provide the conditions for greater consistency on longer shots. Also, by reducing my shoulder turn, I promoted more wrist action….kind of self-defeating. Anyway, I was able to rectify this challenge and now feel that my pitch game is something I can rely upon when needed.
As my golf game evolves, I understand that it is nearly impossible to change just one aspect of my golf game. When working on pitching, for example, by reducing my wrist motion forces me to change my shoulder turn, adjust my aim points, and focus more on my landing point.
This domino effect is the same for any changes to our golf game and pitching the golf ball is no different.
Following Rickie and Butch’s advice on two key components of chipping will ultimately lower your golf score, build confidence in your pitching and reduce the frustration of miss shots. Of course this new technique will require some practice to develop your own special touch and if you dedicate just a bit of time to improving your chipping who knows what the final result will be; it might be your next go-to shot.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!