Pick The Right Club Pitching Into The Green
The question that we’ve got today is; what club should we be using when we are hitting the ball into the green, when we are pitching, I like to call it an approach shot and that probably comes from my tennis days. (The approach shot was usually the thing that you were approaching the net with, coming in, ready to put the volley away.)
What we’re doing here is that we are approaching the green and then we’re going to put the putt away. I tend to call them more approach shots than pitch shots but because we are playing golf we’ll call them pitch shots.
It’s identifying which is the right club and the right length.
Well, you can use any club when you are hitting into the green. It doesn’t matter which club you are using.
What does matter is your swing length and also the distance.
This is where everyone struggles, they’re trying to use the same club all the time to get the ball into the green and the problem is that they don’t even know how far out they are from the hole or the green. They don’t know their swing length. Therefore, they don’t know what club they should be using. It seems to be a really big issue.
Now, the best thing to identify is how far from the green are you?
From the front of the green?
Here today, we’re about forty metres from the front of the green. (I did step it out so I could tell you!)
The pin is probably another five metres beyond that. So, it’s around about forty-five metres away. We want to be able to hit the ball about forty/forty-one metre length so the ball can approach the hole. That will then give an easy putt to finish off with. Simple as that, sounds pretty easy.
Now the thing that we’ve got to identify is what club and what swing length. The thing is, when you’re playing you want to be able to play with your pitch shots. You want to think you are only taking the club back to about nine and you are coming thought to around about the three o’clock mark with your swing.
If you can do that with all your different clubs, your sand wedge, your pitching wedge, your nine iron, your eight iron, lob wedge and so on, then you are going to start getting some lengths in.
A good thing to practice is to make sure you are out on the driving range. (I have a lot of arguments with players about practicing on the range, yes, you have got to spend the time practicing on the range. You actually get your swing refined, chip shot, pitch shot, full swing, get it refined, so when you come onto the course to play it won’t break down, you have ingrained it enough so that it will work when you need it most.)
The other thing I want to share with you too, before we continue, is that once you have it ingrained, come and stand in front of the green, a particular distance out that you have been working on, just do it with one club to begin with, then start hitting shots into the green and start working on that particular shot, that’s how you are going to improve.
Here we are, ready for action, I know that if I use my sand wedge and I do a nine to three swing, nice easy back and through swing, I know I’m going to get the ball around the forty metre mark. I know that. Therefore, hitting into the green when I’m about forty metres out, I know what to do and the pin is only a little bit beyond that, about five metres away. That gives me enough wriggle room for the ball to run up to the hole a little bit and then I can put it away.
You should always do a practice swing (I’ll share with you in another video why you need to do that) but today we are going to focus on this one, get set and then play the shot.
The feedback from that shot is, you know what, you have probably taken is a little bit beyond the nine to three, the takeback is a little bit too far back. I’ll do it again and shorten the back swing so I can feel the nine to three swing rather than what felt like a ten to two.
The line was great but the swing didn’t quite work the way I wanted it to because it was a bit longer. This is the challenge with pitch shots, making sure to get the right swing length each time. That’s where the consistency comes from. Doing it again was a better one. That give me the feedback that my swing length was pretty good, I got it right.
I got the nine to three feel, whereas the other one I felt like I went for it a little bit more and got the ten to two swing.
These are the types of thing you need to be aware of when you’re playing on the course.
Don’t practice this in competition.
Go and spend some time on the range, start working out your swing length so you can start developing one distance, one club, for example use your sand wedge, one club, get that right and then come and stand in front of the green and start hitting some shots into the green with that one swing length, once you know what the distance is. Then you can build your confidence with it.
It’s a really simple approach to improving your pitch shots, it’s a really simple approach in promoting consistency for your swing and it’s also getting the swing length right, so you know what your distance is. Very important. You need to know these things.
Have an absolutely awesome day, take care, and remember; Tee it high and Let it fly.
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