I thought this was a fairly rare occurrence, with 3 of the best players in the world playing together and hitting almost the same shot on the same hole, while the cameraman actually does a nice job of positioning himself for a down the line shot of each one. Stricker is a recognized maestro with the wedges, and here we see an example of his relatively wrist-less technique. Scott has beautiful lines and a slightly fuller action, while McIlroy seems to take a bigger cut at it and yet brings the ball in lower than the other two. All 3 shots end up within 3 or 4 feet of the hole, and the disparity in the techniques just goes to […]
I was scrolling through my model videos and I came across some bunker shots that I had saved under the heading “bunker”, and when I played each one I found I had some very cool shots of a few great bunker players.
This video looks at the execution of a simple pitch shot, made anything but simple by the extreme pressure of the moment. It is the 17th hole of the last match of the Ryder Cup. The outcome of the entire affair rests on this last 2-ball. Hunter Mahan is two-down, and needs an up-and-down to possibly extend the match, as it is certain that Graeme McDowell will make no worse than bogey, and being already two- up, win the match if Mahan makes bogey. Mahan has just hit an exceptional pitch on the previous hole, one more difficult than this one, only to watch McDowell hole a 20 footer to win the hole. Now it is a matter of simply […]
Here we look at how to pitch onto the green from the rough. When you miss a green and the ball is not in a bunker the first thing you will note when you come upon your ball is how it is lying in the grass. Next you look up and find the pin, note the characteristics of the green between you and the hole, and begin to configure a shot to play that will either go in the hole or leave you a tap-in for your next shot.
Here we have another standard play around the green, as we are close to the green but in enough proximity to the pin to require the ball to fly up in the air and land without rolling a great distance. The variations here from the longer pitch shots with the 58 degree wedge are the slightly extra open face and limited use of arm swing in the backswing.
The standard play here is our normal pitch setup (ball centered, open stance, weight slightly left, hands slightly forward) with the one change to a more open clubface. As you will see in the video the swing involves less arm swing going back (and very little body movement), more wrist cock, and still a significant amount of forward pivot motion (the standard 45 degree push).
Using the hybrid to run the ball onto the green from off the green is a relatively new (due obviously to the fact that hybrids are a relatively new item in the bag) technique. It is a great one to experiment with and learn though, because it makes easier a few annoyingly tough shots around the green.
For purposes of instruction and so that my students will not be confused about what technique to use from certain areas I separate pitching and chipping thusly: Pitching is any shot around the green that is struck with a swing that involves wrist cock and leg movement. Chipping, on the other hand, does not use wrist cock or leg movement.
It is my firm belief that a forward leaning, downward strike is preferable when pitching to any sort of “using the bounce” technique. Here we look at a pitch over a bunker from a tight lie. With the tight pin it is obvious that extra height is needed to have the ball stop close to the pin.
Now we take the 30 yard pitch technique and modify it for longer shots. I like to start with a maximum yardage for the most lofted club (my 58 degree wedge) and until I get to about 60 % of that yardage I will think of the shot as subtracting from full. In other words, since I hit my 58 a maximum of 85 yards in the air, if I have shots that are 80, 70 and down to about 60 yards I will feel the amount of swing as a percentage of the full swing. Thus, a 60-65 yard shot becomes in my mind a 3/4 shot, while a 70 yard shot would be a bit less cut off from full. 50 yards is about the furthest out I’ll get where I’ll try to get an exact yardage to carry.