You’re faced with a tricky pitch with an obstacle between you and the pin. You need loft and pinpoint distance control or you won’t get up and down.
The Standard Play
Hit a high, floating lob shot with your 60-degree wedge or a lower pitch with tons of spin to get your ball to stop after a single hop. Problem is, the lob shot is a high-risk alternative and most recreational players can’t generate the spin needed to stop the ball on a dime.
The Better Play
The Super-Soft Pitch — a simple technique that adds extra loft to your everyday pitching motion. You’ll get a high shot that stops near where it lands without having to make the perfect lob.
This story is for you if…
• Your wedge shots don’t spin and stop like they should.
• You hit one pitch too high and the next too low.
• You have no faith in your lob-shot technique.
How to do it
The key to hitting the Super-Soft Pitch is to pre-set your body in the correct impact position at address. This helps you strike the ball with the right amount of loft. In the past, you’ve pitched the ball either too low or too high because your poor impact position either added or subtracted loft from your clubface.
Sole either your 56- or 60-degree wedge on the turf with the face square and pointing directly at your target. (There’s no need to open it — that only creates extra bounce and the potential for thin contact.)
Play the ball just slightly back of center and lean your shaft forward. (Be careful not to close your clubface.) Your grip should line up with your sternum about an inch in front of the ball with your weight favoring your front foot.
Make sure your shoulders are level and that your arms hang straight down. Ease up your grip pressure — the Super-Soft Pitch requires soft hands.
Make your backswing by swinging your arms and chest away from the ball using soft hands and an easy hinge of your wrists. Your swing path should feel pretty straight, but with a slight turn so that the toe of the clubhead points straight up once your hands reach knee height.
Stop your backswing just as your hands pass your right knee. All you need to do on your downswing is turn toward your target and unhinge your wrists so that you return the clubhead, shaft and weight to the same position they were in at address. When you do this correctly, your club will descend into the bottom of the ball with the correct loft and send it softly into the air.
To execute the Super-Soft Pitch to perfection, it’s imperative that you rotate your chest through impact and even more critical that you swing your arms at the same speed you turn your chest. You want everything rotating together or you won’t be correct at impact. Finish your swing with your hands low and directly in front of your chest.
|DAVID WRIGHT operates the Wright Balance Golf Academy at Arroyo Trabuco GC in Mission Viejo, Calif.|