Pitch like the Pros | by Tim Backhouse

Last month we hosted the 10th DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates and if you were lucky enough to be here for the event, you will have noticed how accurate the professionals are when they have a wedge in their hands. With a relatively short shot, most golfers are able to start the ball on a decent line but rarely able to get the correct distance. Whether it be down to consistency in strike or lack of control, most good golfers use the following technique to control their distance and improve the strike.

Controlling the distance of your shots with the length of your swing is far easier than trying to control the speed with the same length of swing. The length of your swing enables you to accelerate through every shot, rather than decelerate or ‘quit’ on the shot which creates a huge inconsistency in strike.

The four images below show you how to accelerate through impact into a similar length follow through as the backswing shown. 

Position 1

Club head is level with my right shoulder. It is important to use the body to move the club, not just the arms, even for a short swing like this. 

Position 2

Left arm and shaft at about a 90 degree angle, this shot travels roughly 10 yards further than position 1.

Position 3

Hands to feel like they are level with my left shoulder at the end of the backswing, again this shot travels about 10 yards further than position 2.

Position 4

Left shoulder to turn to my chin, giving me a swing that stops just short of ‘full’.

The images above are taken using my most lofted club, my 58 degree wedge. Once you feel comfortable with the positions you should measure how far the ball travels with each position and write it down. For example 58 – P4 = 70yds. Repeat this with all of your wedges but bear in mind some shots will travel a similar distance in the air. For example, position 4 with my 58 degree wedge travels a similar distance to my position 3 with my 54 degree wedge but they will have different trajectories enabling me to play different types of shots to different pin locations. 

I hope this helps you have more control with your short game as you can strike it four different distances with each wedge so your gapping can be precise and consistent. 

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