Swing Analysis: Pitch Shots from the Match Play Championship

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

I thought I would do a compilation of different pitch shots the players hit at Austin CC in the recent Match Play championship. The golf course had very interesting and difficult green complexes that called for a wide variety of shots required to get the ball close to the hole. There has been some debate recently about “using the bounce” versus “using the leading edge”, and here we see that good players have to have both techniques in their arsenal and must be able to call them into play when needed. My own teaching preference is to use the leading edge shot (hands forward, shaft leaning, ball first contact) as the standard shot to be used whenever possible, and the use the bounce shot when the leading edge produces a shot with too much drive when it calls for a softer, higher ball flight. Any time the player is leaning the club less forward than the bounce angle of the wedge at impact he is obviously going to be using the bounce. The thing most non-tour players have to avoid is the idea that using the bounce is flipping the club under the ball while adding loft at impact. You will see here that an effective way to use the bounce is to reduce wrist cock in the back swing so that the wedge approaches impact from a shallower angle and has more loft present at impact, which causes the ball to feel as though it is rolling up the face. The forward lean shot is more like a regular iron shot where the ball is trapped against the face and takes off on a lower trajectory. Both shots will spin the ball when struck correctly, with the forward lean shot tending to skip and catch while the bounce shot lands and checks with less run out.

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Peter April 18, 2016

The use of bounce and quiet hands is a must when conditions are soft imho.
I often employ a ‘Faldo’ tip to assist on this shot. Ever so slightly raise the right heel (maybe 1/2″ and keep it there throughout the swing. This keeps the legs very quiet and eliminates most up/down motion on the pitch shot (obviously not a long shot, say max 30 metres). This in turn leads to a very flat bottom of the swing arc. No digging or lurching forward, movements which lead to either fat’s or sculls!

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