Virginia Golfer Sep / Oct 2017 - Page 39

2 For the pitch, the ball should be played slightly forward of the middle of the stance. On the swing, lever your wrists so that the clubhead will rise higher than your knees on the backswing. You should pitch the ball with your highest lofted club, which is typically your sand or lob wedge. C O M M O N C L U B C H O I C E : 7-iron through Lob Wedge SETUP: Move hands down the grip to shorten the shaft. Stand closer to the ball than normal so the shaft is more vertical. Play ball in the middle of stance. Hands are slightly ahead to lean the shaft toward the target. Weight will favor the lead foot. THE STROKE: To promote a low shot, use very little wrist action and body turn, although don’t totally restrict either. When chipping, always keep clubhead lower than your knees on both the backswing and forward-swing. Try to get the sole of the club to brush the grass under the ball while keeping the hands slightly ahead through impact. vsga.org SHOT 2: THE PITCH We pitch the ball when, for whatever reason, we decide that a low trajectory shot will not get the ball close to the hole. Most of the time, you will be far- ther away from the green or have to go over something like a bunker, so a low shot either won’t get to the green or won’t stop near the hole location once it gets rolling. You should pitch the ball with your highest lofted club, which is typically your sand or lob wedge. COMMON CLUB CHOICE: Sand or Lob Wedge SETUP: Ball position slightly forward of middle. Hands will be even with the ball. Weight evenly distributed left to right. THE STROKE: To promote a high, short shot you will now need to lever your wrists so that the clubhead will rise higher than your knees on the backswing. There will be body rotation in the swing. A good thought for many is to feel like your body and arms are synched up, and moving together, which is unlike the full swing, where we try to feel the upper- and lower-body stretch more against each other. Feel the sole of the club bounce on the turf as it gets to the bottom of the swing arc. COMMON FAULTS The most common fault that I see in the both shots starts with playing the ball too far back in the stance with the hands too far ahead. This puts the leading edge of the club far too much in play. In that instance, the common result is to “skull” it over the green, and the compensation is to chunk the next one. When we have the proper amount of shaft lean at impact, the club will bounce, not dig. To summarize, decide what trajectory is best for the shot first, then use the setup to help promote that type of shot, and enjoy hitting it closer to the hole. Eric Layton is the Director of Instruction at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 17 | V I R G I N I A G O L F E R 37