Have you noticed when watching top golfers blast out of bunkers how their sand wedges attack the sand just behind the ball from a nice, high angle? And isn’t it amazing how this invariably causes the ball to pop up off the face of the wedge, easily lifting the ball out of the bunker towards the target?
Well, Gary Player Golf Experience’s Steph Spies has a simple drill to help you master this skill:
Because the major muscle groups involved in pitching are in your shoulders and arms, it is vitally important for you to ensure that they work as a unit and that the arms don’t disconnect from the body.
A wonderfully effective yet simple drill to help you achieve this is to hit 50m pitch shots with a towel under your arms, as illustrated below.
Not only will this ensure that your arms & shoulders work together as a team, but you will feel that your arms and shoulders stay connected throughout the pitch.
This month our GARY PLAYER SCHOOL FOR CHAMPIONS coach, Steph Spies, suggests a simple swing thought to help you to hit the ball longer.
The first principle is that you can create more club-head speed by making a wider swing rather than a longer swing. It is then important to understand that your left arm determines the width of your swing.
There is no doubt that the key to successful pitch shots lies in the ability to gain consistent accuracy with your wedge distances.
What not to do:
The method to achieve this is not what many club golfers believe, that is to try to “feel” the required distance for the shot. It is also not gained with the use of full swings, as more can go wrong when we “over” swing and then decelerate on the downswing.
The most important awareness you should have regarding your downswing is correct sequencing, which is the key to consistent ball-striking and improved accuracy. Before we examine this, it is important to understand that the upper body takes the club back, but the lower body initiates the downswing and is responsible for returning the club to the impact zone!
If you can execute the drill described below correctly, you will ensure all-important correct sequencing of your lower body, and the results are destined to astound you: