Learn a new shot for 2018: The spinning soft pitch
In every round of golf you’ll face a greenside shot where you need the ball to carry an obstacle, but settle quickly on landing. Here is a different way of looking at this shot, that uses traits you see in some of the Tour’s best pitchers… and one that removes a lot of the risk.
This tip comes from TG Top 50 Coach Scott Cranfield, Cranfield Golf Academy, PGA Master Professional and Tour coach with 30 years’ experience
Key Concept: Handle stays closer to the body
When we play a traditional pitch, the club tends to work upwards and away from the body. While this can work fine, it promotes the risk of a steep, de-lofted attack that takes height and spin out of the shot. It also courts heavy contact by encouraging ground contact with the sharp, leading edge.
The shot you will learn here sees the club stay much closer to your body back and through, promoting a more rounded action and a shallower delivery. This helps you present loft and spin at impact, while encouraging ground contact with the forgiving, rounded part of the wedge’s sole.
Address: Vertical Shaft
Play the ball under your shirt buttons. Allow your lead wrist to kink to create a vertical shaft. Splay your elbows to create a feeling of softness, and feel both are close to your side. Check your set-up feels relaxed and free of tension.
Backswing: Grip Stays Close
Swing back with quiet wrists. Keep those elbows soft and close to your sides. Allow the butt of the club to work back close to your trail thigh. The clubhead will feel ‘outside’ your hands, its leading edge similar to your spine angle.
Throughswing: Butt to Hip
Instead of letting the club drive to the flag, feel your hands stay close to your lead pocket. Keep your elbows close to your hips, and allow your trail hand to work ‘under’ the ball through impact.
Finish with the butt close to your lead hip and you’ll find the rounded, shallower delivery and face loft that creates height with spin. Keep the rhythm of the swing unhurried to cement the feeling of softness that underpins this technique.