Peter Knight: Pitching set up

SETTING up correctly for pitch shots is crucial for having control over where the ball goes.

YOU would have heard countless times that how you set up to hit a golf shot is crucial to the results you get and that's equally true of both full shots and pitch shots.

There are a couple of things to focus on when you set up for a pitch shot and I'm going to run through them and explain them here.

Firstly, because it's not a full shot, you don't need your stance to be as wide for a pitch shot. A good rule of thumb I like to use is about two shoe widths between your feet, not much more.

The ball position is really important for these shots and the bulk of the time you'll want it to be around the middle of your stance or even a little bit forward.

I see a lot of people who set up with the ball back in the stance but this really isn't a good idea unless you're trying to play some kind of specialty shot.

Next, when you take your grip move your hands a little further down that where they would be for a full swing.

About halfway down or even a little closer to the steel is good.

Now because you've gripped down on the club a bit you'll need to stand a little closer o the ball than you would for a full shot and that's absolutely fine, it's exactly what you need to do.

I also suggest that you aim a little left of the target with your feet and there's a good reason for this.

If you set up aiming a little right you'll see that when you take your swing, the club and arms move in closer towards the body and that influences the way the hands move, usually meaning they flip over and cause all sorts of inconsistent strikes.

If you set up a little left, though, the arms and club are moving away from the body slightly and there is room for them to work properly all the way through the stroke.

The last thing I want to point out is that the same keys we use for our full swing posture are true for the pitch as well.

We tilt forward from the hip joint and just unlock the knees the same as we would if we were hitting a full 8-iron.

If you practice these things next time you're working on your short game you'll find you gain more control over the ball when you're playing these delicate shots around the green


Peter Knight

As one of only four Master Professional Coaches with the PGA of Australia, Peter Knight has a long track record of helping players whatever their age or ability level.

Peter applies the same care in coaching you as he does international teams and professionals.

All he asks is that you are prepared to put in a little practice to reap the rewards you want from your game.

 You can book lessons with Peter at Yarra Bend Golf Course either on the website www.yarrabendgolf.com or by calling (03) 9481 3729.

Check out his site www.melbournegolfcoach.com.au and subscribe for weekly golf videos and other updates.


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