This week we are going to look at one of the most difficult shots in golf – the 50 metre pitch shot. Most golfers can shave many shots off their score if they can master this tricky shot.
Why is this shot so difficult for most golfers? Well, the reason is that it is in between a chip shot and a full shot for most people, making it a half shot that needs to be played with feel and control. Most of the time, you are going to use one of your wedges to perform this shot.
The setup: A common fault with many golfers is that they are trying to help the ball into the air with this shot. Therefore, they setup with their upper bodies behind the ball and their weight leaning too far back. This will cause the clubhead to reach the bottom of the arc too early in the downswing, which will cause fat or thin shots.
In the correct setup you need to have your shoulders more level so that your chest is directly over the ball. Keep the ball position in the middle of your stance with your feet not too far apart. Your weight must be slightly on your front foot.
The shot: The key element in the swing is to use your bigger muscles to control the shot. You do this by turning your chest away from the ball and letting your wrists hinge naturally in the back swing. Then in the downswing you turn your chest back to and through the ball, with your arms and hands following.
The length and speed of your swing, back and through will determine the distance that you will hit the ball. For this shot you will need a half or three quarter swing back and through. The turning motion of your body, combined with a steady head and good rhythm should make the club shallow out in the same place on the ball every time, leaving you with a consistent strike. Very important to remember that you should never take big divots with this shot.
What you do not want to do when you play this shot is to keep your body dead still and only swing your arms and hands. This will lead to inconsistency and will make you use your smaller muscles which will fail under pressure.
Now is a good time to practice this method at home. If you cannot do this with a golf ball, just try and sweep the grass in the same spot every time. By building up some muscle memory you will find it much easier once you get out on the golf course.
Contact Ben if you would like more tips or drills on how you can improve your golf during the lockdown period.