We often hear from golfers at the beginning of each season that their “short game is off and they don’t have good feel for those shots 100 yards and closer.” This is totally understandable with the lack of or zero practice time we get during the winter months…but for this season, instead of jumping right into working on your full swing, we encourage all of you to spend the first few weeks finding that feel with your short game, with your primary focus being on developing consistent “low point control.” I will explain what that means as it relates to pitch shots.
To help with finding that consistent “bottom” of your pitch shots, we want to first identify some key points in your setup. Your contact keys are 1. Narrow base, 2. Ball slightly back of middle, 3. Pressure over logo of shirt or inside of your target foot, 4. Stay stable.
From this setup, we now focus on that stability to create a motion (swing) that is driven by your core, which means that your body rotation moves the club and your hands should just guide the club up. One of the best tips I like to give my students is to get your swing plane to look back to the ball as you take the club away; too much rounded movement with your hands and arms equals poor shots. (Please refer to the illustration). The combination of using the contact keys in your setup and having a core driven motion in your swing plane will lead to that consistent low point. Simply put, a consistent low point equals consistent contact, which leads to consistently betters shots!
Lastly, to be really solid with your wedges, you have to be able to find consistent and optimal trajectory in your pitch shots and there is no better way to do this than by practicing your finish position. Keeping the end in mind, always take your practice swings into a finish position and hold that position to absorb the feedback that your body and club is giving you. The professional tour level launch angle on average is 30 degrees for long pitch shots; the reason why is because it keeps the ball low and under the wind and the ball is going to have a lot of spin and check and stop very close to the flag. To find this consistent trajectory with your wedges, check to feel and see that your arms are extended with your club head below your handle at finish position (See illustration in newsletter).
Having “Consistent Low Point Control” will help improve not only your short game, but every facet of your game.
Have Fun, Matt Truong
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