Success when pitching has a lot to do with distance control. And to help improve your distance control when pitching you should have three different backswing lengths that control the different distances you want your pitching clubs to travel.
Nowadays most sets of golf clubs come with a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. Also, in the past 20 years the game of golf has been blessed to have the arrival of a couple of very important new clubs. The first one to arrive on the scene was the invention of the LOB wedge. The LOB wedge is a loftier version of the sand wedge (usually 60 degrees) with not quite so much bounce on sole of the club. Bounce is the very bottom of the golf club and it is the part that stops the leading edge from digging into soft turf.
The next invention was the GAP wedge. The GAP wedge (normally about 52 degrees) is a club that has more loft than your pitching wedge and not as much loft as your sand wedge.
These days many golfers carry all four wedges in their golf bags and these lofty golf clubs come in handy more times than you might think.
Just think, if you have three different length backswings and four wedges you now have 12 very different pitch shots you can hit with just three different length swing. I know some of you are saying I just want one or two short shots I can trust. Well guess what, you will have a wonderful short game arsenal when you are finished with this pitching improvement program.
Once you get this pitching method down you can easily apply it to all of your wedges. If you want to improve your short game you have to have more than one or two pitch shots in your bag. The golf courses today are more demanding around the green and you have to have pitch shots that run as well as pitch shots that have more loft and less roll.
Now let’s talk about the three different length backswings. 8 o’clock (See Picture #22 Below) 9 o’clock (See Picture #23 Below) and 11 o’clock. (See Picture #24 Below)
For the shortest of your pitch shots you only have to take the club back to the 8 o’clock position. The 8 o’clock position is when the shaft has not reached a parallel position to the ground. This length of backswing is good for all of those tiny pitches where the hole is tucked close to the fringe. Sometimes you will find yourself in the back of a steep green and you have to make a delicate pitch shot down the hill to the hole. Both of these examples would be a perfect time for an 8 o’clock length backswing. (See Picture #22 Above)
The 9 o’clock backswing is when the shaft has swung back parallel to the ground. This length backswing will add more distance, loft and backspin compared to an 8 o’clock backswing. (See Picture #23 Above)
When you are faced with the short pitch shots around the green where you need more distance or height, you will have to swing the golf club back a bit further to the 9 o’clock position. If you have to fly the ball over a bunker, steep slope or rough this is when this backswing comes in handy.
Lastly, if you have to pitch the ball further and with maximum height and backswing this is when you have to use the 11 o’clock backswing. (See Picture #24 Above) This is when the club is pointing to a point on an imaginary clubface at 11 pm.
So there you go, if you want to improve and become the best pitcher of the golf ball and give yourself a chance every time of getting the golf ball on the green safely and next to the hole, you have to learn all three length backswings.
That’s the end of this pitching lesson. Next up we are going to look at the downswing when pitching. So make sure you come back here to check that next pitching lesson out.
About The Author: This article was written by professional Bobby Eldridge. Bobby has been teaching golf for over 35 years and over that time he has given over 40,000 golf lessons. Bobby has produced a great Pitching DVD that shows you in simple terms how you can hit great pitch shots from anywhere.
So to improve your pitch shots so you slash shots from your golf scores click here to find out more about the Pitching DVD.