We visit Rivers Edge Golf Club on this edition of Tee It Up Grand Strand. Our good friend and PGA Head Professional, Jeff Pianelli gives us some help on pitching the ball out of the rough. This is a part of the game that most amateurs struggle with each round. Jeff gives us a very simple swing thought to have while hitting this challenging shot.
Most amateurs have too many thoughts in our heads when we chip out of the rough. How thick is the grass? How deep is the ball? Is the grass against me or with me? Is the ball going to jump out of the lie? Is is going to stay nestled in the grass? How hard should I swing? Should I open the club face? Should I close the club face? Whew….that is alot to think about. Oh and don’t forget to hit the ball!
First things first. Jeff stresses that the most important thing is the swing “through the ball not to the ball”. In other words do not stop the swing at impact. To get the ball in the air and to carry to the green the shot requires the club head must go through the ball and beyond the point of impact.
Next is to keep the club head open and level at impact and as far through the shot as possible. Wedges are designed the get the ball in the air. The club does not need our help to achieve that. Keep the club level through impact and “drag it through the hitting zone” to ensure the loft angle stays correct so the wedge can do its job and lift the ball in the air.
Place the ball slightly towards the back of the stance. At address make sure that our hands are ahead of the ball. A good rule of thumb is to place the grip of the club and rest it on inside of front leg then grip it. That is how ahead of the ball our hands should be on this pitch shot. We are now ready to hit the shot.
The goal is to get the ball in the air quickly and to have it land softly on the green and release toward the hole. A solid, confident shot will provide this result and save some pars. Be sure to remember Jeff’s tip when at the range practicing and when standing over that tricky pitch shot.
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