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Hitting The Long Bunker Shot

bunker shot

Johnny Miller calls this shot the toughest in golf. Many golfers agree. Regardless, mis-hit this shot and it can cost you strokes. Some golfers just square up with their sand wedges and take longer swings. Your chances for success using this approach slim. To increase those chances, you need to try something else. Keep in mind that instability is also an issue here. In fact, it’s an issue anytime you’re in a bunker.

Here are 6 keys to this shot:

Use a 9-iron or a pitching wedgeTake a slightly wider stancePosition the ball forwardOpen the clubface at addressTake a full swingHit about an inch or so behind the ball

The key is using the same approach you use for a greenside bunker shot but with some adjustments to your set up at address.

You can use a wide range of clubs. Some players use a 9-iron or a pitching wedge. Others go as low as a 6-iron. Use whatever club you feel comfortable with. Take practice swings outside the bunker.

At address take a slightly wider stance, dig your feet in slightly, and position the ball forward. Widening your stance provides the stability you need to take a full swing. Now line up the club’s grip slightly behind the ball, open the clubface to expose its bounce, and swing away.

Take a full swing. Hit about 2 inches or so behind the ball. You want to “catch” the sand on your clubface and throw it out on the green. Make sure you take a long enough swing. You have a lot of distance to cover before reaching the green.

When you swing, you should feel like your swinging more around your body than normal. Hit the shot right and the ball will pop up in the air with a medium to high trajectory, hit the green, and roll out a bit.

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Category: Pitching

Scariest Shot #2: Pitch Over Deep Bunker


If you’re like many weekend golfers, you hate hitting from bunkers. So when an approach shot stops short of a bunker, you’re ecstatic. But you still have to pitch over the bunker to save par. And for some that’s a scary shot. Hitting a pitch shot over a bunker intimidates many golfers—especially if the bunker is really deep.
Below are six keys to this shot:

1.  Look at the shot from the green
2.  Use a sand wedge or lob wedge
3.  Position your head just forward of the ball
4.  Shift your weight to the front
5.  Keep the clubface open through impact
6.  Let the club’s loft do the work

This shot is often easier than it looks. The secret to making it is to look at it from the green. Spend just enough time to see the type of shot it you’ll need before addressing the ball.
Use a sand wedge (56 degree) or a lob wedge (60 degrees). Play the ball in the middle of your stance. And shift your weight forward. Make sure your head is slightly forward of the ball or the shaft of the club is even with your sternum.
Also make sure that the clubface is open. And keep it open and pointing toward the sky right through impact and beyond.
Rehearse the shot a couple of times before swinging. Then take a normal backswing and downswing. Don’t try to scoop the ball. Let the club’s loft pitch the ball high.
Visualize the shot first before taking your practice swings. Try to match your swing with the type of shot you see in your head. Then address the ball and swing away.

Seeing the shot from the green often removes the intimidation. So do that quickly before addressing the ball. Then follow our keys to the shot. And you should have no trouble pitching over a deep bunkers.

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Category: Pitching

Difference Between Pitching and Chipping

Pitching : Difference Between Pitching and Chipping
An article by: Bobby Eldridge

Golf Pitching -Definition and Introduction

The definition of a Pitch shot is a shot that has maximum air and minimum roll on its way to the hole. In other words pitching is 2/3 air and 1/3 roll. The golf ball flies 2/3 of the distance to the hole and once it hits the putting surface it rolls 1/3 of the way to the cup.
As a reminder the definition of a chip shot is a shot that has 1/3 air time and 2/3 roll on its way to the hole. A chip shot is a shot that is played with a 5, 7 or 9 iron. The flatter faced clubs keep the ball low to the ground. Pitch shots are hit with loftier clubs to give the ball the 2/3 air time that is needed.
During a round of golf you might encounter a short shot going up to the green. You might have to go over a knoll, edge of a bunker, a pond, high rough or a tight pin position. When you are faced with a shot like this you will have to hit a pitch shot that has a higher trajectory and lands softly.


How to Complete the Pitch Shot

You will need two things to pull this shot off, proper technique and lofted clubs. So, what would I do as far as clubs are concerned? Well remember the flat faced clubs are the ones you use when you chip. The lofted clubs, the pitching, sand and lob wedges are the clubs designed for the higher shots.
The ability to pitch a golf ball in the air with trajectory, a soft landing and the correct distance is one of the game’s more difficult shots. If the golf ball is sitting up it makes the execution much easier. More times than not the golf ball is either sitting down in deep rough or on hard pan. In either case the shot becomes very difficult to hit the correct trajectory and distance.
However; if you use the correct technique and some practice you can learn to become a wonderful pitcher of the golf ball no matter what your handicap is.
When you think of pitching the golf ball keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish, a golf shot that travels mostly in the air and then rolls a short distance.

Category: Pitching

Pitching: Backswing- Arms Only

Pitching Instruction – Arms Only

It is time for the golf club to swing back. Your body is in the perfect set-up for the club, hands, and arms to move away from the golf ball.

As the golf club begins to move away from the golf ball the clubhead must swing back on a slight arc away from the golf ball.(#13)

If the clubhead swings too much inside the backswing the right shoulder will turn too much in the backswing.(#14) If the clubhead swings too much outside in the backswing the right shoulder will tilt up too much. By swinging the clubhead back on the correct arc, the right shoulder will have the correct amount of tilt in the backswing which will enable the golf club to swing up.(#15) At the top of the backswing if the clubhead has swung up on the correct arc this will enable the clubhead to swing back down on the correct angle.


Pitching – Steep Angle

The angle is what allows the leading edge of the clubhead to make contact with the bottom of the golf ball and the ground at the same time. (#16) This contact is what creates the impact that makes the golf ball go up in the air with the correct amount of loft and backspin.

Pitching Golf Instruction – The Weight

When the backswing begins you have 70% of your weight on your left leg and during the backswing it is profoundly important that 70% of your weight remains on your left leg and that it NEVER EVER moves back towards the right side.(#18 – #19)

If the weight slides back in the backswing the clubhead will never swing UP.(#20)

The sliding motion makes the clubhead stay low to the ground in the back swing. Remember what does not go up won’t come down. If the clubhead does not swing up it will not swing down and during the downswing the clubhead will travel too level to the ground. If the clubhead travels too level to the ground the leading edge will not be able to find the bottom of the golf ball. The impact will resemble more of a putting swing, the leading edge will strike the middle of the golf ball and the ball will not go up in the air.(#21)


Category: Pitching