Pitching Lesson 2 – Ball Position
When you address the golf ball for a pitch shot the ball position plays a major role in the trajectory that the golf ball will have after impact. For example, the further back in your stance you position the golf ball the lower the trajectory of the pitch shot and the less backspin and more roll your pitch shot will have. (See Picture #1 Below)
The further forward in your stance you position the ball the higher the trajectory and the more backspin and less roll your pitch shot will have. (See Picture #2 Below)
If you must err on one ball position for pitching it should be more back in your stance. Because if the golf ball is back in your stance it is easier to make contact because the clubhead is swinging down towards the golf ball. The further forward you move the golf ball in your stance the greater the risk of hitting the ball on the upswing and if you make contact on the upswing you will strike the middle or top of the golf ball and the result will be a low shot with flat trajectory.
However, ideally for pitching you should generally position the ball in the middle of your stance. When you do this the leading edge of the golf club will make contact with the ground and the bottom of the golf ball at the same time and the ball will climb up the clubface which in turn lifts the ball in the air. (See Picture #3 Below)
The lifting motion impacts trajectory and backspin, two key elements to pitching the golf ball softly around the green.
If you are struggling with pitching the golf ball, ball placement in your stance can play a major role in you getting back on the right track. I suggest you start with the ball in the center of your stance and you will be able to make good contact and see instant results. Keep in mind moving the ball forward in your stance will allow the golf ball to fly higher but it makes the pitch shot a bit more risky.
Having said all of this, often it is difficult to see if the golf ball is in the correct position when you are addressing the golf ball. One of the best ways to see if the ball position is correct is to practice with three straight edges. The top line (straight edge) should point towards your intended line you want the ball to travel on. The bottom line (straight edge) should aim parallel to the top line. The bottom line is for your feet, knees, hips and shoulders. Here is a picture that shows you how to set this up for a pitch shot. (See Picture #4 Below)
That is ball position for a pitch shot covered. In the next pitching lesson we are going to be looking at where you should have your weight when hitting a pitch shot.
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.