Pitching Lesson 7 – The Downswing
Let’s now look at the downswing of a pitch shot.
If the golf club arrives at the top of the backswing in the correct position it will be much easier to swing the golf club back down into the back of the golf ball consistently so you hit great pitch shots. The angle of the downswing has to be on the steep side so it’s very important that the club is not swung too much on the inside in the backswing because the clubhead will not return on a steep angle.
The steeper the angle of the downswing the easier it is for the leading edge of the golf club to make contact with the turf and ball at the same time ensuring a good pitch shot. As the clubhead reaches the bottom of the arc, the leading edge slides under the golf ball cutting into the turf and the club face makes contact with the golf ball simultaneously. (See Picture #25 Below)
The only possible way for you to achieve a great pitching impact position (like is shown in the picture above) is if you have the correct set-up for pitch shots (especially having 70% of your weight on your left side), swing the arms away and up from the golf ball in the backswing and swing the arms down in the downswing.
Of course there are a number of other things that can happen along the way but if you can get into the correct position at the top of your pitch shot it makes life a whole lot easier. The 8 and 9 o’clock backswings are not nearly as difficult as the 11 o’clock backswing. It seems the longer the backswing the more we want to help the golf ball get into the air. Another phenomenon is the more loft the golf club has the more we feel we have to lift UP in the downswing to get the correct amount of loft on the ball.
If you swing the golf club too far inside in the backswing the golf club will not go up enough and when the clubhead returns to the bottom of the arc it will be too shallow at impact. If the golf club returns too shallow the clubhead will not go under the golf ball and the leading edge will strike the center or top of the golf ball causing a skulled shot. This is the golfers worst nightmare. On the other hand if you swing the golf club too far outside in the backswing the golf club will swing up too much and when the clubhead returns to the bottom of the arc it will be too steep at impact. If the golf club returns too steep the clubhead will dig too much into the turf can cause a fat golf shot.
During the set-up the ball position, weight position and handle position play a huge roll in swinging the golf club back on the correct path which in turn will insure the clubhead swinging back down on the correct path with the correct angle. So make sure you don’t take the setup for a pitch shot for granted.
As the clubhead swings away from the golf ball if your weight moves back with the golf club the clubhead will not swing up enough and you will not have a steep angle in the downswing. This mistake is a very common one amongst higher handicap golfers. If you can train yourself to keep 70% of your weight on your left side during the backswing you are half way home to a great impact position when pitching.
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.