Setup for High Pitch Shots

Setup for High Pitch Shots

When we have to hit a little high shot up and over the bunker because the pin is tight and we do not have a lot of green to work with, we want to make sure that we can send the ball up and make it stop pretty quickly. This is a shot that scares a lot of people but if you get good with it you can save a lot of strokes. The key is setting up for success. The things I am going to do are first of all I am going to open the face a little bit. I like to open the face above the ground at almost eye level so that I can dial the face to one o’clock and then I place my grip on it. It is not just a grip adjustment at ground level where it turn the face, I am actually put the club at one o’clock with my grip on and then I lower the club. The next thing I am going to do is play the ball more forward in my stance. The low shot is played back, the medium trajectory shot is played more towards the center and the high shots are played more towards my front foot. Once I get set up in this position my shaft should be fairly neutral with the face. What I want to avoid here is any forward lean on the shaft. A forward-leaning shaft tends to deloft the face and when you deloft it there is a tendency to make the ball go lower or even shoot off to the right. So I want to make sure that I have a neutral shaft. My weight is evenly distributed and the only thing I have left is making a nice paced swing. This is a longer, lazier swing. I call this the big easy. If you look at it my arms are not swinging very fast, it is a very smooth swing. I am not trying to spin the ball very much, I am trying to make it stop because of the trajectory. If you notice when I finish my arms are way over to the left. This is a shot that is definitely on an arc. It is a nice soft arm swing on an arc. If you can get good with this shot I promise you that you can save some strokes. But be smart, know what you are capable of. If you are not comfortable with the lie or you are not comfortable with an open face then you might want to play the medium trajectory shot and put the ball in the middle of the green and take your chance putting. Practice the high trajectory shot. It is a fun shot to play and it sure can save you strokes.

Category: High Shots
Sub-Category: Pitching, Short Game, Ball Position
About the Instructor
Sandy LaBauve
Sandy LaBauve
Kierland Golf Club
15636 N. Clubgate Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Tel: 480-922-9283

Sandy LaBauve is one of the world's best beginner, junior and women's instructors. She is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and is Founder and Creative Consultant for the LPGA Junior Girls Golf Club.


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