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WHY BOUNCE SHOULD BE YOUR BEST FRIEND FOR PITCHING

Welcome to another MAPGOLF Blog post. Today we are discussing how the bounce of your wedge should be used as a forgiveness tool. For those who don’t know, the bounce of a wedge is found on the sole of the wedge (bottom edge that lies on the ground at address). The bounce is measured by the degree created from the sole line and the ground as shown below.

A high percentage of my students that come to me for short game advice will have the tendency to ‘chunk’ and ‘thin’ pitch shots, especially from tight lies (I am sure most reader can relate to this). The most common fault I see in their technique is a ball position that is back in their stance and with the hands pressed towards the target. This brings the Leading edge, or the ‘knife edge’ as I like to call it into play. We want to avoid the knife edge as this is what causes the ball to drive further into the ground and cause that chunk shot.

One of the main reasons I believe that these players adopt this ‘digging’ pitching style is from playing on links courses where tight lies are a common theme. The player may then begin to fear thinning the ball and therefore tend to hit down on the ball trying to force the ball then turf type strike. This more often than not will lead to more problems. Even though the leading edge looks raised off the ground. This will help create a crisper contact and an increase in spin.

The feeling I work on with my clients is that on the downswing, the clubhead is like a plane landing, shallow and brisk. This shallow angle of attack will allow the bounce to create an aquaplane type scenario so that the club does not dig into the ground. We work on adjusting the set up and drills to create the right feelings we are looking for. Below is a quick video from a coach named Kevin Hinton who demonstrates what drill he uses to help promote incorporating the bounce more in his pitch shots.

***WARNING…DO NOT TRY ON OUR GREENS *** haha

The key piece of information I want you to take away from the video is the ‘shaft lean’ that Kevin speaks of. By returning the shaft lean to a more neutral position at impact (point the end of the grip to yop, the bounce will be in contact with the ground rather than the leading edge. This is a great tip for all you golfers who are members at links courses or just struggle pitching on different grass conditions as this techniques works well in all conditions. Give it a try!

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