Tuesday 21st February 2017
All Session – Pitching
“This is a game of misses. The guy who misses best is going to win.”
Short game, short game, short game. It is one of the most common pieces of advice that I get given to me since starting this sport. ‘you hit the ball well but you need to work on your short game then your handicap will come down….’ that type of thing. I had played my first couple of rounds at Prestbury in recent weeks and had heard it already. So going into this first lesson for 6 weeks due to the birth of DT’s first child I had this right at the front of my mind for our lesson plan. Chuck into the mix the 2 week clock was on for the BMW Golf Cup World Final in Dubai we discussed that where my iron striking was right now we knew that could get me competitive but it was going to be 100 and in that could make me a winner.
After the usual warm up of striking balls with an 8 iron, we quickly reached for the 56 degree wedge and DT started to get me to think in distance not swing. How it feels to hit 50, 60, 70,80, 90 yards…..how fast the club moves when I nail it.
Trackman Pitching Test
I have loved doing the Trackman combine test in previous lessons. In the full combine you are hitting 8 shots off each club to various distances and measuring your game of golf, scoring you depending how far you are from your target. Today I learned there was also a pitching test which was for 50-100 yard distances, looking at where you pitched the ball not how far it went. You hit 4 balls at each distance, scoring each one and averages are then calculated of your scores for each distance as well as your overall average. These stats can then be compared to the online database of all Trackman tests to guage where your scores are at compared to other handicap golfers. I did this test twice with the second one being the better of the two, scoring an average of 60 out of 100.
These stats help show not only am I on the right track but also gives me the insite that I should be trying to get my ball on the course to be pitching between 80-90 yards so your probably aiming to get the ball to finish up between 85 and 100 yards from the pin. I know then that a full swing with my 56 or my 52 will get me closer than trying to smash it up to 50 yards where I struggle to get the right weight on the club.
DT got in and coached me today was on two things to straighen up a pull I was doing with more shots going left than straight or right.
1. Swing angle get steeper so club isnt coming around the body as much with a wedge in my hand (as we have actually been working a lot on the out to in swing path on longer irons)
2. Club face squaring off on impact to reduce the ball pulling left.
We spent a lot of time working on these aspects of the pitch with great affect. Moving away from the Trackman stuff for a while and just hitting some softer balls to get used to this new swing path and ball striking swing thoughts. The higher angle of attack was actually causing me to get some tight muscle pain in my shoulder because it was a new action for them and had more tension in the shoulder muscles to keep maximum control possible on the club.
We finished off by going back to the Trackman pitching test to see how the lessons had impacted my game. We were both extremely pleased with the results improving and a new average score PB of 72. As you can see from the image that puts me at about a 3 handicap golfer – I wish!!
Next week we are doing 5 hours of lessons split into an 18 hole course management lesson and a putting lesson before boarding the flight to Dubai. It’s coming up fast!