HOW DO YOU HIT A PITCH SHOT OFF THE HARDPAN?
To hit a pitch shot from a tight lie on hardpan, you have to be hitting down on the ball a little bit, catching the leading edge of the club almost to where it's kind of scraping the ground. You want to create a little bit of a forward shaft lean that causes the club to dig in just a little bit. Hinge and hold that angle through impact and you'll see the dirt flying up and you should get out safely.
Hitting off of hardpan can be one of the most challenging shots on the golf course. You can so easily hit it fat or thin if your angle of approach is too shallow. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Shawn Humphries says to hit down and through to beat the toughest of lies - hardpan. Shawn points out that he grew up playing on hardpan in Oklahoma and will teach you a process, so that you can hit this shot with confidence. He describes the proper setup and the proper swing mechanics. He shares how you have to get after this shot with good acceleration at impact.
Hitting a Pitch Shot Off the Hardpan
One of the difficult lies you'll find on a golf course is on hardpan. There's no grass and the ground is hard as a rock. It's a difficult shot and most club golfers will have a tendency to hit this shot either fat or thin. The reason is they don't use the proper angle of attack, with the club coming down to the ball. If your golf club comes into the ball on too shallow an angle, where it's too close to the ground, or too far back behind the ball, if you hit the ground, you'll hit a fat shot. If you miss the ground, you'll catch the ball on the upswing and hit it thin.
Here is the correct process for executing a pitch shot on rock like hardpan. Most players have a tendency to want to try to lift the ball off of this lie. But you really can't get the club underneath the ball. So, what you have to do is come down and catching the leading edge, almost to where it's kind of scraping the ground. You don't want the club bouncing in and hitting the ball thin. You want to create a little bit of a forward shaft lean that causes the club to dig in just a little bit.
When you set up to the ball, you want to have your ball position just a little bit left of your belt buckle, and as you lean into it, your sternum leans with your body. You'll use forward shaft lean that is a little bit in front of the ball. When you come into the impact zone, you'll hold this angle, keeping it really firm and adding speed as you go through the ball. When you make contact with the ball, you'll hold the angle of the club, adding speed. Remember, you've got to add speed to this shot.
As you set up to the shot, take a couple practice strokes. Lean into the left side forward shaft lean and hinge the wrist a couple times. Hinge and hold that angle and you'll see the dirt flying up. Now that you've got the club bottoming out the same spot every time, you're ready to execute the pitch shot. Check your ball position. Check your forward shaft lean. Get the hinge in your wrists and don't be afraid to let the club to scrape the ground and pop this hardpan.
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