Taking the club back correctly during the first part of your pitch shots sets you up for success on the downswing and follow through.
Here’s what I look for during the first part of my backswing:
I set up with the grooves of the club-head square to the target and I make sure that my shoulders are parallel to my target line. In the picture above, my target is the red flag on the practice green at Starfire Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ.
At this point in the backswing, with the shaft level with the ground, I ask myself 3 questions:
1. Is the shaft of the club pointed parallel to the target line? (See blue arrows below.)
2. Is the toe of the club pointed up toward the sky? (See red arrow below.)
3. Is my right elbow in front of my spine line? (See yellow line/arrow below.)
Below are some pictures of the start of my full swing backswing with a 4-iron to compare with my pitch shot backswing above: