• Taking the Club Back Correctly on Pitch shots


    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:

    Rotate toe Set-upI 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.

    Rotate toe 1As I start my backswing, the toe of the club starts to rotate away from the ball gradually.

    Rotate toe 2This rotation happens because my right elbow stays put during the first part of the backswing.

    Rotate toe 3As the club-head travels farther up from the ground, the toe of the club keeps rotating…

    Rotate toe shaft level…Until the shaft is parallel to the ground. This position is where I stop to check if my backswing is on track.

    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.)

    First part of back-swing check list

    Below are some pictures of the start of my full swing backswing with a 4-iron to compare with my pitch shot backswing above:




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2 Responsesso far.

  1. R.Miller says:

    Do the techniques and checkpoints above apply to full shots as well when using Mid/long irons or woods/driver?

    • Grant says:

      A couple of the checkpoints do apply to full shots: The right elbow in front of the spine and the shaft approximately parallel to the target line when level with the ground do apply. However, I have more shoulder turn, a lot more weight loading on my right leg and more width during the first part of the full swing backswing: So at the beginning of the full swing backswing my right arm is straighter. Also, I use a weaker left hand grip on the short game, so that helps me get the clubface rotating more open on the backswing of pitch shots. I will post a picture of the start of my full swing backswing with a 4-iron to compare at the bottom of this post. Thanks!