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Best Young Teachers

Use The Bounce On Pitches

Swing with only your right arm, and pretend you're hitting off a green

Kevin Hinton

DON'T DO THIS! I'm pitching off a green only to make a point. I must use the club's bounce to avoid damaging the grass.

July 2012

Just like a doctor prescribes medication, a good golf instructor intends certain tips only for certain students. The following is strictly for golfers who struggle to get pitches in the air because they don't effectively use the bounce of the wedge. Is this you? If your ball flight is low, your divots are deep and your club tends to snag in the turf, then all symptoms point to yes.

Kevin Hinton

Your hands are probably too far forward at impact, excessively activating the leading edge of the club. This creates an unforgiving situation in which you must make perfect contact. Even so, the height to your shots will be limited. You must learn to employ the club's bounce, or to strike the turf with at least a bit of the trailing edge. This is often a better player's problem, as the instinct of most beginners is to scoop the ball with the shaft leaning too far back through impact.

Try this: Put your left hand in your pocket, and swing the wedge with your right arm only. Feel the clubhead pass your hand as it bottoms out. Now, pretend you're on a putting green and hit the pitch. It would be a sin to take a divot, and the only way to avoid doing so is to properly use the bounce.

Practice this on a patch of closely mowed turf on your range, not on a green. I don't want to get an angry letter from your course's superintendent.

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