By Jeff Ritter
Golf can be a complex game but there are a few trusted drills that have the ability to quickly turn chaos into simplicity. The best combination for fast improvement, especially in short game play, is to challenge yourself to learn how to successfully hit pitch shots both one-handed and off of one foot.
I can't emphasize enough how awesome this drill is. The thing that makes it so great is how it seamlessly integrates learning proper hand action, pivot, balance, leverage, clubface control and rhythm all into one. In fact, this exercise is really hit or miss. If you're able to make contact and produce a reasonable shot, I guaranteed you're doing a lot of things right. If you're off, contact will most likely be a complete disaster.
Once you get a feel for it, the proper arc and sequencing of the swing become very intuitive. I can't tell you how many times I've had both amateurs and high-level players contact me via email or over the phone about how terrible their pitching is. My immediate suggestion, "Hit a few one-handed off one foot and let me know how you do." Within one session, without hands-on coaching, most say they've gotten a ton better.
In addition, this also can be a great drill for fixing a slice. You'll find trying this with a 7 or 8 iron and hitting some balls off a medium-height tee, will quickly deliver the swing path and club face conditions to produce a draw pattern.
Are you up to the challenge? I guarantee every player on tour can do this without even thinking about it. Prove that you can do the same and you'll have an unbelievable self-coaching tool to instantly elevate your game!