How to avoid the common pitching or bunker shot mistake
By John Woodroffe – Master Professional, World of Golf London
The normal error that people make when pitching or getting out of bunkers is to over-think it. Always a bad idea in golf. The golfer will think “I have to get under the ball” and this is quite understandable as they need the golf ball to lift. Ultimately the golf club you are using, a wedge or a sand wedge, is brilliantly designed with loft to lift the golf ball. All the golfer has to do is hit the bottom of the ball but rather than “getting under the ball” the way this is achieved is by hitting down on the ball.
Picture 1 shows what a golfer will do at impact if they are trying to get under the ball. They lean back and try to scoop the ball into the air. All this does is cause them to reach the low point of the arc of the swing too early and then they hit the ball on an upward arc, causing topping of the ball.
Picture 2 shows the tip that will help. Lifting the back foot up onto the tip of the toe puts all the weight onto the front foot. Then swing and your weight will stay on the front foot and the angle that your club attacks at will be much steeper, thus getting the club very easily to the bottom of the ball and allowing the loft of the club to do what it is there for and elevate your golf ball up and onto the green. Once you have tried this and seen how well it works you will play all your short game shots including bunker shots like this. Sure your mates will take the mickey out of you, but if your scores improve, who cares.