You’re 5-30 yards off the green and your tasting par. Oh for that nice high and soft pitch shot. Then you stub the shot or skull it over the green. Sound familiar? I see so many of you try to hit this shot with too much arm movement and with WAY too much shifting of your weight. The inconsistency occurs because it’s hard to “time” your arm/hand swing with your lower body dance moves. Sometimes your arms swing too fast and up (instead of delivering the club head down to the ground), resulting in a knifed skulled shot. Soon after, as the pain of the previous shot is still in your memory, you slow your arms down, and splat, welcome to the next fat shot. Time to consider fewer moving parts!
The fix is in a serving platter!! Imagine you had to pass the hors d’oeuvres on the platter to the person standing on the target side of you, ahead of your lead leg. If you use JUST your arms, the items will go flying off the platter! (picture 1).
Here’s a better approach. How about keeping your arms connected to your chest and turning your chest, keeping the platter in front of you at all times. (picture 2).
Notice that your upper body turn activates a small turn in your lower body, and a feeling of tucking your hips under you so that you are standing tall as your platter is delivered. Maintaining your tilted over spine angle is waaay overrated. Instead, feel your back extend and your eyes and head release as you deliver the (platter) golf club, keeping it in front of you.
For the smaller shots, I encourage you to keep your feet quiet and mostly grounded, staying centered as you hit the shot. No need to let anyone see the bottom of your trail shoe. Shifting your weight is too dangerous here and unnecessary! Regardless of the shot length, start with your weight favoring your front foot. For righties, having about 60% of your weight pre-loaded on your left side, and maintaining this sensation while making your backswing, will ensure that your club hits the ground in the same place more consistently. Deliver your sand wedge with the same movement you felt serving the hors d’oeuvres on the platter, with your arms staying quiet and connected to your chest. The secret is the upper body TURN to your guest (the target), keeping the platter and food steady until you’re standing tall, as your eyes follow and lock on to the target. A recipe for good pitch shots…crisp and tasty morsels.