Get to Your Front Foot

You’ll pitch bet­ter if you don’t hang back

Golf Digest Middle East - - Play Your Best Golf Made Easy By David Leadbetter - — WITH RON KASPRISKE Pho­to­graphs by J.D. Cuban

Great ad­vice to re­mem­ber when hit­ting pitch shots is to swing through im­pact on a shal­low an­gle, let­ting the bot­tom of the club­head slide along the turf.

Hav­ing said that, I’ve seen the ap­pli­ca­tion of this ad­vice prove trou­ble­some for some am­a­teurs, be­cause they try to do it off the wrong foot—the back foot. This typ­i­cally hap­pens be­cause the golfer wants to help get the ball in the air with some un­nec­es­sary hand and body english. There’s no need for that. Wedges have more than enough loft to pro­duce a high-and-soft shot, es­pe­cially if the an­gle of at­tack is shal­low—think skim, not dig.

So what I want you to do is make sure your body is be­ing sup­ported by your lead foot as you swing through im­pact. An easy way to in­grain this into your pitch­ing game is with the clas­sic step drill. It’s rem­i­nis­cent of Gary Player’s sig­na­ture move of walk­ing to­ward the tar­get in a seem­ingly con­tin­u­ous mo­tion af­ter he struck the ball. In this drill, swing down feel­ing all of your weight shift into the front foot. As your club is about to meet the ball from that shal­low ap­proach, your back foot should be off the ground and start­ing to move to­ward the tar­get. Hit the shot and step for­ward as you see me do­ing here.

Get­ting your weight for­ward is go­ing to help make your pitch­ing game much more re­li­able.

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