How to Hit Proper Pitch Shots

Even very skilled golfers get terrified around the greens at times. Hit a couple pitch shots fat and lay the sod over the ball or skull one into your playing partners bag and your confidence is shot for the round. This video shows you how to never hit it fat again.

  • Unlike a full swing, a pitch shot is not about power, but finesse and control
  • Most importantly, it takes a lot of spin, so you need a lot of loft - a 60° wedge is ideal
  • Imagine slipping the blade under the ball, instead of hitting down on it
  • Move the ball up in your stance and keep the hands soft for some extra release to add loft through impact
  • Set up square, weaken your grip, and get a little knee & hip rotation so you come through very shallow
  • Hinge the right wrist a little to keep the club face shut - the hands should still lead the club at impact

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Dave
I worked on this shot over the past week, and used it today for all pitches and chips out to 70 yards with a 8-iron. 60-degree around the fringe with the exception of a couple 8-iron chips to get over a patch of heavy grass. Wow! This made all the difference in my shot game. Best round I had in my life. Question…. Why would we not want use this for all shots 100 yards in for accuracy?
June 25, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Awesome. Great to hear short game and round were stellar! You've been asking some good questions, so I know you've been working. Starting to pay off. To keep the move shorter and more precise because it would be difficult to hit 100 yards. For that length shot it would be better suited to hit more a penetrating wedge to control spin/trajectory.
June 25, 2021
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Dave
So, after reviewing the penetrating wedge video that you suggested, it seems that only difference here to the standard pitch shot, is adjusting the ball position back in the stance. Am I missing something else here?
June 25, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Ball position, keeping sternum more ahead, less arms/hands - more a body release.
June 25, 2021
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Dave
Thanks, Craig. I’ll check out that video.
June 25, 2021
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Dave
Great video on the pitch. However. Chuck mentions that he uses a 60 degree most of the time around the green, but in another video he talks about the PW, SW, and 8-iron. What am I missing here?
June 24, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. When you are trying to keep it low and let the ball roll more like a putt. Using the clubs mentioned in the later part of your question is preferable. The more advanced you get you will start to find a feel. When playing super fast/hard greens players that have more control may opt for a higher lofted wedge because they feel they can control the spin better.
June 24, 2021
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Kevin
Hi Craig - I’ve had some success with this technique and feel it has decreased my dispersion around the greens. The one part I’m not sure about is how Chuck talks about using your knees to help shallow out the club etc. I feel when my knees get soft : flowy it changes my low point and I blare shots or hit them fat - including delighted wedge shots. Also, if my knees shift laterally too much it moves my upper body sternum too far in front of the ball. Any suggestion on how to balance those moves?
October 9, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Sounds like you are over cooking the leg work. Soft. Try not to change you levels so much. The little bit of weight helps shallow out the swing. Take a look at Master the Golf Chipping Stroke. You will see it is more than likely a quieter version that what you are doing.
October 9, 2020
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Fred
Is this the hit you would use on a 30-60 yard hit?
September 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. You could use this for those. But, getting into the 60 yard territory you would need a bigger swing and/or more club.
September 12, 2020
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Fred
I'm a bit confused what's the difference of a pitch and chip? Are they 2 terms of the same thing just pitch being longer? So what techniques would you use in the 40-ish range?
September 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. A big pitch (40 yards plus) would need to have a change in club or bigger stroke. Most players tend to do the move in Penetrating Wedge Shot Video. That way the flight can be controlled. Chip is a much smaller shot from off the green where the focus is going to be to run it on the ground more. Pitch will be a little larger usually up to about 30-40 yards max where you are trying to loft it in the air more for carry with a little more spin.
September 12, 2020
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Fred
I use my 60 degree with varying amounts of swing from 70 yards and in until I can bump and run. It's such a finesse thing that I dont have yet. Was opening the stance for the chips but will move try to do more of a closed stance and hope for better results
September 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. You can have it slightly open (stance) if you want. But, unnecessary because you are just adding more variables. The short game is all about finesse. Sadly, just takes a lot of practice.
September 12, 2020
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Fred
Last question for the day assuming I hit the driver in the sweet spot(ish) the drive starts straight then slices, I've read so many conflicting views, is it a swing path issue or an open face issue? I suspect swing path because if you throw a ball at a wall at an angle it does not fly off straight if that makes sense
September 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. More than likely a clubface issues. 85% of ball flight is dictated by club face angle. Make sure shoulders are square at impact, so club can turnover.
September 12, 2020
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Blake
Hey, RJ. Playing some of the best golf of my life, breaking low scores - thanks to your help! Qu: my nine o'clock pitch shot seems to work from up to 30 or 40 yards out. But after that, I don't have the distance. Do I use a full swing from 40-80 yards? Something else? Also: referred a buddy to RSG. Can he ask for you?
August 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Blake. I apologize, but RJ has left Rotary Swing. I am happy to hear the pitch shot is working so well. I would advise a fuller swing, or more penetrating wedge shot from the distances you are describing.
August 6, 2020
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Mel
A minor negative point which can irritate... a lot of demonstartion explanation on what NOT to do. I may get good at it.
May 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mel. Thanks for the constructive criticism.
May 21, 2020
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Blake
Hi, RJ. I see in this video the moves that you were talking about in our lesson, when the club shallows. Does this shallowing move occur only cause of the knee rotation/ weight shift without any simultaneous turn of the upper body, causing the hands to drop independent of the body? If not, what is it that causes the shallower downswing?
April 18, 2020
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Just like at the top of the normal swing, the weight shift causes the weight of the club to hinge the wrists... where at the top of the swing this gives us more lag, at the bottom of the swing during a chip shot, this wrist hinge elongates the bottom of the swing arc, keeping it from having too steep of an angle of attack (i.e. shallowing out)
April 20, 2020
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Frank
What do you change to increase distance, speed or length of swing or both?
November 28, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. Start with making a bigger rotation (length) will keeping it smooth. If you need to add more juice from there just a gradual increase in speed.
November 28, 2019
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Frank
What causes the club to release if you keep your body moving?
July 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. The pitch shot isn't for power. The club will still rotate. But, not as excessively, or aggressively as it would for a full strike. Hands soft with some body will still allow for some release. Overly tense hands will not allow for the club to swing.
July 10, 2019
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Phillip
I once saw a tour player (Jason allred) hit a shot i thought impossible. About 50 yds, and the ball flew very low, no more than about 6-7 feet off the ground, with massive spin to the point it stopped in about 5 feet when it hit. What I really didn't understand was that his setup was with the ball slightly forward in the stance, but with the face rotated quite open, so that effectively the face had probably 70+ degrees of loft. How can the ball fly low with such massive loft. Whenever I try it, it goes way up? This is a shot I REALLY want.
March 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Phillip. I would have to see the shot Jason hit. But, more than likely he added aggressive bowing of the lead wrist and kept his upper half ahead of the shot. You would need to combine some of the principles from the Penetrating Wedge Shot and Day 2: Hitting Low Shots. Understanding a quieter release and really getting the lead wrist bowed.
March 4, 2019
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Ronan
Hi, Until where in the backswing can you do this technique of hinging the right wrist? 1/2 a swing? 3/4? Ronan
January 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronan. You can go all the way to a 3/4 swing. But, typically a pitch is going to be around the 1/2 swing mark.
January 30, 2019
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piper
2 questions: 1 do I hold the club face open in my follow through or let it then over? And then my 2nd questions what do I do differently when I want a ball to check vs roll out? And these questions refer to green side shots. Thank you
January 21, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Piper. You will still allow for some face rotation, but you don't want full on release (like a driver). Take a look at How to Chip - Spinning Chip Shots Video for spin control. Also, How to Chip a Golf ball - Proper Setup will show you stock little check, but run out chip.
January 21, 2019
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syed
For pitch shots from 50-100 yards, should I be releasing the club (knuckles down) or preserve the club loft by swinging my arms around the body. If I do the latter the ball goes higher. However Chuck mentioned in the 100 yards in pitching video that you ideally want a lower piercing ball flight. I am able to do that better when I release the club face. Chuck didn't mention specifically if club should be released or not. He talks about moving the ball back in the stance to get the lower ball flight. Can you please clarify. Thanks.
January 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Syed. You will still have some release. However, the release will be quieter and little bit more body oriented. You should be able to allow for some bow in the wrist to lower the flight, but you want to keep the big release with arms/hands toned down to take off spin.
January 2, 2019
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John
Really appeciate this method for pitches around the green. I have a non-union right wrist fracture which allows me to hinge up and down, but not side to side. I can also rotate my arms free. This usually helps me on regular shots as I can naturally rotate and hinge and keep the club square. I can't quite do this method as my R wrist won't hinge to the R. Do you think I should still keep the club closed and hinge up (which seems to also work), go ahead and rotate to hinge, or perhaps something else? Thanks!
July 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. I would go ahead and rotate to hinge. This will at least keep the face a little shallower into the strike due to the added rotation. If you close and hinge up. I could see the club getting too far outside the hands.
July 29, 2018
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John
Excellent.... thank you, Craig!
July 30, 2018
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Kenny
Thank you! Thank you! I have been working with an instructor for years that views chips and pitches very differently. The chip is a "hold off" shot from just about anywhere around the green, and the club he uses is based on the amount of fly vs roll. I have tried unsuccessfully to do this. I use my 58* wedge for virtually every shot around the green with pretty good success; chips and pitches. There were key points in your video that I like; setting up square, narrow stance, and releasing the club with very soft hands. I have always been told to set up open, like 30*, for chips and pitches. As a RH, my tendency has always been to hit the ball to the left of my target which is very frustrating. Now I see that I don't have to!! My stance was always a little wide for stability, but that too makes no sense using your pitch shot. I still do not have much release after the strike. I can generate spin, but the club head doesn't get above waist high. I need to work on that. Again... great video!
June 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ken. Much appreciative of the post. Thanks for the compliments and good luck with the new stroke.
June 22, 2018
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tim
i am hitting all my chip and pitch shots thin. Can you point me to the correct video to eliminate this problem. thanks tim
June 5, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tim. Take a look at Master the Golf Chipping Stroke.
June 5, 2018
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Sam
For chipping and pitching....would be we using the same weight shift/post up feel (dragging leg from Fixing Your Weight Transfer" video) for the full swing (just toned down since we are already pre-set on the left)? Thanks
June 3, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sam. Yes. Very toned down and with a lack of aggressive post up.
June 3, 2018
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Kerry
I have watched all of the pitching and chipping videos, and have found them very helpful. Though it wasn’t suggested, I also incorporated the right arm ball throw into my pitching practice, and it made a huge help in my accuracy. Before I practice further, I would like confirmation re. pitching and chipping technique. Set up: both pitching (P) and chipping (C) have a narrow stance, but ball position for C is off the right instep, and P is off the Left instep. P utilizes a slightly closed takeaway; does that also apply to C, or is the swing so short it doesn’t come into effect? P allows the wrists to break through impact to impart spin with very soft hands throughout the swing, while C has a firm left wrist that pulls throughout the stroke. If I have misunderstood anything, please correct me — and a suggestion — I would find it very helpful to watch a “Pitching and Chipping — comparisons and contrasts” video. Thanks again. Guy
March 28, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Guy. Your notes look pretty much on par. The (C) you don't need to concentrate on it, but will tend to stay slightly closed as well. But, with such a small motion no need for major focus unless you roll the hands. The (C) correctly maintains a flat to bowed lead wrist through contact. No breaking down. Thanks for the suggestion for a video topic.
March 28, 2018
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GEORGE
Do you have instructional videos for approach shots between 100 - 50 yards or this would fall under the normal RST swing technique?
January 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. Depending on how you would want to play the shot. It could be a shorter full swing motion, or most players chose the (Penetrating Wedge Shot) video.
January 29, 2018
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Frank
Any axis tilt? Are shoulders more level than full swing and head more over ball than behind it?
August 11, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. A small amount of axis tilt. With the narrower stance and type of shot. You only need minimal. The head will still behind, but not much (over the ball is typical feel though).
August 11, 2017
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Ken
Chuck/Chris, Great Video above regarding the explanation of position of the ball to the body and the reason why it should be forward and not back (as instructed in the past). I regard myself as a reasonable short game player (with my old ball back position) but when practising after say 100 reps of chip shots to different targets, I tend to (Heaven Forbid say the word) Lamb Shank nearly every the ball to the point where I put my wedge away and do something else?????? Is this because my club face is as Chuck pointed out too open and not trapping the ball on a slightly closed decline? I will try the wrist hing on the takeaway to see if I can overcome this problem. Or do you have any other ideas why this is happening?
August 9, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Ken, It's really tough for us to say exactly what issue you are dealing with here without seeing the technique you are using first hand. If you are due for a swing review, submit some chip shots so we can take a close look at it and help you identify the problem.
August 13, 2017
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Gilbert
Video does not play.
August 6, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Gilbert, I just tested the video and it appears to be working just fine from our end. Check you internet connection and maybe try a different browser and if that doesnt work, then head to the help section in the top right corner for further assistance and to submit a ticket for us to help you with.
August 6, 2017
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Mark
For this pitch shot, is the speed of the body and the speed of the club approximately the same. if the club head speed is significantly greater than the speed of the body turn, is there more of a danger that a mis-hit could be disastrous compared to a hinge and hold shot?
August 6, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Mark, The body movements and the speed in which you perform them, should remain constant. The body movements are adding the speed for the distance of the shot you are trying to hit. If the hands and arms outrace the body in the sequence, then yes, that would lead to poor results.
August 6, 2017
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Dave
works like a charm. what about shorter shots? 60 or swing less?
August 5, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Dave, You can use this technique for shorter shots, you just need to tone down the amount of club travel by focusing on the body movements. You need to play around with this and develop feel for the shot you are trying to hit.
August 6, 2017
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Gerry
What about the concept of hinge and hold?
August 5, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Gerry, We have a video that talks about this in detail. Go to the video search feature and type "hinge" and you can see that for further information.
August 6, 2017
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bradford
do you have techniques that can help with 45 yard chip and run and bite hard on the green where you don't have a lot of area to hit the ball high.
August 5, 2017
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Benson
hi there. can i ask what the difference is between this and the penetrating wedge shot video? is it basically the same technique but different length of backswing/ball position or combination of the two? or is this one a case of letting the club slide under and the penetrating shot is a firmer release through impact?
July 11, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Penetrating wedge shot is for longer more full shots and is teaching you how to keep the flight of the ball down. You can use that technique for pitch shots and just tone back the amount of club travel. You can also use this technique for pitch shots as there can be some subtle differences. More just depends on the shot you are faced with.
July 18, 2017
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Jason
The wrist hinge required in this shot is not quite the same as the wrist hinge in the full swing takeaway and Clay's pitch technique, correct? It's my understanding that this type of hinging is to be avoided in the full swing, whereas the hinging Clay discusses is the same hinging we want in the full swing but happens sooner in a pitch/chip. Please tell me that's correct. Also, is there less shoulder elevation in the pitching takeaway vs. the full swing takeaway? No shoulder elevation for chipping and progressively more shoulder elevation as pitches get longer? Thanks.
June 2, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. Yes, this will be hinging the trail wrist going back to keep the club shut. In the other pitch video. The wrist set is earlier, but just not as much face rotation due to the early set. Yes, more of a progression with elevation as you work from a smaller shot with almost zero (chip) to full swing (takeaway).
June 2, 2017
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Ray
If I do not have a 60 degree wedge, can one use a sand wedge instead. Are there any changes needed for that club?
May 11, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. You may use a sandwedge. You would need to check and make sure it doesn't have too much bounce.
May 11, 2017
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Ray
Can you tell me the acceptable amount of bounce.
May 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. For the shot above and to have the ability to really slide underneath the ball. Usually, about 4 degrees or less of bounce. That is why players usually carry a lob wedge. The SW to keep some bounce on 8-12 and a LW to have low bounce on.
May 12, 2017
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David
I tend to lead with the upper body in an effort to get my weight forward which can lead to low flat shots going slightly to the right. Any advice? Also is there any way we can search on previous questions we have asked?
March 14, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. I don't know of a way to search for previous questions answered. Other than using Control + F and typing your name under the particular video. And, searching until you find yours. I know it is more for a full swing feeling, but try Perfecting Your Golf Impact 2 of 4 in the Bonus Series. The tiny weight shift back and through should help you get a better sensation of small shift from the lower half.
March 15, 2017
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sambhu
So good in simplifying the golf game but please have a pro edit these videos.. Highly repetitive and disorganised!
February 12, 2017
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Gareth
Any tips on how to stop blading these types of shots? My chip shot has improved but I'm really struggling with my lofted chips pitches. Should the left wrist be bowed and if so is that not going to deloft the face
August 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gareth. Take a look at the Spinning Chip Shots Video. It will help with the proper glide. The lead wrist will not be excessively bowed and more neutral.
August 15, 2016
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Marc
Hi Craig, I understand the point about shutting the club face by hinging the right wrist in the backswing what I cannot see is what the shoulders do in the backswing? Is the backswing predominantly driven by the right arm which then possibly pulls the shoulders on the longer swings or are the arms and the right arm in particular activated by the shoulder turn like in the full swing? Best, Marc
June 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marc. You will still initiate with the shoulder turn or pull with trail shoulder/oblique.
June 20, 2016
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Rob
Great video, Is this technique similar for how I would approach hitting greenside bunker shots? Rob
May 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rob. Not exactly. Take a look at How to Hit a Sand Shot Like a Pro.
May 16, 2016
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Roderick
well this is a difficult concept to digest because he talks about opposite conditions a lot. I practiced on short shots but they went pretty high, certainly not low spinners (using my 60* wedge). he talks about adding loft and hitting it low at the same time. I think that is what I don't understand. Also, he called it a chip shot far more than a pitch shot...this is not criticism but I'm wondering how far out from the green would he use this shot? Would he use it with a more L to L swing? or just little shots around the green more 9:00 to 3:00?
April 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roderick. This is a shot from around the green. More 9 to 3 with a little more hinge in the wrist. The Perfect Pitch Shot Technique and Setup will be the longer type shot. This one is more like the Spinning Chip Shot. Quiet, quick bite shot from just off the green.
April 11, 2016
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Roderick
I got a chance to practice it today off tight lies into the practice green. Neat little shot. You have to be very quiet and as he says it's a finesse shot. I skulled the first few until I quit trying to hit it fast. I kinda let gravity release it and it started working. I will have to keep at it until I develop confidence in the shot. Thanks for a really great site which actually changes the way you hit the ball, and the instruction is very consistent from different instructors.
April 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roderick. It does take a little practice to get used too, but a neat little finesse shot from around the green to get it close to the pin. Truly appreciate the compliments of our site and instruction.
April 11, 2016
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Shane
So when I starting using this technique my short game improved immediately but now I started shanking pitches frequently and chunking them or coming up really short ? What can I be doing ?
April 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Make sure you feel the blade sliding or bottoming out in the proper spot. Work on the one arm drill in the How to Hit Chip - Spinning Shots.
April 7, 2016
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David
Hi Craig, I am a little confused when Chuck talks about weakening the grip as I would have thought this would promote an open face at impact and consequently shot's going left?
April 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. The weaker grip will help you more with finesse and control versus feeling like a power shot. It will allow you to have better awareness of the squareness of the face. You shouldn't struggle with the shot going left. The weaker grip combined with the shut face going back will help it not over rotate too soon before impact.
April 4, 2016
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David
Sorry Craig I meant shot's going right, not left.......
April 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. No problem. You will require less rotation to square the face from the more shut position going back.
April 7, 2016
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David
Hi Craig, Still don't follow as I would have thought the club would 'tend' to be more open going back with the weaker grip. I don't really see the need to alter the grip as you would not want to open the face on the way back for this shot for accuracy, just keep the face square to the path and return square to the path. Sorry to labour this but just need to get it right....
April 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. You will hinge the right wrist a little to keep the club face shut. With lack of rotation (due to being shut) the weaker grip will not have to rotate near as much to reach a square position at impact. The stronger or weaker grip won't affect that much face rotation in the takeaway, but lag angles and release in too impact. You can leave the grip where you would like on the shot, but weakening it tends to give the player a little more feel taking the power out of the equation.
April 8, 2016
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David
Hi Craig, OK, I think the penny has dropped! For the benefit of accuracy with theses short, delicate shot's the lead hand is weakened to pre-set a good impact position which presents a flat left wrist. The left forearm does not rotate on the way back but the trail wrist bends. On the way down the lead wrist is passive and the trail hand assists the face to release through impact with a feeling that it is 'sliding' the face under the ball. Is this about right?
April 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. At this point it feels like a quarter . Yes, I think you are getting the proper mental image and sequence.
April 10, 2016
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gordon
This is/would be (!) a beautiful shot to have. I would like to ask two questions. At ca 12 min 47 sec Chuck in summarising says that the "hands release in a way that would be opposite of a full swing", - in which way is it opposite? Is it not the same but more exagerrated in the speed and extent of forearm rotation ( with "opposite" being more held off as in fade)? My second question concerns the follow through, in the excellent slo mos at the end of the tutorial Chuck is keeping his hands close to his body, in fact somewhat chicken-winging (!), is that to encourage the rapid release? It certainly is a major difference to the extended arms final position appropriate to Clay Ballards "perfect pitch" shot.
March 27, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Opposite as in the full swing you are wanting to roll the release to close or square the face faster. This one more sliding underneath with the closing factor much less (Use the How to Chip - Spinning Chip Shot) if will give you a little more look or feel to the glide underneath release. Clay's perfect pitch is geared for a longer type shot and more of a roll out release of the ball. This one is designated for smaller and more delicate situations. The chicken winging look is the trail hand sliding underneath to help with adding speed versus overly closing the face down.
March 28, 2016
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gordon
Thanks Craig, now I see the difference. I must say that the option of posting questions coupled with the very prompt replies makes RST a good antidote to the routine frustrations of trying to improve at the game of golf!
March 29, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Thanks. We try to make it as complete as possible. I know all too well the feeling of confusion in the golf swing and not being able to figure out the answer until the next paid lesson. A few questions answered questions here and there can make a world of difference.
March 29, 2016
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Richard
Would this method be a good way to pitch a short shot out of a good lie out of sand
February 18, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. You could use it. But, would rather you stay with the "How to Hit a Sand Shot Like a Pro." Or, the "Perfecting Pitch Shot Technique" if it is a lot more carry from a good lie.
February 18, 2016
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Arnie
Although Chuck never addresses swing length directly, the demonstration swings at the end of the video appear to be a 9-to-3 swing. If I want a chip-like shot (high and spinning) to go farther than it does when I execute a 9-to-3 length swing, how should I do that? Longer swing? If so, what's the limit on swing length? If not, what would be another adjustment I could make add a little distance? Or should I accept the distance I get with a 9-to-3 swing as my max, and use a different swing for a longer distance?
February 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Arnie. I would experiment with different lofted clubs and swing length for more yards . However, you don't want to exceed more than a 3/4 length swing. If you need more distance without too much height. Take a look at the Perfect Pitch Shot Technique Video.
February 15, 2016
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thomas
How much bounce is Chuck using on his 60 degree wedge to gain spin. I looked to purchase one & there are many options. Thanks, Tom K.
December 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. Chuck, Myself and the rest of the RST crew typically have very low degrees of bounce on the 60. Around 3 or 4 degrees.
December 21, 2015
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Jose
No response back ..........
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jose. We apologize for the response time. A lot of the staff is on leave for the holiday weekend.
November 25, 2015
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Jose
I can't believe that this is all you have for videos on the short game section for premium members ...
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jose. You will find more short game videos in the Chipping and Specialty Shot Sections.
November 25, 2015
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Jose
I am a 8 handicap my wedge game is pretty good. So how are you supposed to hit a 90 yard pitch shot by flipping your wrists makes no sense you need to be very aggressive with wedge play don't you ?
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jose. With a 90 yard pitch shot your release will match more of a controlled release in line with a controlled compact backswing. It will tend to be a little more body driven with less forearm and hand rotation through the shot.
November 25, 2015
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Jose
The short game part of rotaryswing is very incomplete no talk of distance control ,out of rough,downhill lies ,I'm very disappointed these premium member videos are not premium videos
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jose. In this section, we have the Downhill Pitch Shot from the Rough and in the Specialty Shot Section the Downhill Lie Shot.
November 25, 2015
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Andrew
I see some comments and questions about the "hinge and hold" method vs the RST pitch technique that Clay Ballard covers. I have found that the great danger of the "hold" (for me at least) is a shank shot. In fact that method goofed up my whole swing. That release is so important (again, for me) that I practice that the most. I have wondered if anyone else has suffered from shots going severely offline due to a poor release. Are there any additional drills for wedge and pitch shot release techniques?
July 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. Other than your basic chip shot. The pitch shot (Ballard) is still the same release as the full swing. It is just quieter. The pitch shot isn't a for distance shot. More about accuracy and finesse. You can still release the club, but to take the emphasis off getting snap and into squaring the face smoothly.
July 14, 2015
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Gordon
I have been trying this technique for hitting my pitch shots and am extremely encouraged by the results. For bump and run chip shots would I use the same technique described here and simply play the ball back more (aligned with my back instep) or should I stick to the technique described by Clay for chip shots?
July 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Happy to hear about the good results. All depends on the shot and what you want out of it. Clay's version is better to keep the ball lower and hit more like a putt. This version will tend to have a higher launch and a little more spin to bite on the greens. I would stick with the two techniques to have two good options. If you try to blend them too much it will cause some consistency issues.
July 10, 2015
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Jim
I'm new here. I seem to blade a lot of these shots... I think the reason is that I stand up thru the strike... Is there a fundamental mistake I'm making either in my setup or backswing or am I just worried about chunking it?
July 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Fear of chunking is a normal feeling. I would work on some basic chip work first to get over the dreaded fat shot. Take a look at Proper Chipping Setup and Technique in the Chipping Section.
July 9, 2015
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Jim
Thanks. Is the takeaway technique for the full swing still in play in the short game? That is, the "box" moves the arms?
July 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Yes, even though with bigger pitch shots there might be some earlier wrist set. You are definitely using the box muscles with all RST moves.
July 10, 2015
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Jitu
The club face stays closed...doesn't open a bit, like a full shot Weight on front foot for all chip, pitch, sand shots
June 11, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jitu. The weight will stay on the lead foot and the club will tend to stay shut going back. With the hands leading ahead at impact the blade will slide under the ball for a good strike. Yes, primarily with the shorter shots the weight will be placed more on the lead foot at address.
June 12, 2015
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Loran
In the pitch shot, you want seventy percent of your weight on your left side, correct? And you rotate your a is on the left side?
May 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Yes to both.
May 21, 2015
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Benjamin
if you keep the club face square to the ball, instead of opening the blade, will the leading edge dig more if it is hit incorrectly
April 11, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Benjamin. It could have the tendency to do that especially if it gets a little steeper.
April 14, 2015
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Greg
If the penetrating wedge shot is used from 80 yards with the 60 degree and the Chuck's pitch shot used from 40 yards, what technique in used between those yardages?
April 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Greg. The Perfect Pitch Shot Technique Video can be used for more than 40 yards. You can also dial down the Penetrating Wedge Shot by choking down on the club and a shorter swing.
April 5, 2015
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gordon
- what would you recommend as the maximum backswing position for this type of pitch, 9 o'clock? - as you may have noted from a question elsewhere on the site, I am not clear about what exactly is meant by club release. Specifically, in the Related Article on this video there is the statement "if you want the ball to release a bit more when it lands, using this technique, you simply let the club release a bit more" but then a little later, Checkpoints for Practice, "move the ball up in your stance and keep the hands soft for some extra release to add loft through impact". - If the extra release adds loft wouldn't that increase spin and reduce release of the ball on landing? If you could point me in the direction of some clarifcation about club release I would be much relieved! Thanks on advance, Gordon.
March 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Gordon. I wouldn't go too much past 9 or 10 o'clock with this style. We have a few different release videos, but I am unsure if it will help the particular question. Nevertheless, if you take a look at the Perfect Pitch Shot Technique in this Section. Clay mentions the slight hold off versus the full release.
March 22, 2015
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gordon
Here I am again Craig, so do bear with me! I struggle with the concept of club release so perhaps rephrasing it would help me. Does club release mean squaring up the face at impact?, or is it more, for instance does it describe the extent to which the club face rotates after impact, with full release being e.g. a closed face at 3 o'clock and no release being an open face at that stage in the follow through? Returning to my my original dilemma, if release is the latter above, then the statement " if you want ...a bit more" is logical. Then, however, why would "extra release" add loft? My compliments once again on your prompt and useful responsiveness, regards, Gordon.
March 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. The goal is to try a slide the blade under. You want to imagine the back of the club hitting or sliding against the ground. Instead of a full release (like stock golf shot). Face rotating toe up (9 o'clock), square (at impact), back toe up (3 o'clock). You are using a little more right wrist hinge to keep the face shut going back and the release is more like an upswing too add loft throughout the strike. Think about it like a modified bunker shot without trying to hit the sand before the ball.
March 23, 2015
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James
Assuming that I can hit a 60 degree wedge 90 yards using the normal full swing technique, do I make all of the adjustments recommended for pitch shots if I'm 89 yards and 35 inches out, or do I narrow my stance just a liitle and play the ball a bit more forward and wòrk my way toward the pitching techniques? .
March 1, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. If you need to just cut a few yards. I would recommend just choking down a little. It will limit the swing speed enough to hit it 5 to 10 yards less. Figure out what is the max yards you can use the pitching techniques. From that max yardage to the full lets say 90 yard lob wedge. Use the normal setup. Choke down a little and dial in your speeds.
March 3, 2015
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Alejandro
Hello!, can you please clarify on the "weak grip" part ? Is there another video that speaks about this ? I checked the "golf grip" on the setup section, but it states that on a weaker grip, both hands rotate to the left (or right for lefties). However, It looks to me that Chuck, at best, only weakens the left hand but the right appears to be in the same position as the full swing's grip. Did I see that right ?? Thanks!
February 10, 2015
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Alejandro
Hello... anyone there .. ?
February 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alejandro. I apologize for the late reply. With the upgrade to the new site. Some of the questions were shuffled improperly in the system. Yes, you saw that correctly. You will only want to weaken the lead hand grip. Good question.
February 16, 2015
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Alejandro
No problem with the late reply! I imagined there must hace been some technical issues with the upgrade. Thanks for the clarification.
February 16, 2015
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pat
It seems that Chucks method differs from the hinge and hold in that Chuck releases the club head thru impact vs. the "hold" idea. Am confused. Thanks for a great site!
November 10, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Pat, It's a hinge and release method. You don't want to hold off the release while hitting a pitch shot because you will be using the leading edge of the club instead of using the bounce, it reduces the spin significantly and it's extremely hard to control the face angle. R.J.
November 10, 2014
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pat
Thanks R. J. - Here's the hinge and hold I'm referring to by Phil Michelson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4DevROGzXM Do you see why I'm confused.
November 10, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Trying to learn from the pros is a slippery slope. Generally, they're naturally gifted athletes who don't fully understand why they are good at what they do. They do what works for them and they assume that can be replicated by everyone. The problem is, there's no actual science or fundamentals behind it, it's just something that they toyed around with during practice and then practiced it enough until they could perform the shot consistently. However, that doesn't make for a good lesson plan. You can't compare RST training to other forms of training. They're completely different types of training. RST is based on scientific principles and Standard golf instruction is based on what has worked for the pros over time. So, I highly suggest either sticking to RST swing programs or Standard golf instruction. If you continue to jump back and forth and try to compare the two, you're going to continue to be confused and lost. If you want to ever know why or how to do something in the RST swing program, any instructor would be happy to help you and we are trained to be able to answer those kinds of questions; whereas standard golf instruction says, "here, do what I do" without telling you how to do it or why you're doing it in the first place. I look forward to working with you on the forums in the future. I believe that you have the desire to be a good golfer. You just need someone to show you the way without filling your head with a bunch of inexplicable nonsense and that's what we're here for. R.J.
November 10, 2014
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Tom
I have been struggling with this shot. When I use my right hand only, I hit well behind the ball and dig in the leading edge. Eventually I can tame the right hand however the shots seem quite high compared to Chuck's shots at the end of the video. As I add my left hand - I blade it, shank it or hit it high and right. The ball marks on my wedge indicate that I am hitting the ball dangerously close to the hosel. Needless to say, my confidence is low. What am I not getting? Thanks, Tom
November 1, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Tom, You're not keeping your club face closed as you bring the club back. You're trying to time club face rotation and a flip. Watch his hands as he takes the club back. Once you get the form down, you need to practice the shot from tight lies until you can do it consistently, then you'll be ready to use the pitch shot anywhere. R.J.
November 2, 2014
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Tom
Thank you. I will focus on that today.
November 2, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Tom, You're welcome! R.J.
November 2, 2014
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Thomas
I was reading a book by Dave Pelz and he abdicates doing exactly what you are talking about: using a 60 degree wedge for all pitch shots as his data of tour pros shows that the height of the shot is the most important thing and not how much spin is on the ball. I think he also refers to the fact that the higher you hit this shot, the deeper the pitch mark and the quicker the ball stops. My questions are; is the backswing performed just like any other iron in that you rotate back via the shoulder blade glide and you do not want much shaft lean?
October 1, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Yes, the shoulders will initiate the motion as is the normal swing. However, the hands will be loose and tend to have more hinge/set earlier. The shot will require less shaft lean.
October 1, 2014
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felice
Hi guys. so if im using Phil Mickelson's Hinge and Hold am I still pulling with the right shoulder (RH golfer) to start the swing or is the hinging of the wrists starting the swing? Im asking this in relation to all shots chipping pitching flops etc. Thanks
October 1, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Felice. It all depends. Sometimes with that method. People will get handsy and not use rotation at all. Others know they need to pull a little going back. Get a little rotation and allow for some hinge.
October 1, 2014
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David
Chuck says that he hits his pitches low with a lot of spin. I see how he does this with his penetrating wedge shots, because he delofts the club through impact. His pitch set up is the opposite, adding loft in the follow through, very little shaft lean, neutral grip. How does he hit these shots low? I thought that the point to the pitch was to hit it with spin and have it land softly. Please explain. Thanks.
September 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
In the pitch shot you want spin. Chuck isn't trying to hit a penetrating ball. A shot with finesse and control. You will notice when he demonstrates the shot at the end of the video the ball has some loft. That is normal.
September 9, 2014
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Gary
I understand for the first time the difference between pitching and chipping , cant wait to try it out the next game and I think me chipping distance is going to be increased a lot.
September 6, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great. Get to work hitting some good chips!
September 6, 2014
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Gary
very good instruction but repeated too many times and easy to lose the audience. this is meant to be constructive criticism .
September 6, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Glad you like the instruction. No worries on constructive criticism. Only how we get better.
September 6, 2014
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Mark
There appears to be significant differences between Chuck's "perfect pitch shot" advice (e.g., in the release) and Clay's "Perfect pitch shot technique. Why is this the case?
July 17, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
This is for a much smaller shot requiring a touch more spin around the greens. Clay's is typically a longer approach coming into the green.
July 17, 2014
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Anthony
I'm slightly confused on this. Should my swing thought(s) for pitching/wedge play be the same as the full swing? What I mean is should you focus on the right shoulder/blade glide on the backswing? I understand that your weight stays mostly on your left, however.
July 13, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The rotational aspect doesn't change Anthony. The body moves the club. Shoulder blade glide down and in. Just on a smaller scale or ratio.
July 13, 2014
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I have spent some time working on this but the ball seems to balloon. On occasion, possibly every 25 shots, the ball comes off low and loaded with spin, but I can never seem to replicate. Is there one obvious clue in this short description to get me on track?
June 10, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Brad. It sounds like you end up not letting the club continue to lead. Hands ahead, but releasing. Even though you not trying to hit down on it. The lead arm needs to be the controlling force.
June 10, 2014
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rick
Using this technique, what would be the max distance for this pitch shot?
May 16, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Each player can be a bit different based on total speed produced in the hitting area for these shots. Some players can pitch the golf ball 70 yards and some can pitch it 40. Work on the technique and rhythm with all your wedges and then start figure out distances traveled with each club.
May 16, 2014
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john
The chipping technique shown here by Chuck is different from the chipping technique shown by Clay Ballard. Which is the best and most reliable one around the greens?
May 4, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
They are showing 2 different shots where there is some adjustments to the technique. One is a pitch (longer distances) and one is a chip. Play around with both techniques and you will have more shots around the green.
May 5, 2014
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David
Is the 60 degree wedge that you use for pitch shots the same as the 60 degree wedge you use for bunker shots? Isn't the bounce different? Should I carry two different 60 deg wedges?
April 28, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The 2 videos may show some change in bounce but he only carries one 60 degree wedge and it has minimal bounce on it at all.
April 28, 2014
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I am confused, is this a pitch shot and a chip shot? Isnt a pitch shot generally 50% air time? so wouldnt this be considered more as a chip shot?
April 22, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
This is a pitch shot and there is no defined air time percentage for a pitch shot really as each player can be different and produce different speeds.
April 23, 2014
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joseph
I have been watching this clip with interest but I don't know how much distance you would get from this pitch shot. I usually think of a pitch shot as long as 90 yards. Could you achieve that distance with this technique? the segment of pitching with a low penetrating shot seem to be much more aggressive shot that would do it. I have been trying to make my pitches as you teach full rotary swing but slightly less forcefull and have been doing them quite well. Please comment, thank you.
April 8, 2014
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René (Certified RST Instructor)
The objective of this shot is to have finesse and control around the green, not distance. Look for full swing distance wedge shots at the video "Penetrating Wedge Shots". They are two different techniques.
April 9, 2014
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elaine
I keep blading the ball but yesterday, I bent my right wrist more and that seemed to help some. I feel like I am doing what chuck is doing but still blade it one out of three times so afraid to use it when playing. I really would like to learn this technique. Why do you think I blade it?
April 7, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Elaine, hope things are going well for you! There could be a couple of reasons is to why you are thinning it a bit. You could be pushing on the shaft with the left thumb a bit causing a bit of a flip or the right hand could be pushing to much in the hitting area. Also, double check that you are just picking the club straight up and getting out in front of the shot whit the chest in the downward move. Hope that helps.
April 8, 2014
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elaine
I thought you were suppose to mainly use the right Hanford this shot. Chuck references the other video (short spinning wedge shots) and you learn that by clipping balls off the turf with just the right hand. I am definitely missing something here. The shot is suppose to be easy and you should never hit a fat pitch shot again. I hit fat some and blade some. Normally, I can catch right on to a new technique but not this one.
April 9, 2014
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Michael
I agree with Elaine dead on with the other video about flipping. Looks like you have to flip it to get it up on the one video(spint) and in this video he breaks the left wrist down after impact, but doesn't flip. Confusing I Don't agree with the chunks but blading the ball seems to be a real issue. Does chuck shallow out his swing so he uses the bounce of the club to his the ball? It seems when I go straight back and through it blades. If I go an little inside out, It uses the bounce of the club and doesn't blade. Any clarification. Maybe more future videos on this technique.
April 14, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Clay or I will work on some further videos. The club is shallowed out in pitch shots with more rotation of the body which different than a spinning chip shot. Pitch shots require a bit more distance so that there is more moving parts.
April 15, 2014
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Michael
Thanks Chris. That makes sense.
April 15, 2014
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user96169
question: everything i read tells us to slightly open the face on pitch shots to increase bounce. is that not right?
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