My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Pitching:

The last couple of months I have been chunking my 100 yard pitching wedge. The big question why?
Thank you Maria and have a wonderful New Year.
--Richard B. from Millsboro, DE

Hi Richard. Thanks for writing in to MyGolfInstructor!

Without seeing your current swing, I can only guess why you might be chunking your 100 yard shot with your wedge and give you some ideas on what to work on. You might consider becoming a premium member as then you can send in your swing for analysis whenever you are having problems.

The three things I would check would be:

1) Your weight
2) Your swing plane
3) Your release

Weight is the easiest thing to check and work on. If your weight is on your back foot at impact chances are you are going to hit behind the ball. Make sure as you start your downswing, that you make a full weight shift onto your front foot. You need to have the majority of your weight on your front foot BEFORE impact. To test this try hitting balls off your front foot only. Just line your front foot up with the ball and then put your back foot on the tip toe so you won't put any weight on it. Swing easy and just try to keep your balance on your front foot only. If this feels odd or you find yourself falling out of balance backwards then you have a good indication that it's weight that's your issue.

Next, check your swing plane. If you are getting the club too far inside or behind you, it is easy to come in too shallow and bottom out before the ball. Place a club on the ground in front of your back foot and extending back away from the target. It should be parallel to your toe line and target line. Imagine this club is a wall and practice taking the club up and coming back down in front of the wall. If you find you are crossing the line in the takeaway or as you come into impact then you'll know getting too inside is your problem.

Last, try to maintain your wrist cock a little longer by driving the butt end of the grip towards the target. If you are letting your rear arm and wrist unfold to early in the downswing that's why you're hitting the ground first. You might try to place a penny just in front of your ball down the target line about 3 inches and practice hitting the penny down the range after impact.

I hope those help. Let me know how it goes. Be sure to start entering your scores in the Game Tracker and enter your practice sessions in the Practice Planner.

Happy New Year. Hope it's a great one for you!

By:

Other Related Tips on Pitching
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)