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Question on Pitching:

My pitches tend to go right of the green. How can I stop that?
--Terry M. from Hillsboro, MO

Hi Terry,

It sounds like you are either pushing/blocking your pitch shots or that your club face is open. There is always a chance as well that you are aligned to the right. To check alignment and rule it out simply place a club pointed at your target between you and your ball and practice getting your feet, knees, hips and shoulders all aligned square to your target line.

For an open clubface, make sure that your grip isn't too weak. If you are right handed, the "V" formed between your thumb and your forefinger of each hand should be pointed somewhere between your right ear and right shoulder. Go more towards the shoulder if you think this could be an issue. Many players actually hold the clubface open because they are too tight in their forearms. To check this make sure your right arm is rolling over your left through impact so that you are getting your clubface square. By time you are waist high on the follow through you should form an "L" with your right arm and the club with the clubhead pointed up to the sky. If you have an "L" by waist high, chances are you are releasing your arms plenty.

For pushing and blocking you need to check to make sure that your club is not approaching the ball from too far inside. Take a range basket or water bottle and place it outside the toe of your club and a foot towards the target. Practice swinging inside of it on the follow through. This will prevent you from swinging to the right of the target line. You can also place it on your toe line even with your back toe and about a foot back (away from the target). Practice keeping your clubhead outside of it (further from your body) throughout the backswing and the follow through.

These drills should help you diagnose the cause of your shots going to the right while pitching. Give them a try and let me know how it goes.


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