Want to pitch it close every time like Phil Mickelson? Gravity Golf Instructor Daniel Lee demonstrates a crucial, yet often overlooked secret of Phil’s pitching technique.
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Golf Pitching Like Phil Mickelson
One of the most important items, whether you’re hitting a golf pitch shot, chip shot, or any other shot for that matter, is the pre-shot routine. If you’ll notice in the video that accompanies this blog, The Cliffs at Glassy, where the video was shot, and 3’s Greenville where I teach, are both very hilly golf courses. Augusta National, where Phil has been very successful during his career, is very similar. Pitching the ball from sidehill lies can be a very challenging task from an alignment standpoint, especially when you are trying to consistently and easily turn through the different type shots.
As you find yourself on varying contours, it is very important to adjust the geometry of your setup so that you can easily turn and get completely through the shot. Both Danny and Phil tie their lead arm to their side and posture beautifully so that they can turn as a single unit and clear the follow through quite easily. This can be accomplished, regardless of the severity of the slope, by adjusting the alignment at address. Being right-handed, Danny will line up farther to the left as the slope increases (whether the shot is uphill, downhill, or sidehill). Being left- handed, Phil does exactly the opposite. Taking the grip with the lead hand, ties the arm to the pivotal axis (the front leg) and simply allows both arms to ride the turn of the swing. There is no sensation of feeling jammed in the rotation whatsoever. If the alignment is correct, the body will turn through as easily as if you were standing on a completely level lie.
One of the best ways to practice these pitch shots is from a cross-footed mode, on any severity of slope. If the swing recipe involving the heave, counter-fall, drop of the arms, and turn through, are done correctly, cross-footers are very comfortable, regardless of the lie. By practicing in this manner, you’ll soon learn the subtle nuances that will allow you to easily walk through the shot on the follow-through. Get out and work on this and give us some feed-back on how easily it works for you and if you are ready, take the Gravity Golf Challenge. All the drills that make these shots comfortable are covered in the various lessons.
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