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Pitching Downwind vs Into the Wind

Here’s a couple of pointers to help you when pitching downwind vs into the wind.

Downwind: Chipping downwind, particularly to a short pin, can be intimidating. Knowing the wind is going to make it difficult for the ball to stop can be a helpless feeling. What helps me? I like to feel as though my right hand softens or releases toward the sky ever so slightly through impact. This softening typically increases the club head speed fractionally through impact which will impart more spin on the ball, helping it stop quicker when it lands.

Remember, in your takeaway and transition you are still trying to use your body to turn back and through. This is an advanced tip for the lower handicap golfer. However, everyone should experiment with this method to add an extra shot to their short game repertoire.

It’s also important to take your most lofted wedge for most pitch or chip shots downwind. The lofted wedge will help your ball come down softer and reduce the roll when it lands.

Into the Wind: In comparison to the downwind shot, into the wind is the complete opposite. On these shots, even the shorter chip and pitch shots, you want the ball to drive through the wind. It is imperative through impact that your left or lead wrist remains firm. The firm left wrist will keep the effective loft down. This helps the ball skip forward on the bounce before stopping. Anything high and softer into the wind requires a larger swing exposing more external factors which can affect the result of the shot.

Rather than trying to drive the higher lofted club to get the ball to go lower, I would suggest taking either your gap wedge or sand wedge, sometimes your pitching wedge to help bring it in lower. Altering the loft will help keep the ball down without having to change your technique. You’ll find into the wind, the ball will stop as it would with your higher lofted lob wedge with no wind.

Written by
Brad Smith
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Written by Brad Smith