Toughest Golf Shots: hardpan pitch

Playing off hard ground is always tricky especially as part of the short game. PGA coach Graeme Davies shows us how to play this tough shot.

Toughest Golf Shots: hardpan pitch

The hardpan pitch shot is our fifth short game article in the Golf's Toughest Short Game Shots series.

Amateur golfers always complain about hitting it off hardpan (dried out ground with very little grass on it) but it doesn't have to be one of the toughest shots.

Here PGA coach Graeme Davies explains the four simple steps to hitting it well off hard ground. 

1. Address: ball back of stance

At address make sure the ball is slightly back of your stance, i.e. just inside your right foot or about one ball back of centre. This means you will have to hit down on the ball at impact.

2. Backswing: Hinge wrists

On the backswing bring the club up steeply, rather than having a shallow take away for a normal shot, by hingeing your wrists as seen by Graeme in the second photo. This will help compress the ball through impact.

3. Impact: Body weight forward

Due to step one and two you should be coming into the ball at impact with a steep angle of attack with your body weight and shaft pushed forward. This will decrease the chances of hitting the turf before the ball and de-loft the clubface for a lower, more controlled ball flight.

4. Follow-through: Firm wrists

The initial backswing should be at most a three quarter swing so the follow-through will follow suit with your hips facing the target. Firm wrists are vital for the hard ground as seen in the top right-hand photograph where Graeme has made sure that he hasn't rolled his wrists on the exit.

Check out Graeme's coaching website Graeme Davies Golf or where he teaches at Huntswood Golf Club.

Otherwise look at our Golf's Toughest Short Game Shots index or Golf Practice Drills index for more help.

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