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Video transcription

Hi, I'm Johnny Miles, a Golf Professional at the Lake Powell National Golf Course in Page, Arizona, and I'm going to show you how to improve your pitching technique. First, use a sand wedge to pitch with primarily. Ninety percent of the time, you're going to use it outside of a bunker and there's a couple of reasons why. Number one, it's got a lower center of gravity. Number two, it's got more loft. So, you're going to hit higher, softer shots and because it has more loft, it's going to put more spin on the ball. So, instead of rolling those pitches over the green, you use a sand wedge especially for you gals out there and you're going to stop the ball by the hole more often. Now, pitching, chipping, making a full swing, they are all basically the same. Your hands in the club, start it back and your arms elbow to shoulder; swing it forward. The only difference between a chip and a pitch is how far you take your hands back and how fast you swing your arms. Those are the two factors that really control the distance for you. Now, some people say, "Well, how far back do you take it?" Well, I like to use the clock method and in the clock method, my hands start out at about five, almost six o'clock; I'm going to take them to seven o'clock. I might take them to eight o'clock. I might take them to nine o'clock. I might take them to ten o'clock. Okay. So, that's how I determine when I'm practicing or I'm teaching people how to feel where their hands go. So, in this shot right here, I'm going to set up. I'm going to take my hands to nine o'clock; I'm going to brush the grass and swing the club at my target. Now, if I don't want the ball to go that far, I can do two things. The first thing I can do, okay, is I can swing softer. I take it back to nine o'clock and I put a nice, soft swing on it and the ball is going to go a little shorter. It's going to land a little softer. If you notice, I never use the word easy. If I say easy, that's going to mean de-acceleration. If I mean soft, boom, you're just going to swing and just swing softly toward your target. Another way that I can keep it a little shorter is very simple. I take it back to about seven o'clock, brush the grass with a little bit of arm speed and guess what, it comes off a little faster, goes shorter, has more back spin. You don't get back spin by hitting down the ball. If you use your arm speed and you brush the grass with a sand wedge and as a result, you put more revolutions on it. So, learn to brush the grass with a sand wedge; you're going to improve your pitching, get a feel for how far back you take it and how fast you swing your arms and you're going to be one to watch out for it in the next golf match. Practice this for me, will you? I'm Johnny Miles.