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Friday, March 9, 2018

Robin Symes on Straight Arm Pitching (Video)

Yesterday I did a post about Stricker's pitching technique and pointed out that he doesn't straighten his arms. So today we cover how to pitch with straight arms!

This might seem contradictory but it's not. Different people use different techniques because they get better results with one or the other. The big question is...

How do you know which technique is best for you?

Symes says that this technique feels "wooden." I'm not sure that's a good description. This may be a good technique for you if you use a very shoulder-oriented putting stroke... and if you do, this probably won't feel "wooden" to you at all.

There's really only two things you need to focus on if you want to try this pitching method:
  • Neither elbow bends at any point during the stroke. This is the main difference between this and the Stricker stroke from yesterday's post. That means you have to turn your shoulders a lot during your backswing, which is different from the way most players pitch. Again, that's why Symes describes it as "wooden" -- if you don't do this normally, it WILL feel a bit weird.
  • You'll probably need to limit this technique to shorter pitches. Symes suggests 40 yards or 40 meters (which is closer to 44 yards for us American players) as the outer limit. It's not that you can't use this method for longer pitches; it's just that you're more likely to move a lot over the ball on longer shots. Why? Because the bigger your shoulder turn, the bigger your hip and leg movement. Unless your tempo and sequencing is solid, you may find yourself making poorer contact with longer swings.
Other than those two caveats, this technique really isn't much different from any other pitching method. If you use a very shoulder-oriented putting stroke and are having trouble around the green, you might find this to be a very natural alternative to "normal" pitching methods.

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