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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Rory McIlroy on High Pitches VS Low Chips (Video)

You get a challenge today. Can you see what Rory is doing after he tells you?

Let's start with a Golf Digest article from 2014 where Rory talks about his short game. It's an interesting article but I'm going to focus on how he contrasts high pitches and low chips.
  • For a low chip, I generally have the feeling of hinging my wrists on the backswing and then driving my wrists through toward the target. If I'm facing an especially tight lie, I prefer a simpler motion without using much wrist hinge, where I'm just trying to clip the ball off the top of the turf.
  • For a high pitch, particularly a flop shot, I open the clubface and feel like I'm letting the clubhead pass the ball as quickly as possible through impact to help get the flight vertical. I think a lot of people cut across the ball when they try to flop it—that's not what you want to do. You want to release the club under the ball and out toward the target.
Did you catch that? The primary difference in how Rory tackles these two short game shots is in his hand action.

Now here's a video of Rory practicing both chips and pitches at the 2017 WGC Dell Match Play. Can you see the difference in his hand action?

That may have been difficult for you. While it's easy to see on the backswing -- he cocks his wrists more for the pitches than the chips -- it's may not be so easy to see after impact. Here's a tip: They're both the same! Look at where the shaft of the club is pointing when his hands reach waist high. When he chips, the shaft points slightly downward; when he pitches, the shaft points toward the sky.

So here's a simple thought to try when you practice chips and pitches: Try to make the backswing mirror the downswing. If you want to hit a high pitch, point the shaft skyward on both sides of the ball. If you want to hit a low chip, point the shaft downward on both sides of the ball. That may help your short game become more consistent.

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