If you’re looking to be a more consistent pitcher with your sterling irons, then I’ve got four things here that can hopefully help you be a little bit more consistent.
So, the first thing is to watch the amount of shaft lean that you have at impact versus you may want to come through a little bit [0:00:30] impact with the shaft a little bit more vertical like this, or just slightly forward. You can hit good pitches with it way forward like this. However, what can cause some inconsistency is understanding what the clubface does here. So, at the bottom of the clubface, you got this pointy part here called leaning edge, and then this bottom here, this curvy part here that’s called the bounce, and cleverly, I’ve heard that called, the leaning edge here, called the digger, and then the bottom bounce here called the skipper, and why that’s important to understand, why those are named that way is, if you come through with too much shaft lean, you’re exposing this pointed part to the ground, so there’s going to be a higher propensity for this club to grab and dig in the ground. However, if you come through a little bit more vertical, you’ve got a little bit of protection here with this bounce. It’s going to keep the club – it’s going to lower the likelihood, I guess, of the clubface digging into the ground. So, that’s the first thing I would say, is just watch the amount of shaft lean, don’t be too far shaft forwarding, get a little bit more forgiveness if you’re a little bit more vertical or just slightly forward. You can even catch it just a little bit fat, hit the clubface on the ground behind the ball, and sometimes, you can get away with it when you’re a little bit more vertical like that, and you see that with today’s best pitchers – I’m trying to think of someone who I can give as an example – anyway, the best pitchers on the professional tours tend to be ones that arrive back on impact with a little bit more vertical or just slightly forward shaft lean, so that’s the first thing.
The second thing is to watch the amount of clubface rotation through impact, and why that is important here – I’ll use this little magnetic lie angle tool, stick it on the clubface so you can see where the clubface is pointed – normally were commonly, I guess, in teaching, we are taught to set up with the clubface pretty square here, square-ish, and then in the back swing, you are supposed to open the clubface up, and then on the way down, you close it, roll it over, and so that you have the toe up with you come through there. However, as you can see, when you are rotating the clubface like that or rotating the club head like that, the clubface just points all over the place, so I think it’s better, particularly down to your hitting area here, to have the clubface be more square to your swing path. So, watching the amount of rotation that you are using, and when you do that, you can see that there is much less – the clubface is much – or there is a much less variance, so you may not hit perfect pitches every time, but your dispersion might go from like something like this to something like this. Watching the clubface rotation is something that can definitely help you be a more consistent pitcher. And then, the next thing is to try to pick or sweep, or collect the ball, however you want to say that, versus hitting down on it, trying to take a divot, having a steep angle of attack, and the reason for that, again, it goes back into this leading edge and bounce thing. If you’re coming through a little bit more vertically like this and you are sweeping or collecting the ball, the likelihood of you hitting it super fat is going to be much, much less, and a lot of the top pitchers in the world are doing that, not taking much divots, so guys like Zach Johnson, Nicholas, when he played, let’s talk about his full swing, it wouldn’t take much of a divot, so there’s Count Yogi, if you have ever heard of him, so there’s a lot of great, great players. You can hit good shots hitting divots, but I would say if you are looking to be more consistent with your contact, then try to pick it, try to sweep it, and then interestingly, with your pitching also what that does is when you have the clubface coming through a little bit higher, the strike is going to be a little bit lower on the clubface versus up a little bit higher, and due to vertical gear affect, I won’t get into what that is in this particular video, but just know that generally speaking, the higher on the clubface that you hit, the less spin and that it has, and the lower the clubface you hit, the more spin there is going to be. So, when you pick and sweep it, it’s going to strike the ball a little bit lower on the clubface, and it’s going to give you a little bit more spin which is something that I think a lot of people wouldn’t mind having with their pitches. So, although it may not help, the spin part of it may not relate to the consistency aspect of pitching, it’s a nice little byproduct that you can get by just picking and sweeping, or collecting, however you want to say that. So, that is the third thing.
The fourth thing, the last thing here is that when you are swinging, when you are pitching, try and be as smooth as you can. So, we don’t have much of a margin of error here between like a good and a great shot. So, if you think about a tetherball and a maypole, if you throw the ball around the maypole and there is no tension in the string, the ball is going to come around to the same point every time. However, if you introduce a little tension in the string, it’s really going to disrupt the fluidity and when the ball comes around, it’s not going to come around the same point in space or it’s not as likely to. So, be smooth if you can be as smooth as you can when you are pitching, and a nice little drill you can do for that is just when you are practicing and no one is around, if you don’t care what other people are thinking about what you are doing here, you can either hum while you are swinging or blow a little subtle amount of air out of your nose and mouth that you can sense but maybe other people can’t hear, and if there is a smooth flow of air or a smooth hum while you are swinging, generally, the tension is going to be pretty relaxed, you’re going to be pretty smooth. However, if it has to little [humming] when you are swinging, there’s going to be a little bit of tension that you can let loose and get rid of, and so I think swinging as smooth as you can will help your consistency quite a bit, and if you need to hit the ball farther, then just take the club back further or just go up to the other club to get that extra distance.
So, those are the four things I would offer for you to be a more consistent pitcher with your sterling irons. One, watching the amount of shaft lean, don’t be too far forward, be a little bit more vertical or just slightly forward, what to the clubface rotation as you are coming through impact, try and have a more square face to path, is what they call it. The third thing, sweep, pick, or collect the ball, it’s going to help you put a little bit more spin on it which is a nice thing, but then it’s also going to decrease the likelihood of you hitting the ground and hitting it more super fat or something like that, so just remember that good pitchers, the best pitchers tend to do that, and that’s getting taught a lot more now that we know that on the professional tours, and then just the instruction world at large, and then lastly, pitcher as smooth as you can, swing as smooth as you can, doesn’t necessarily mean go slow, just be smooth, and then you can use that air blow or humming trick to practice that, and kind of monitor your attention well. So, hopefully, those four things will help you become a little bit more consistent pitcher with your sterling irons, give those things a try and hopefully, your consistency will improve.