Orr’s tips on striking pitch shots started with building a balanced swing.
“The amount of backswing in a shot should match the amount of follow-through,” said Orr. “The hands should reach approximately the same height on both the back and front side of the body. This balanced approach promotes acceleration through impact. It also allows golfers to more easily control the distance the ball travels.
“When you want to pitch the ball a greater distance and higher, make a bigger backswing and remember to make a bigger follow-though, too.”
In the second half of the seminar, Orr headed into the school’s bunker area where he went over how to succeed at the greenside sand shot, which often gives most recreational players plenty of fits.
His advice was to approach the swing by opening the clubface a little or a lot, depending on each player’s comfort zone, while choking down an inch from the top of the club.
“Players should open their stances and twist their feet into the sand to create more stability,” Orr said. “The stance ought to be wider than normal, with the weight favouring the front foot and the ball being slightly forward of centre in the stance.”
He went on to point out that the next step is to look at where players want the club head to enter the sand.
“Don’t hit the ball first,” he said. “Make a long, smooth swing along the body line and incorporate an early wrist hinge. Strike the sand about an inch behind the ball and accelerate the club head through the ball.”
The seminar was one of a series being offered to members and non-members of the OAC’s Winter Golf School.
The next session is slated for Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., with a repeat of the class happening Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. The topic has yet to be chosen.
Demo days that everyone can attend are also offered at the school. Ping will present the next tryout event on Feb. 19.
For more details on the OAC’s Winter Golf School, which will be open until April 30, call 613.523.4024 ex. 256 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.