Tip Tuesday: Easy as Calling a Coin Flip – Choose “Tails” for Better Pitch Shot Execution

Steve Dresser, founder of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy in Pawleys Island, S.C., shows us how applying a coin analogy can help you execute a greenside pitch shot with greater effectiveness.


I’ve got a little pitch shot next to the green here. Most of us learned at one point in our golf careers, to play the ball back in our stance, put the handle well to the left of the ball, and bring up the club, and then pinch down into the back of the ball. That can be an effective method, you can see my hands are well ahead of the club face when I do that. We call this kind of a handle dragging action. The risk you’re taking when you’re doing that is, you’re now utilizing the leading edge of the club, the sharpest part, which can easily dig into the ground. So, you’ve got to muster up a little courage to try this, but once you do it, you’re going to find that you really are glad that you did.

You want to open up the club face a little bit – by that, all I mean is, turn the handle a little to the right, then take your grip on the club. Sometimes I’ll tell my students that the grooves are “heads,” and the other side of the club is “tails,” like a coin. Get used to using “tails,” don’t drive that leading edge way down into the ground.

So, open it up, make a couple of practice swings, and the club should feel slippery as it goes across the ground, because you’re hitting the ground with the backside of the club, or the “tails” side. And if you can do that with the golf ball there, you’re just going to take the back of the club, let it hit the ground, and it just hits this beautiful, high soft shot, and you can really use that on about any lie, and it really helps if the lie’s kind of tight, even if the ground is a little bit wet.

If you can learn to use the bounce on your club effectively, it’s really going to help your short game.