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Pitch it like Matteo


What to learn

Distance is not Matteo’s strong point. He’s also quite a small guy so he’ll rely more on his short game.

How he gets more distance is another kettle of fish – that’s for him to organise – but I suspect he’ll focus more on his strengths.

This is very much a rotational move for this shot. His feet are very close together, which helps eliminate any lateral movement in the shot. You can see that everything is turning round his spine. And that’s a great lesson to learn here.

You don’t want a lot of sideways movement. For this shot, you simply want to turn back and turn through. The ball is quite far back in his stance, which is forcing him to rotate immediately. There’s no drag away from the ball. Everything is turning immediately at takeaway.


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Nip it clean

He’s a slender lad but creates a lot of leverage between his left arm and his club shaft, which is great because that creates a bit of power and adds loft to the club.

As he turns back through, he doesn’t lose any height. That increases his chances of a pure strike. There’s also no divot. So he’s kept his height, turned straight back and through, and nipped it clean off the turf.

He’ll be hoping the ball checks on the green, as opposed to spinning back. You can see his eyes are fairly low. He’s trying to reduce the spin a little by going back halfway and not going through to a full finish. It’s probably quite aggressive as it’s all turn.


This is quite a clever shot if you can master it. Your spine is made of up seven parts.

The top part is your cervical vertebrae number seven and that sticks out at the top, acting as an axis point for your shoulders to turn round.

Matteo is simply turning around that point at the top of his shoulders. There’s very little movement at all. That’s the feeling you should have with this shot, and this is a perfect example of how to do it.


Steve Johnston is the PGA professional at Peebles GC. For lessons, call Steve on 01721 720197. Follow him on Twitter @mrstevejohnston.

Originally published on bunkered on May 26, 2015.

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