You need to be able to hit the ball low in order to play well in the wind and successfully escape trouble. In this video PGA professional Jack Backhouse explains the different ways you can achieve a low ball flight
Being able to hit the ball low on demand is an essential tool in a golfer’s toolbox when it comes to navigating their way around a golf course. You can lower your ball flight in a few different ways, so which one is right for you? Watch the video below or read on to find out.
Why would you want to hit the ball low?
Each and every shot we play out on the golf course asks a different question of our game. We play uphill, downhill, downwind, into the wind, over bunkers, under trees, to elevated greens and down hills, out of rough, off a tee, and so on. Instead of just practicing a standard shot from a good lie on the driving range a golfer would be better prepared to play golf if they knew how to manipulate the flight of the ball to match the situation in front of them.
Times a golfer would want to hit the ball low: When hitting out of the trees, into a wind, to get the ball to run more when it lands, to take distance off of a shot.
What needs to change to hit the ball low?
The impact factors that affect the height the ball travels are loft, angle of attack, spin and clubhead speed.
- Hitting a club with less loft, be that delofting a club or simply taking an extra club, will launch the ball lower and make it fly lower.
- Increasing the angle of attack will in turn lower the loft of the club and result in a lower ball flight
- Lowering backspin will stop the ball from achieving maximum height as spin causes lift on the ball
- Slowing down clubhead speed will reduce the ball’s spin
It is up to the golfer which of the 4 factors they decide to change in their golf swing; it can be one singular factor or a multitude of them, depending on how low you want the ball to go.
Set up adjustments
A golfer can hit lower shots by changing how you stand to the ball:
- Moving the ball back in the stance will lower the loft and increase the angle of attack.
- Taking longer clubs and gripping down will reduce clubhead speed and backspin.
- Putting more weight on the front foot at the address will de-loft the club and increase the angle of attack.
Swing feels to produce a low shot
A golfer can also hit lower golf shots by changing some inswing ideas:
- shortening the backswing decreases clubhead speed
- shortening the follow-through decreases clubhead speed and launch angle
- punching down on the shot will reduce the launch angle but may increase spin
It is up to the golfer to decide what ideas work best for them to produce the desired low ball flight, it is best to go to the driving range and experiment with manipulating all of the different factors to find which work best for them.
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