Hitting the Ball High Techniques Around the Greens

    It is helpful to learn how to hit your full shots high on command, but it is even more helpful to know how to hit high shots around the greens. You are going to miss at least a few greens during nearly every round of golf, so it is inevitable that you’ll have to chip or pitch the ball up toward the hole. Sometimes, you will have an easy path to hit your chip shots, letting the ball run along the ground all the way up to the cup. In other cases, however, a clear path will not be available. In order to get the ball up and down to save your par, you will have to take the high route.

    Hitting high short game shots is a significant challenge. Not only do you need to have the right technique, but you need to have a steady nerve as well. When attempting a high short game shot, it will always be possible that the shot is going to go wrong. For instance, if you are trying to hit the ball high, but you catch it too low to the club face, you could send the ball shooting across to the other side of the green. There is a degree of risk which is inherent in any high short game shot, so these are shots that you only want to attempt when absolutely necessary.

    To help you gain a better understanding of how you can produce high shots from around the greens, we have provided a list of tips below.

  • Use all available loft. When you need to hit a particularly high short game shot, you should start by using all available loft. That means selecting the highest-lofted club in your bag – often this will be either a 58* or 60* wedge. Also, you are going to open the face at address to create even more loft. You aren’t hitting the ball hard enough on these shots to use spin to create height, so it is going to be up to loft alone to do the job. It’s important to practice hitting high shots with the club face set open at address, since this is a tricky one for many amateur golfers to learn. You will likely be uncomfortable with this setup at first, but stick with it and you should build confidence rather quickly.
  • Set your hands behind the ball. This is the same tip that we provided in the previous section on the full swing. You should be setting your hands just behind the position of the ball at address, in order to help the ball get up into the air with ease. Of course, setting your hands in this position is going to create the risk of hitting the shot thin at impact, so it is especially important to keep your head down all the way through the swing. You can’t afford to look up early to see where the ball is going – keep your eyes down on the ball while the club swings through, and only look up well after the shot has been struck.
  • Release the right hand. This is the biggest key when talking about high short game shots. As the club head swings through the ball, you want to release the right hand so that the maximum amount of loft is exposed to the ball at impact. This is an advanced skill, and it is going to take time to learn how to execute this properly. As you practice your high short game shots, try hitting some shots with just your right hand on the club. Doing this will give you a great feel for the proper move through impact. When you put two hands back on the club, remember what you learned from your one-handed shots and continue to release the club fully at the bottom of the swing.
  • Make no mistake – this is a hard shot, and it is going to take plenty of practice before you are comfortable using your high short game shots on the course. Even when you do have confidence, pick and choose your spots wisely. You should have a good lie when you decide to hit the ball high, and you should have considered other, easier options first. You don’t want to have to pull this shot from the bag very often, but it is a great weapon to have at your disposal when the time is right.