There are plenty of occasions when you need extra height on a golf shot. Hitting over a tree, for example, or trying to stop an approach shot on a small portion of green.
If you naturally hit the ball low relative to other golfers, launching one sky-high can prove pretty difficult. (Don’t feel bad – high-ball hitters struggle to play low shots, too.) Here are three easy ways to get the ball up in the air when you absolutely must:
- Play it forward, open the clubface: To maximize height, you must get the most from the club’s loft. The farther back in your stance (to the right-hander’s right) you position the ball, the more you de-loft the club. Therefore, playing the ball closer to your left foot adds loft, as does opening the clubface by aiming it slightly right of target. Remember to align your feet a little left and count on the ball fading just a touch.
- Take less club and swing harder: A 9-iron has more loft than an 8-iron, and so forth. The harder you swing, the more backspin you create, and backspin sends the ball higher into the air. Knowing these things, it makes sense that taking less club than you normally would for a shot, then swinging with a little extra “oomph,” will deliver the needed result. Just make sure you’ve got enough club to carry any hazard in your way.
- Stand closer and finish high: Golfers with upright swings (a la Jack Nicklaus) typically hit the ball higher than do those with flat swings (like Matt Kuchar). You don’t need to completely alter your technique to swing on a more vertical plane – just stand an inch or so closer to the ball, and the rest will take care of itself. Also, picture yourself with hands high over head at the finish, then swing to this position. That will ensure an upright arc coming into and through the shot.
Playing good golf requires adjusting to a seemingly infinite number of variables in any given round. The time will come when your only hope for par is a towering, soft-landing shot. Follow the tips above and you’ll see it’s not so tough.