A successful drive needs a combination of launch and roll to achieve the maximum amount of distance.
If a senior golfer’s drive is too high the ball will land and stop dead minimizing the possible distance the shot could achieve through lack of roll. A high ball flight also becomes a problem in the wind which will buffet the ball around.
First of all, the senior golfer should check they have the right equipment. Drivers with too much loft or a very flexible shaft for the senior’s swing speed could send the ball to high. Seniors should find a local professional or store with launch monitor technology which can track the ball flight, swing and compare clubs with different specifications. This way a senior can find out if the driver they are currently using has too much loft or an overly flexible shaft, both of which could send the ball sky high.
The club’s loft and shaft flex could both effect the height of the ball, but during the swing, the senior golfer’s angle of attack (how steep or shallow) they come into the ball will have the greatest impact on how high or low the ball will go.
Before any swing changes are made, the senior golfer should ensure their driver set up position is correct.
1. Take a slightly wide stance with the feet positioned outside shoulder width; this will give the senior golfer a more stable base.
2. The ball should be positioned just inside the left heel to encourage a sweeping motion through the ball.
3. The butt of the club should be pointing at the left hip (for a right handed golfer).
4. The left shoulder should be slightly higher than the right (for a right handed golfer).
When swinging through the ball, the senior golfer who hits a high shot wants the left arm, hands, shaft and left leg all to be level at impact (when viewed from the front). One reason they may be striking the ball too high is leaning back through impact and flicking the hands at the ball and ‘scooping’ the shot into the air.
The senior golfer needs to return the butt of the club to opposite the left hip at impact and drive through the ball rather than trying to help the ball into the air, senior golfers should trust the loft of the club to send the ball skyward.
If the senior golfer finds they are still hitting the ball too high, they could also try altering how high they tee the ball. A ball teed high in the air will encourage an upward strike on the ball. Try teeing the ball lower to encourage a slightly steeper angle of approach which should produce a lower ball flight.