Top Instructional Tips on Golf Ball Flight and Trajectory
The nightmare for any golfer. Hitting the ball too high can be beneficial – if there is no wind, and hitting the ball too low can be beneficial as well – if there is a lot of wind. I know every one of you has battled with your trajectory at some point in your career, and if you are an avid golfer, you will be playing in the wind at some point. During this section, I will cover how (and when) to hit the ball higher and lower, and I will also cover the correct ball flight that you should actually be striving for. I realize there are a hundred different articles out there that tell you “what the correct way is” but I will cover what I have applied to my game through the years, and what has helped me to be as successful as I have been for so long.
The first thing we will discuss is hitting the ball high. While this is a benefit for golfers when there is not any wind, this can be an absolute nightmare when the wind does pick up. If you are like me, you work during the day and can only play at night… well it is summer, and guess what? There is wind almost every day, unless you are extremely lucky to avoid it. The correct way to handle the wind is to look at a few of the following: Take more club and swing easier. Yes, the biggest flaw when the wind picks up is that golfers take the same club and try to swing harder. When you swing harder, you actually cause the ball to spin more, which the wind will just eat up. This means your bad shots get worse. Keep the swing smooth, and just play smart… club up. The next thing you want to do is grip down on the club. This will allow for more control over your shot and keeps the ball flight lower. If you remember the once amazing Anthony Kim, he actually choked down on all clubs regardless of the situation. I have applied this to my game as well, and when the wind does pick up, I am ready to defeat it. The last thing you want to look at is ball position. The best thing I have found is to keep all of your clubs in the middle of your stance, yes even your driver. This will cause the ball to start off lower, keeping it under the wind. I realize the wind can be a monster to deal with, but apply these three simple steps and you will be blowing away the competition in no time, literally.
When attempting to hit the ball higher (when there is no wind), then I have a few tips for you as well. Remember how I said to swing slower to keep it lower? Well the opposite is the case when trying to hit it high. Swing faster to hit it higher. I don’t mean try to swing out your shoes, but when you swing faster, you increase the spin rate of the golf ball – thus, resulting in a higher ball trajectory. Also, make a conscious effort to swing down more on the ball. When you are on the range, focus on hitting down on the ball and making a divot with each shot. This will help pop the ball up faster, resulting in the higher trajectory. The next thing you want to look at is your hand position on the grip. As with the swing speed, the ball position plays a big role in hitting the ball higher. To add some height to your ball flight, simply push the ball position more forward. This will allow for the hands to release through the downswing, resulting in the increase in trajectory. The final thing to look at, is quite possibly the most important, and the most difficult to adapt to. Take your normal set up, and take a look at there the butt of the club is compared to the ball. To hit the ball higher, shift the hands (and the grip of the club) back a bit, which you should be behind your belt buckle if you are doing this right. From here, this will add a bit of lot to the club… which results in a higher trajectory, and a much higher ball flight. Although this may sound like an easy adjustment, you will truly need to invest some time to get this one down. I suggest investing an entire bag of balls to this motion alone, because it can feel a bit odd at first.
In all, there truly is not a correct answer when looking at ball flight. It is all about what you prefer to play, and the type of weather you will be playing in. Simply pay attention to the weather prior to hitting your shot, and decide how you would like to play it from there.