Are windy and rainy conditions complicating your regular golf game? Have a lot of green between you and the pin? Need to dip under a low-hanging tree branch? Any of these are common reasons why you would want to hit a shot with a low trajectory. But no matter the reason why, the how becomes the next important question we can help you with.
Here are some quick, simple tips to hit low
Doug Weaver, former tour player, PGA teaching pro and director of Golf Instruction at Palmetto Dunes Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, says there are several simple rules of thumb to remember when you want to hit it in low. Here are his eight most useful tips:
- “When it is breezy, swing easy. Take more club. This method allows you to minimize the ball spin rate that would cause the ball to have a steeper trajectory. Lower spin rates keep the ball flight lower.”
- “Make your swing flatter to make it go lower. Practice baseball swings.”
- “Grip down on the grip and the ball tends to go lower.”
- “Place the ball position back for lower trajectories.”
- “In the setup, tilt the shaft angle forward to lower the trajectory and decrease the loft of the clubface and consciously keep the hands ahead of the club head during the swing. Keep the butt of the club pointing forward of your zipper.”
- “To keep the trajectory low, make sure your body leads the swing and finishes forward.”
- “The forward shoulder [should] tilt lower to make the ball fly low.”
- “[Use] less wrist hinge for lower trajectory.”
It’s true that placing the ball further back within your stance is an easy way to get lower lines. But it’s also true that this method can hurt your accuracy. Starting your ball deep means your club will strike it earlier in your swing pattern. This can affect aim and precision.
Hank Haney, former instructor to both Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara, says, “A more sophisticated way to control height is to adjust your swing speed.” If you want to get low, you need to go slow. In other words, a slower stroke creates a lower trajectory, and you can achieve this by shortening your swing or “choking down on the club.” You can also think about extending your arms further through the shot to make your release work for your low trajectory.
How low can you go?
After a change in setup and technique, are you still after a lower launch? Besides all the procedural adjustments you can make, getting a lower trajectory shot can also be as simple as choosing the right equipment. Certain balls, generally those with soft compression and shallower dimples, are designed for a higher launch for instance. And many drivers are also designed specifically to go high. Make sure you know your own tendencies and choose your equipment accordingly. Most pro shops as well as your every-day strip mall golf stores can offer you a swing analysis if you need a little more insight into what you’re doing that’s causing your current results.
And finally, in this modern age of sports tech, you can even analyze your own swing with just a camera and an easily downloadable software app. One industry favorite for self-swing analysis is the V1 Coaching system, which is available quite cheaply when compared to the cost of an hour lesson with a pro.
— C. Pedroja