Golf can be an extremely fun, relaxing sport–and it can also be quite technical, especially when you want to start dialing in your game. When working on your golf skills, learning how to intentionally hit high and low shots can really level up your game. In this guide, we’ll explain what it means to hit high and low golf shots and share techniques that will help you transform your golf game.
What Does it Mean to Hit a High Golf Shot?
Hitting a golf ball high means that the ball flies with a higher trajectory and shorter distance than usual. The ball also stops quicker once it lands, rolling much less than a normal shot would. When teeing off with a driver, hitting a hit golf shot might be less than ideal, but there are certain situations that warrant this particular maneuver. Note that a high shot is not always the same as a chip shot. Though chipping is also a short shot, the ball has a much lower trajectory.
Learn more: What is the Average Distance for Each Club?
When to Hit a High Golf Shot
Hitting a high golf shot can be advantageous in certain situations, such as when trying to carry the ball over a hazard or when trying to stop the ball quickly on the green. Here are some situations where hitting a high golf shot may be beneficial:
You should hit a high golf shot…
- When approaching a green with a front bunker or water hazard. Hitting a high shot with enough carry can help clear the obstacle and land the ball softly on the green.
- When trying to stop the ball quickly on the green. A high shot with backspin can help the ball stop more quickly on the green and prevent it from rolling too far.
- When playing in soft conditions. In soft or wet conditions, a high shot can help prevent the ball from plugging in the ground and coming up short.
- When hitting from a downhill lie. A high shot can help counteract the effect of the downhill slope and allow the ball to carry farther.
- When hitting from a fairway bunker. A high shot can help the ball clear the lip of the bunker and land softly on the green.
Techniques for Hitting High Golf Shots
Hitting high golf shots has certain advantages. There are a few key factors to consider when trying to hit high golf shots.
Choose the Right Golf Club
Choosing the right club is essential when trying to hit a high shot. Typically, a club with a higher loft is best in this scenario. 9-irons, pitching wedges, or sand wedges are obvious choices as they feature lofted clubfaces. These clubs will generate more loft and help the ball travel higher. Wedges feature the highest degree of loft out of all the clubs in your golf bag, spanning the gap between 45-60 degrees of loft, which makes them particularly well suited for high shots.
Straight Trail Arm
The "trail arm" refers to the arm that is farthest from the ball during the backswing and downswing, so think the right arm for right-handed golfers and left arm for left-handed golfers. The trail arm plays an important role in the golf swing, particularly in terms of generating power. Your trail elbow should straighten and lengthen on your downswing, almost like you are throwing a ball on the ground.
Fast Swing Speed
A smooth and fluid swing can help you generate more clubhead speed, which generates more backspin and gives the ball more loft. Work on improving your swing speed by building strength and practicing with weighted clubs.
Allowing your club to follow through high after impact can help the ball achieve greater height. Keep your hands high through the shot, and finish your swing with your weight shifted towards your target.
What Does it Mean to Hit a Low Golf Shot?
Hitting a golf ball low typically means that the ball travels with a flatter trajectory and rolls more upon landing, which can be advantageous in certain situations, such as when hitting into the wind or when trying to achieve maximum distance. Hitting low also helps on extremely windy days when the wind is blowing against you.
When to Hit a Low Golf Shot
Hitting a low golf shot can be incredibly strategic and an excellent skill to develop as a golfer. Here are some specific situations where a low golf shot is advantageous.
You should hit a low golf shot…
- When playing in windy conditions. A low shot can help keep the ball under the wind and prevent it from being pushed off course.
- When trying to hit a shot that rolls out more after landing. A low shot with a longer club can help the ball run out more after landing, which can be beneficial on firm, fast-running fairways.
- When trying to hit a shot under a tree branch. A low shot can help the ball stay below any obstacles in the way, such as a tree branch.
- When hitting from a tight lie. A low shot can help prevent the club from catching too much grass and digging into the ground, resulting in a more solid shot.
- When trying to hit a bump-and-run shot. A low shot with a pitching wedge or other low-lofted club can help the ball roll out more after landing and reach the green.
Techniques for Hitting Low Golf Shots
Hitting a low golf shot isn’t always ideal, but it can be extremely advantageous in certain situations. Here’s how to hit a low golf shot intentionally and effectively.
Golf Club Selection
The right club is key when you want to hit a low golf shot. The best clubs for hitting low golf shots are typically those with lower loft angles, such as drivers, irons, hybrids, and fairway woods. These clubs are designed to produce a lower ball flight and less spin, which can help the ball roll out farther after landing.
The position of the golf ball plays a big part in hitting low shots. Place the ball farther back in your stance, closer to your trailing foot, to help you make contact with the ball before hitting the ground, resulting in a lower trajectory.
Your weight distribution can change the angle of attack on your shots and determine whether you hit the ball high or low. Shift your weight slightly towards your front foot to encourage a steeper angle of attack and a lower ball flight.
Slow Swing Speed
A full swing is completely counter-productive when trying to hit a low golf shot. To hit a low golf shot, take a shorter backswing and follow through to minimize the height of the shot. Additionally, keep your hands ahead of the ball at impact to help deloft the clubface and keep the ball low.
Learn more: Hard vs. Soft Golf Balls: What Golf Ball Should You Use?
The Clubs Make The Difference
Transforming your golf game requires intentionality, especially when it comes to hitting high and low shots. In either case, the right club selection and proper technique can make all the difference. Stix has your back with high-quality clubs at an affordable price. Our clubs are sleek, modern, and durable enough to last you round after round as you watch your game improve.
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