Tee it up Tuesday: Trajectories

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Working the Ball Different Directions and Various Trajectories

When I began to learn to play the game of golf as a kid down in Jacksonville, Florida, I was fortunate enough to learn from a very good amateur player that worked with my father. I always enjoyed playing on the weekends with him and my dad, all while developing some of the fundamentals of the game in the process. During this time I picked up a fun way to work the ball both directions at various heights in the process and I still use this technique today.

First off, think of it like your old school car gear shift. Let’s assume you have a standard way to set up to a shot with any club. Granted distance from the ball and ball position changes depending on what club you’re hitting, but overall it’s a standard set up.

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Now let’s work the gear shift. If I want to hit the ball low, I simply press my hands slightly forward at address, nothing extreme, just a subtle amount more forward than standard. If I want to hit the ball high, I have my hands just a bit back from standard. This increases the loft on the club slightly and the ball should come out higher. Now the swing is the same, we’re just changing our set up. If I want to draw the ball, I lower my hands at address, this should promote the club coming down in the downswing a little from the inside. If I want to fade the ball, I raise my hands at address, allowing for the club to come from the outside as it approaches the ball.

On the range as a kid, I would set up over the ball in a standard position, relax and then pick a shot. Let’s say I pick low draw, thus I’d work the gear shift, and my hands would go forward some and I’d lower then some, just subtle, then swing normal. Typically the ball would come out low and then move right to left for the draw. Next shot I might set up standard, relax then pick high fade. So I’d back my hands up a little and raise them. Altogether, it’s kind of a fun way to practice, and keeps a player from feeling like there are different swings for separate shots. Instead it’s one swing with various ways to set the hands at address to promote different flights of the golf ball.

Give it a try sometime!!


Jeff Hale, Assistant Golf Pro

River Landing