Golf Tips - Consistantly Hitting the Ball Low

By Joe Sullivan

Becoming a low-ball hitter is a great way to improve your accuracy. I don't mean just hitting a knock down into the wind either. I mean having a consistently low trajectory to your shots. Ben Hogan was a low-ball hitter in his day. Hal Sutton is a low-ball hitter today. They also happen to be a couple of the best ball strikers in history.

With the golf courses being set up the way they are, it seems that most amateur players are trying to hit the ball higher and softer. I am not saying that this is a bad thing, because you will often times be faced with shots over hazards and such. However, I think it could benefit the average player if they would learn to incorporate the low shot into their game.

When I go to PGA Tour events and sit on the range, it's amazing how low many of these players hit it. It kind of startles me at first because on TV, it seems as though they are hitting these high, towering, shots. But if you watch a Justin Leonard, or a Nick Faldo, or any of the other really accurate players, you'll see that's anything but the truth.

So what does it take to hit it low? Well, from what I can tell in the great players swings, the way to hit it low is to develop more of a U-shaped swing, as opposed to a V-shaped swing. This will create a much more shallow approach into the ball. Thus, you will essentially just be hitting it as high as the loft of the club allows.

The best way I know how to develop this U-shape is to feel that you "straighten your right arm from the top of your swing".

Here is a checklist to develop a lower shot trajectory:

  1. Perhaps place the ball a little farther back than usual.
  2. From the top, feel the immediate straightening out of your right arm. Don't throw it out and over the top, just straighten it out.

A great feel to help you achieve this is to imagine you are an archer taking an arrow out of your backpack. You have to totally straighten your arm out in order for this to happen. This is a great thought I received from a buddy of mine a couple years ago. It's kind of an exaggerated move, but it gives you the correct sensation. *

Columns ©1999 Joseph K. Sullivan and GolfLink Inc. All rights reserved.

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