Golf Tips - Hitting it Low for a Single Shot

By Joe Sullivan

There are many times during a round of golf when you need to hit the ball low. Maybe it's a shot into the wind. Maybe there is an opening in front of the green. Maybe the pin is set way back. But it seems that no matter what the reason for the shot, it is usually played the wrong way.

The typical way someone would go about hitting it low is to set up with ball placed way back in stance and take a short, quick, steep, choppy swing to try to keep the ball down.

Unfortunately, this is not the way this shot is to be played. The biggest problem is that when you swing super steep with the ball set way back, this will impart a ton of backspin on the ball, which will shoot it straight up in the air. The idea when hitting it low is to decrease the amount of backspin on the ball.

This can be done from three ways: 1) by hitting a less lofted club, 2) swinging softer, or 3) approaching the ball from a more shallow angle. Or a combination of the three, which I prefer.

Here is a checklist when you need to hit a low punch shot.

  1. Take 1 or 2 more clubs.
  2. Place ball in center of stance.
  3. Choke down on the club a little bit.
  4. Swing nice and smooth, if not soft.

This soft swing will generate much less spin on the ball. Hence, it will have a much flatter trajectory to it. If you have to hit a 5-iron from 140 yards, then do it. The last thing you would want is to try to power surge an 8 or 9 iron and balloon a mile into the air.

Try this sometime and I think you will enjoy playing on windy days. *

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

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