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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

At the range my grandson hits balls with his irons and 3 hybrid low. Then the ball goes up a little then hits the ground.
He is 14 and all of a sudden this winter here his ball striking has not been great . Are there any drills you can suggest that can help him?
Thank you.
Bill Pucci
--Bill P. from Stuart, FL

Hi Bill. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com.

As you probably know there are many factors that can alter the trajectory of the ball. Without seeing his swing I can only offer you a few suggestions on how to get his trajectory to come up. Note that if you upgrade to a Pro Member you could send in his swing for analysis anytime you like. In the meantime though I will try to give you some things to try.

The first and most obvious cause of a low trajectory is a ball position that is too far back in the stance. I would make sure with all his irons he has his ball placed one ball forward of center. For his 3 hybrid I would try 2 balls forward of center. If he has a logo on his shirt (like a polo or izod) he can use that as a guide and try to line the ball up with that.

A second cause of the ball coming out low is when a player smothers it by getting too far in front of the ball before impact. This can be caused by the upper body leaning towards the target or by the player simply sliding forward in the downswing. To propel the ball upwards he needs to have his upper spine and head behind the ball a bit. This will keep some loft on the clubface. If his upper torso and head are way out in front of the ball, he will de-loft the clubface and the ball will be low. A great drill for this is to have him stand on his rear foot only, swing easy and try to stay balanced as he swings through the shot. You can see that drill here: Rear Foot Only Drill

A third thing to check would be his swing plane. If a player gets too flat and swings around his body too much he won't hit down on the ball enough. You might notice this especially if he doesn't take divots. Often times the ball will come out flat and the hit is thin. The opposite is true however when a player is too steep. When this is the case they can actually hood the clubface as the hit down steep and smother the ball. This is a great drill for checking his plane: Swing Plane Poles Drill.

Bill, give these a try for a couple weeks and see if they help diagnose and fix the problem. If not, please give me an update and we can try a few more things. Best of luck!

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