My Golf Instructor

Controlling Trajectory: Getting Loft
How To Hit Your Shots Higher

Learn how to add loft to hit higher golf shotsLearn How to Add Loft to Your Shots

Some of golf's greats, including the late Moe Norman, tout playing golf up or down rather than sideways. Simply put, they advocate playing shots straight for the most part rather than spinning them side to side. To get past trouble, they preach playing the ball high or low. Something to think about. How often do we try to spin the ball around an obstruction or lose distance by punching out sideways, because we don't have faith that we can loft it high enough to clear trouble?

Hitting it high can be useful for avoiding trouble, but also very necessary for control into the greens. It is difficult for most players to stop a ball coming in low. Rather, a high, lofted shot with a steep landing angle is better for getting the ball to hold. This becomes especially beneficial for shots as you get closer to the green. You can also take advantage of high loft off the tee. Learning to hit it high can help you maximize distance off the tee when the wind is in your favor.

To alter your trajectory you need to alter just a few simple things in your set up and swing. This is assuming that the plane of your swing is not too flat to loft the ball. What you need to alter:

  • 1) Ball Position
  • 2) Weight Distribution
  • 3) Your Finish

Ball Position

Altering your ball position affects whether your club head will attack the ball on the down arc with less loft on the face, or on the up arc with more loft on the face.

Weight Distribution

Weight distribution can directly affect this as well. If you are in front of the ball with your weight and sternum, you will hit more down on the ball with a de-lofted face and smother it low. If your center of gravity and sternum are more behind the ball, you will attack it on more of an up swing and loft the shot.

Finish

Typically a high full finish goes well with trying to hit the ball up as you will usually allow the shaft to catch up to your hands a bit adding loft to the face.

The Situation:

You want to loft the ball higher than usual.

The Solution:

To add loft to your shots, play the ball forward of the center of your stance and make sure to set your weight back more than usual. Your head and sternum should feel like they are behind the ball at impact as you catch the ball more on the upswing. Swing through to a high finish. Make sure to accelerate through the shot in to your finish. Speed makes the ball come off the face faster and launch higher. If you decelerate, the ball will come out low.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)