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Controlling Trajectory: How Low Can You Go?
How To Bring Your Trajectory Down

Learn how to hit low shots by controlling your trajectoryLearn How to Knock it Down

How low can you hit the ball? Most golfers never try to hit the ball low in practice. Then when they suddenly find themselves under a tree or hitting into a gale force wind they give it a try, but usually to no avail. Their planned low trajectory shots suddenly pop up quickly into a world of trouble. Hitting the ball low to keep out of trouble (trees, high wind, etc.) is necessary, but a low ball flight can give you a more controlled shot even into a slight breeze. Don't underestimate the importance of adding this shot to your arsenal.

Picking a lower lofted club can sometimes be the easy answer, but not always as you want to make sure you don't over shoot the target. Altering just a few things in your set up and swing can allow you to use the club you need for the distance at hand, but still keep the ball underneath trouble.

There are really 3 main things you need to alter in order to get your trajectory to come down.

  • 1) Ball Position
  • 2) Weight Distribution/Center of Gravity
  • 3) Finish

Ball Position

You will read hundreds of articles online recommending that you play the ball back further in your stance and finish low with your swing. Both important and good advice. Playing it back after all helps you to catch the ball on the down arc with a more hooded or shut face thus lowering your trajectory. Finishing low allows most people to keep focus on hitting down with a forward leaning shaft as opposed to scooping the ball up into the air.

Weight Distribution

The most important aspect of hitting shots low however, is under mentioned and under taught in my opinion. That is your weight distribution or center of gravity. If your sternum and head are in front of the ball and remain there throughout the swing you will smother the ball or knock it down with a forward leaning shaft. If however, your head, sternum, center of gravity and therefore weight start back or back up during the swing you will balloon the ball upwards with a backward leaning shaft.

Finish

It is important when you set your weight forward to keep it there until the finish. Many start forward with good intention, but fall back during the swing. A more skilled player may be able to start more centered, but make an aggressive move through the ball to knock it down. With your weight more left you will want to focus on a wide arc or U shaped swing. Leaning forward often makes you pick the club up steeper. To avoid this think of long arms and a wide arc with less angles.

The Situation:

You want to bring your trajectory down and hit a low shot.

The Solution:

Play the ball back of center in your stance and set your weight, particularly your sternum, in front of the ball. Make a normal swing keeping your weight forward and finishing low. Try to make more of a wide, U shaped swing. Your hands should feel like they stay well ahead of the club head on the way down.

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
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