Strike it effectively this winter
Nov 10, 2014
Posted: 07 Dec 2014 10:00 AM PST
Nearly every shot in winter is more difficult that in summer. Wet and muddy conditions lend themselves to more heavy strikes, leaving you covered in mud having only advanced the ball a fraction of the distance that you had intended. With this in mind, it is important to be able to create an efficient strike in order to hit the shots that are required.
I know from experience, that throughout the winter months, you are often required to hit a low shot when faced with an approach to the green which is into a forceful wind. Unfortunately however, I hear a lot of conflicting advice.
One of the most common suggestions I often hear or read, is that you should move the ball to the back of your stance and hit more down on the ball in order to keep the ball down.
In principle this seems a logical idea. Placing the ball back in the stance will help to reduce the amount of loft on the face, lending itself to a much lower ball flight. It will however, create a list of issues, one of which is the quality and consistency of the strike.
As I have written in one of my previous articles, when Pitching I prefer my players to have a very SHALLOW angle of attack into the ball. In my opinion, the lower you can keep the club to the ground, the more likely it is for you strike the ball properly.
Think about skimming a stone across a pond. Throw the stone from too high, it simply plunges into the water. From just above the water line on the other hand, can produce a long skimming stone that lightly skips across the surface.
For me, this method would apply to hitting a low golf shot. Instead of placing the ball at the back of your stance, place the ball in the middle, or very slightly behind! This will help to you keep the club closer to the ground, leading to a more consistent strike.
So how do you keep the ball down then? I hear you ask. Simple
CHANGE YOUR CLUB.
If the shot requires an 8 iron, use a 6 instead. The naturally less lofted face, and the longer shaft length will mean that you don’t have to swing the club harder to hit the ball the same distance. Not only will it help to increase the consistency of strike, and the slower speed also helping to reduce the ball’s initial launch angle, there will also be another added benefit - LESS SPIN.
When playing the ball back in their stance, most golfers tend to spin the ball more. This does NOT necessarily apply to hitting wedge shots (That is for another article) but certainly occurs when a golfer is using a mid/long iron.
This increase in spin will have a negative effect on the flight of the golf ball, often causing it to ‘balloon’ up in the air resulting a shot that finishes short of the required distance.
So by playing the ball in the middle and using a less lofted club, not only do we achieve the lower initial launch angle required to start the ball low, but we also reduce the amount of spin on the golf ball, keeping the ball low throughout its flight.
Try this next time you are faced with a shot into wind.