HOW TO HIT THE HIGH BALL
Be a greens-in-regulation machine.
▶ my standard ball flight is about as high as anyone’s on tour – from driver right down to my wedges. That gives me a huge advantage in carrying hazards, flying it over trees and holding greens. It certainly helped me win the Players Championship last year. In the opening round when I shot 9-under-par 63, I hit 15 greens in regulation. You can’t do that at TPC Sawgrass with a low ball flight. ▶There are a number of reasons I can send one into orbit. (1) Hip action and clubhead speed play a big role. My hips actually stop rotating in the downswing and check back a little, which might seem bizarre, but this creates a whip-like action with my arms and club. Fast swings mean higher shots. I know Rory and Dustin do this, too. (2) My angle of attack into the ball is very shallow – that’s really important if you want to get the ball up. (3) My right arm is pretty straight at impact. If it were bent like some players, I’d struggle to get the height I do. (4) I load onto my right side in the backswing. Guys who don’t shift as much might compress the ball, but they don’t carry it as far. ▶ Now that you know all of this, realise that I’m not expecting you to copy my swing if you want to hit it higher. Some of the things you could easily copy, I’m sure. But a lot of it would require more work than you’re probably willing – or able – to endure. Remember, I’ve been swinging like this for more than 20 years. ▶ That’s why my coach, Col Swatton, and I put our heads together to come up with four drills that anyone can do to hit their irons higher. These don’t require you to swing faster or have the hip action of a tour pro. They don’t even mean you have to sacrifice time with your kids to grind it out on the range. Just try the things I’m going to demonstrate in this article when you have a little extra time, and see if your ball flight doesn’t have a little more of an arc when you play. It’s a great feeling knowing you don’t have to chase your 6-iron through an opening at the front of the green just to have a chance at a two-putt par. Now you’ll be able to fly one in there. – with ron kaspriske