HOW TO HIT THE HIGH BALL

Be a greens-in-reg­u­la­tion ma­chine.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Ja­son Day

▶ 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

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