How to hit high fairway shots over trees (or, what to look for in shafts to hit high shots)

 bulls9999 ·  
bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  985WRX Points: 207Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 985 Golden Tee
Joined:  edited Aug 12, 2019 in Instruction & Academy #1

Just curious. In the last 5 or so years, I'm getting more and more notorius for hitting low iron shots (look like hockey slapshots, could be mistaken for 'zingers'). I've started playing with grip position, going to a weaker grip (holding the grip so the iron face is more open). This weekend, I was fairly close to several trees (35-40 yrds away?) and successfully got a 7-iron up and over some tall trees, barely getting over, and nicely going about 150-155 yards. But later, sitting on the wrong side of the fairway, tried to do the same and sent the ball into the middle of the tree, falling straight down. Did that several times as well. I was wondering if I wasn't paying attention to what i was trying to do. Earlier, I held my hands off at the bottom to allow the club face to go through and hyper-loft the club as opposed to keeping my hands going through the shot to maintain loft angle; is that the wrong way?
Also, what do you look for in shafts to allow them to hit higher shots (i know, "HL", high launch, lol)....what is making them launch high(er)? From what I read, most people are looking for 'low launching' shafts.

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Comments

  • disco111disco111 Members  1267WRX Points: 360Handicap: 7Posts: 1,267 Platinum Tees
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    The really good players that I play with all have the same setup for hitting it high. They all have an up right swing and play the ball forward in their stance. If you have a flatter swing plane, it's harder to get real height on the ball, at least for me anyway.

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  • FergusonFerguson Members  5875WRX Points: 3,299Handicap: 7.0Posts: 5,875 Titanium Tees
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    The pros will never tell you this. High shots.......keep your right arm straight.

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  • CJPennyCJPenny Members  93WRX Points: 40Posts: 93 Fairways
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    I usually try to take a big swing and pick the ball off the fairway without a big divot, even with a short or mid irons. You might catch the ball a tiny bit thin, but usually not enough to drop the flight.

    Something about harder swings just seems to help me finish high and get more elevation. YMMV but worth a shot

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  • MadGolfer76MadGolfer76 MaineMembers  20334WRX Points: 903Posts: 20,334 Titanium Tees
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    Shafts won't do an awful lot. All about loft.

    Posted:


  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers  29745WRX Points: 2,690Handicap: 0.0Posts: 29,745 Titanium Tees
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    It's hard to say, hitting a 7 iron over tall trees from 35yds away isn't necessarily easy for anyone. But if you say you are known for hitting low irons....

    Shafts will make a difference, but if you're hitting REALLY low they won't be a cure-all. Are you hitting shots really thin?

    You don't have to have an open face and hit fades to hit it high enough. I would bet i play a bigger draw than 99.9% of people with handicaps of 5 or lower and i still hit it high enough. You have to make clean contact.

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  • dcfasdcfas Capital Region, NY Members  1040WRX Points: 192Posts: 1,040 Platinum Tees
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    Tilt your spine so your right shoulder is lower. Put ball further up in your stance toward even with left foot (if you are right handed). Hit down on it.

    Posted:

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  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  985WRX Points: 207Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 985 Golden Tee
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    Could possibly be these stronger lofts they are using the last 10 years so manufacturers can claim "our longest clubs yet"? I remember the fitter trying to talk me out of Apex Pro's saying they won't go as far because their lofts aren't as strong. So instead of saying their lofters were more standard and the other clubs lofts were 'jacked up', he says the Apex Pro's lofts were not as strong.

    On -, @MadGolfer76 said:

    Shafts won't do an awful lot. All about loft.
    Posted:
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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3330WRX Points: 856Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,330 Titanium Tees
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    Hit the ball farther... sounds like in your case some lessons will be required.

    If I need to hit the ball really high, and I hit it pretty high as it is...I'm either hitting a club less and hitting it 105% or hitting a wipey fade.

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  • bigred90gtbigred90gt Lefty Boomers  4932WRX Points: 701Posts: 4,932 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 14, 2019 #10

    I play it kind of like you would a flop shot. I play it a little forward in my stance, club face aligned to target, right foot (I'm a lefty) dropped back a bit and flared open some, and make a big swing. Key is to not try to help it up, you still have to hit down on it. I dont hit the ball particularly high with my standard shot, but I end up having to hit 6-7 irons over pine trees pretty regularly at the course I play and unless I skull it, I don't typically have a problem doing it playing this way. I can do the same with every club if needed, but typically don't try to unless absolutely necessary. Just have to account for the fact that since it is basically a flop shot, it isnt going to fly as far. I'll usually play at least 1 extra club when doing it, depending on wind. Most of the time, I am coming out of the rough so it is a bit of a flyer, but still wont usually go full yardage for the club. It will roll out a bit when it lands though because of the rough.

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  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  985WRX Points: 207Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 985 Golden Tee
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    The thing I'm trying to reconcile on the suggestions, many of which are ball a bit forward, open face a bit, "but still hit down on it"..... it's how you hit down on something that you are hitting like a flop shot? I'm seeing that it's almost a flat-ish swing trying to hit either with the flange parallel to the ground at the club is passing under/through the ball; generally when you "hit down on the ball", the iron face is a bit more upright, no?

    Posted:
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  • padgetpadget Members  616WRX Points: 123Posts: 616 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Aug 15, 2019 #12

    150 yards over some trees is a heck of a flop shot lol! They aren’t talking about flopping it at this distance. Clean contact hitting down, ball goes high. I’m not good enough to really tell you how to correctly, but I’m 100% certain the flop shop technique is not what they are talking about.

    When I learned someone said think of your normal swing as a C, and the higher lofted clubs or trying to get the balk in the air as more of a V shaped swing. Back then I could keep things simple and it worked. Now I know a lot more and am a mess lol. I have trouble with this shot too nowadays as I have a pretty low ball flight.

    Good luck, try to keep it simple!

    Posted:
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  • bigred90gtbigred90gt Lefty Boomers  4932WRX Points: 701Posts: 4,932 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    The thing I'm trying to reconcile on the suggestions, many of which are ball a bit forward, open face a bit, "but still hit down on it"..... it's how you hit down on something that you are hitting like a flop shot? I'm seeing that it's almost a flat-ish swing trying to hit either with the flange parallel to the ground at the club is passing under/through the ball; generally when you "hit down on the ball", the iron face is a bit more upright, no?

    I'm not saying to play it just like a flop shot, just something along the same lines. Just trying to give the guy an idea to send him in the right direction. The set-up is similar, but the clubface is not open to the target line. The clubface is square to the target,but the stance is oetn. The ball isn't as far forward in the stance as a flop shot, but farther than a regular shot. I don't swing across the ball like a flop shot, but make closer to a regular swing unless I'm also trying to cut the ball. I mean, you can absolutely play it like a flop shot, but it won't cover much distance. It will most likely be a wipey scoopy fade, but that is not the desired outco me.I do this with every club, down to my 2 hybrid when necessary. My stock shot, especially with the longer clubs, is not very high by most standards. I have no problem using this set-up to get over most obstacles on the course with most clubs.

    Posted:
  • TheLongBallTheLongBall |KATN| NJMembers  244WRX Points: 99Handicap: +3.1Posts: 244 Fairways
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    As others may have said, the best way to get the ball in the air quickly (and for it to travel) for me at least, is to open my stance just a bit and stand at a slight angle at address with my feet pointing slightly left of the target. My swing for shots like this tend to be just a bit more vertical, and I focus on finishing with my hands high and almost the sense that they are being pushed out to the right. It may feel a little awkward at first, but if you practice with it I'm sure it'll work out

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  • extrastiffextrastiff Members  1238WRX Points: 207Posts: 1,238 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    Just curious. In the last 5 or so years, I'm getting more and more notorius for hitting low iron shots (look like hockey slapshots, could be mistaken for 'zingers'). I've started playing with grip position, going to a weaker grip (holding the grip so the iron face is more open). This weekend, I was fairly close to several trees (35-40 yrds away?) and successfully got a 7-iron up and over some tall trees, barely getting over, and nicely going about 150-155 yards. But later, sitting on the wrong side of the fairway, tried to do the same and sent the ball into the middle of the tree, falling straight down. Did that several times as well. I was wondering if I wasn't paying attention to what i was trying to do. Earlier, I held my hands off at the bottom to allow the club face to go through and hyper-loft the club as opposed to keeping my hands going through the shot to maintain loft angle; is that the wrong way?
    Also, what do you look for in shafts to allow them to hit higher shots (i know, "HL", high launch, lol)....what is making them launch high(er)? From what I read, most people are looking for 'low launching' shafts.

    holding hands of at bottom may produce pulls/hooks. i think you should stay away from messing with the actual swing, setup changes do the trick.
    -put ball forward in stance. This will cause the swing to be more on the way up. As long as you are covering the ball throughout the swing, you should not top the ball.
    -you will not only be hitting the ball on way up with the ball forward in the stance, it will also come out left due to the natural arch of swing. i like aiming right of target to compensate, instead of opening up the face. opening the face introduces lots of unnecessary things like fade spin, hosel strikes, etc. If you need to open up a certain club to hit a certain gap, ok i have done that. only when there is literally no other choice with a different club.
    -you can move hands back a bit when you setup. this helps achieve more dynamic loft throughout the swing IMO. it will also change your face angle, so rotate the club to make sure face is aimed where you want it after shifting hands.

    Many ways to do it, but thats the way i learned how. Good luck.

    Posted:
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  • Bogey2BirdieBogey2Birdie West Palm BeachMembers  54WRX Points: 44Handicap: 5Posts: 54 Bunkers
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    My technique is to stay at the top of the swing a split second longer, or a smoother transition thus have the club out in front more... adding loft. I find the longer I wait at the top the more I have to stay in it at the bottom.

    Posted:

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  • DFS PFDDFS PFD Members  1673WRX Points: 910Handicap: 1.8Posts: 1,673 Platinum Tees
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    You'll score better if you play within yourself and don't try to hit shots you don't have in your bag. That being said, steeper AoA and ball slightly up in your stance. Be sure to set up slightly right of your target (left if southpaw) as you will be making contact further into your swing plane causing a slight pull. I'd still not recommend the 1 in 20 hero shot, shaping the ball left to right (or vice versa) is much better strategy imo.

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  • bigred90gtbigred90gt Lefty Boomers  4932WRX Points: 701Posts: 4,932 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 15, 2019 #18

    On -, @DFS PFD said:

    You'll score better if you play within yourself and don't try to hit shots you don't have in your bag. That being said, steeper AoA and ball slightly up in your stance. Be sure to set up slightly right of your target (left if southpaw) as you will be making contact further into your swing plane causing a slight pull. I'd still not recommend the 1 in 20 hero shot, shaping the ball left to right (or vice versa) is much better strategy imo.

    The first statement is dead on correct. A simple punch out back to the fairway will usually lead to a better score on the hole. I was told a long time ago that if you have some wild shot you need to hit, to think about it and if you couldn’t hit that shot 7 out of 10 times, punch out.

    I gotta disagree with that last statement though. If you gave me a 7i and told me to hit 10 shots over a tree, I’d guess at least 8 of them would make it. If you gave me the same 7i and told me to fade or draw it around the tree into the fairway, that number goes down to 2-3, and I’m a mid single digit index. It is much easier to alter trajectory than it is to control side to side shaping of the ball.

    Posted:
  • DFS PFDDFS PFD Members  1673WRX Points: 910Handicap: 1.8Posts: 1,673 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @bigred90gt said:

    On -, @DFS PFD said:

    You'll score better if you play within yourself and don't try to hit shots you don't have in your bag. That being said, steeper AoA and ball slightly up in your stance. Be sure to set up slightly right of your target (left if southpaw) as you will be making contact further into your swing plane causing a slight pull. I'd still not recommend the 1 in 20 hero shot, shaping the ball left to right (or vice versa) is much better strategy imo.

    The first statement is dead on correct. A simple punch out back to the fairway will usually lead to a better score on the hole. I was told a long time ago that if you have some wild shot you need to hit, to think about it and if you couldn’t hit that shot 7 out of 10 times, punch out.

    I gotta disagree with that last statement though. If you gave me a 7i and told me to hit 10 shots over a tree, I’d guess at least 8 of them would make it. If you gave me the same 7i and told me to fade or draw it around the tree into the fairway, that number goes down to 2-3, and I’m a mid single digit index. It is much easier to alter trajectory than it is to control side to side shaping of the ball.

    All part of playing within yourself, I move the ball the left to right easier than I can through different trajectory windows. We're all different and hopefully OP can play to whatever his strength is.

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  • rusty380rusty380 Members  107WRX Points: 29Handicap: 2Posts: 107 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Aug 16, 2019 #20

    Needs practice beforehand but I try and keep it simple by just manipulating my shoulder movement at impact. Probably the worse advice ever as theoretically I'd imagine it should produce bladed shots but never been an issue for me.

    All I do is try and feel like I'm throwing my left shoulder high through impact, when I want to hit low I make sure I keep my left shoulder low through impact, works for me.

    A bit like kicking a ball, lean back and you hoof it high, weight over the ball you typically drill it low.

    I can hit any low launch/low spin shaft as high as any high launch shaft. So can anyone else if the swing is manipulated correctly.

    Posted:
  • FadeFade Members  1343WRX Points: 248Posts: 1,343 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    This weekend, I was fairly close to several trees (35-40 yrds away?) and successfully got a 7-iron up and over some tall trees, barely getting over, and nicely going about 150-155 yards.

    It strikes me as excessively risky to take on a challenging, tall obstacle placed at only a quarter of the total distance, i.e. well before peak height is reached. Nice shot though!

    Posted:
  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  985WRX Points: 207Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 985 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Aug 16, 2019 #22

    Well, I often do the (I'm a lefty) left to right shape shot on one particular banana dog-leg right par-5 that often puts me behind trees if I don't put my drive on the outside (left half of fairway) of the turn so I can easily shape the ball left-to right over the remaining fairway. But sometimes I try too hard and pull my drive where it ends up further, but on the inside of the fairway turn where there's a bunch of trees blocking me to reach the end of the fairway run (before it goes over a pond to the green). I've done the "stopping my hands at the bottom, throwing the club head so that the dyanimic loft increases, but I presume that is not a correct way to do that shot, so I've been experimenting with weakening the grip as to rotate the face backwards to increase loft and that seems to give me higher trajectories while still swinging through the ball; that has worked (for me) so decently well that I find myself trying that when I have open approach to greens, trying to come in with a high trajectory shot shape.

    On -, @DFS PFD said:

    You'll score better if you play within yourself and don't try to hit shots you don't have in your bag. That being said, steeper AoA and ball slightly up in your stance. Be sure to set up slightly right of your target (left if southpaw) as you will be making contact further into your swing plane causing a slight pull. I'd still not recommend the 1 in 20 hero shot, shaping the ball left to right (or vice versa) is much better strategy imo.
    Posted:
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  • SUPERGSUPERG Members  487WRX Points: 276Posts: 487 Greens
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    Use an 8 or 9 iron to clear it, or gain speed on the 7. Loft is important sure, but when you swing irons your supposed to de-loft but with enough speed create height and distance. If speed can't be increased than you'll have to just use a club with more loft on it , not a new design that may get the ball up higher.

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  • extrastiffextrastiff Members  1238WRX Points: 207Posts: 1,238 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    Well, I often do the (I'm a lefty) left to right shape shot on one particular banana dog-leg right par-5 that often puts me behind trees if I don't put my drive on the outside (left half of fairway) of the turn so I can easily shape the ball left-to right over the remaining fairway. But sometimes I try too hard and pull my drive where it ends up further, but on the inside of the fairway turn where there's a bunch of trees blocking me to reach the end of the fairway run (before it goes over a pond to the green). I've done the "stopping my hands at the bottom, throwing the club head so that the dyanimic loft increases, but I presume that is not a correct way to do that shot, so I've been experimenting with weakening the grip as to rotate the face backwards to increase loft and that seems to give me higher trajectories while still swinging through the ball; that has worked (for me) so decently well that I find myself trying that when I have open approach to greens, trying to come in with a high trajectory shot shape.

    On -, @DFS PFD said:

    You'll score better if you play within yourself and don't try to hit shots you don't have in your bag. That being said, steeper AoA and ball slightly up in your stance. Be sure to set up slightly right of your target (left if southpaw) as you will be making contact further into your swing plane causing a slight pull. I'd still not recommend the 1 in 20 hero shot, shaping the ball left to right (or vice versa) is much better strategy imo.

    Thats not gonna be a shot that saves you strokes in the long run, you gotta try and plan for the obstacles rather than react after you already missed. opening face by weakening grip is a dangerous thing for most golfers ive seen. especially when setup strategy changes can acieve higher loft. Or strategy changes can avoid the super difficult shot in the first place

    Maybe play it for par, using a different club of the tee. I try really hard to avoid shots that really have to go perfect in order to avoid trees. sounds like thats what the tee shot on your par 5 requires, so maybe altering strategy. post a pic of the hole layout if u want.

    Posted:
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  • dayvei214dayvei214 Members  152WRX Points: 47Posts: 152 Fairways
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    Just curious. In the last 5 or so years, I'm getting more and more notorius for hitting low iron shots (look like hockey slapshots, could be mistaken for 'zingers'). I've started playing with grip position, going to a weaker grip (holding the grip so the iron face is more open). This weekend, I was fairly close to several trees (35-40 yrds away?) and successfully got a 7-iron up and over some tall trees, barely getting over, and nicely going about 150-155 yards. But later, sitting on the wrong side of the fairway, tried to do the same and sent the ball into the middle of the tree, falling straight down. Did that several times as well. I was wondering if I wasn't paying attention to what i was trying to do. Earlier, I held my hands off at the bottom to allow the club face to go through and hyper-loft the club as opposed to keeping my hands going through the shot to maintain loft angle; is that the wrong way?
    Also, what do you look for in shafts to allow them to hit higher shots (i know, "HL", high launch, lol)....what is making them launch high(er)? From what I read, most people are looking for 'low launching' shafts.

    I agree 35- 40 is hard to get over. I usually try for a punch with a hybrid if it's in the bag or 4. But if I have good yardage and I need to get over I aim branch tips and set up with the ball slightly forward. Swing with a high finish,and I get through 7/10 times.

    Posted:
  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  985WRX Points: 207Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 985 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Aug 21, 2019 #26

    Well, for what it's worth, I'll add an addendum to the original post that might be a parallel contribution to hitting it 'higher'. So last week I visited my wife's lady's golf group at our club, perhaps 2 dozen of them, they were having their 'Margherita Night' at the pond on the par5 (green on the other side of pond) where they all were asked to bring balls that you didn't mind to lose (I gave my wife about 2 dozen from my ball stache).... and supposedly, if you got over the pond and onto the green, you got a 'Margherita' (but really, no one had more than 1 or 2 (I jokingly said I came by to see if my wife needed a designated driver). So some groups of ladies were taking turns hitting across the pond (must have been 100 balls on the green by now, perhaps an equal amount in the pond). So, I'm casually talking to a few of my wife's lady friends while she's hitting and I pulled my glove from my pocket and I said something about I need to get a new glove because I have a hole at the base of my palm. She looked at it and casually said, 'that's because you're gripping it wrong' and moved on in conversation (but it stayed in my mind as she was previously a standout on the Oklahoma State Div. 1 women's golf team. OK, few more days go by and I'm watching Chris Como's show on Golf Channel, something about 'Expeditions of Golf Instruction' where he's visiting different instructors....this night it was David Leadbetter. OK, so David is showing him where 'amateur' players grip their clubs and end up with a hole/wear-spot on the base of the palm! (Hey, that's exactly what I had on my glove...rather, my last 3 gloves, lol). .... vs. where you should be gripping your club along the base of the fingers and he drew lines with a sharpie on either side of the club along the fingers/palm and you can see the 2 distinct sets of parallel lines. OK, so last night at the driving range before going out for 9 holes after work, I start gripping my irons and my driver like that. At first, it feels like a 'weaker' grip, with only fingers around the club as opposed to having it nestled high up in the palm along with the fingers. But when I swung, it was a more powerful action through the ball. Even better with driver....felt like a really solid strike...did it over and over, and I would put the club down and grab hold of it the way Leadbetter showed on the show (hmmm....I had not thought much of him lately but seems he is still going strong with his Champions Gate instruction). So on the course on the first dogleg left par-5, I again didn't hit my drive far enough to clear the inside corner of trees (well, actually hit it dang well, but it was into a head wind)....so I thought, easy 3 shots to get on, but have to go over the corner stand of trees. I thought 8-iron to be sure, but then said, nah, I want to be in the fairway further down, let's do 7-iron and making sure to use the correct grip positioning.....and wow, cleared the mature oak trees by 3 feet and even the tree in the distance giving me only 100 yrds to the green. So perhaps correct grip plays into hitting it better/higher? (duh, better yes.... not sure if it contributes to higher :-)

    Posted:
    GHIN Index 12.7
    Epic Flash Driver-LH, 10.5*, Tensei CK Blue 60-Stiff 
    GBB 5-wood (18*), 7-wood (20*); Mitsubishi KuroKage 50 
    Callaway Rogue Pro 4-AW, Recoil 760 F3
    Callaway Rogue 19* 3-Hb, Aldila Synergy 60-Reg
    Cleveland RTX 50*, 54*, 58*
    Odyssey Double Wide Stroke Lab Putter
  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3330WRX Points: 856Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,330 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #27

    Hitting the ball better and farther generally makes the ball go higher all else being equal.

    Posted:
    2016 M1 9.5 tuned to 7.5
    TM r15 3 wood
    Adams Idea Pro 2h/4h
    Mizuno JPX 900 HM 5-PW
    Vokey SM7 48* F Grind
    Vokey SM7 54* F Grind
    Vokey SM7 58* M Grind
  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
    Joined:  ...

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  • scoresscores scores Members  1388WRX Points: 132Posts: 1,388 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #28

    Sure play the ball forward but on your finish get your right arm high on the chest - or right across it high.

    Keep it simple lighter Shafts beaver head - you can add weight to them !

    Posted:
    Driver M1
    3W M1
    Irons Mizunos 64's 3 -pw
    Putter Spider
    58 Titleist
    52 Titeist
    Hybrid 2I Adams

    Ball Taylor TP
  • HonestPlayerHonestPlayer Members  264WRX Points: 97Posts: 264 Greens
    Joined:  #29

    More loft, high and forward follow through, and hit the ball up at impact.

    Posted:

    Most birdies in a round in 2019 - 3
    Holes in ones career - 1
    Split Grip Birdie COUNTER - 1

  • ferrispgmferrispgm Members  2120WRX Points: 293Posts: 2,120 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #30

    If I need to hit one really high it's ball forward and stand a touch farther away, like a ball width. If it's something crazy I'll even open the face a bit too...but that is only when I have basically a 100 yard flop shot due a tree right in front of the green and i need the ball to come down on a very vertical angle.

    Any combination of what i mentioned above will hit the ball higher but there is no substitute for speed. I'm in the Monte camp that it's easier to adjust ballflight through setup than do anything to your swing. It's way more consistent and the misses aren't as bad. The only exception is trying to hit a big snap hook or banana slice around trees...neither of which i recommend unless you are low single digits.

    Posted:
    Driver: Callaway Epic 9* w/ Graphite Design Tour AD M9003
    FWY: Taylormade Rocketballz Tp 14.5*
    Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18*
    Irons: Srixon Z765 3-5 iron, z965 6-PW, Project X
    54*: Titleist SM6 S grind black finish
    58*: Cleveland CG14 1 dot
    Putter: Taylormade Daytona Rossa with agsi.

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