Golf Lessons: Trajectory Washington DC

A key element to becoming a better player is learning to create different ballflight trajectories on command. It's this aspect of your play that will allow you to effectively tackle a variety of situations ranging from lob pitches to knockdowns to recovery shots.

University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
Turfgrass Trends
1775 T Street NW
Washington, DC
 
Langston Golf Course & Driving Range
202/397-8638
2600 Benning Rd Ne
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

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Landscape Architecture Magazine 
(202) 686-2752
4401 Connecticut Avenue
NW Washington, DC
 
University of Maryland Junior Golf Camp
(301) 403-4181
University of Maryland Golf Course
College Park, MD
 
4 Star Summer Camps at the University of Virginia
(800) 334-7827
PO Box 3387
Falls Church, VA
 
East Potomac Public Golf Course -Blue
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
18

Data Provided by:
East Potomac Public Golf Course -Red
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
East Potomac Public Golf Course -White
202/554-7660
970 Ohio Dr Sw
Washington , DC
Type
Public
# of Holes
9

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Control Trajectory

Control Trajectory

Keep It Low A key element to becoming a better player is learning to create different ballflight trajectories on command. It’s this aspect of your play that will allow you to effectively tackle a variety of situations ranging from lob pitches to knockdowns to recovery shots. Here are six “factors of flight” to help you learn to throw it high or keep it low.

Keep It Low
1. Ball Back
Position the ball anywhere from dead center of your stance to your rear foot.

2. Weight Forward
This helps de-loft the clubface and ensures a steep, descending blow.

3. Shoulders Level
The shoulders need to be leveled out. Focus your eyes on the ground to get your shoulders to match the horizon.

4. Hands Forward
Leaning the hands and shaft toward the target also helps de-loft the face.

5. Swing Slow
A softer swing pace will lower the ball’s spin rate and prevent an up-shooting flight. Swing with an even, pendulum-like rhythm to accomplish this goal.

6. Finish Low
No full finish here! Try to hold the clubhead below your waistline after impact.

Throw it HighThrow It High
1. Ball Forward
Position the ball toward your left heel to facilitate catching the ball on a slightly ascending arc.

2. Weight Back
Position your weight to favor your right side at address.

3. Right Shoulder Low
Be sure that your right shoulder is tilted lower than your left at address. To get a feel for this, rotate your head to the left. This will drop the right shoulder the proper amount.

4. Hands Neutral
Maintain a neutral hand and shaft position as a means to maintain the loft built into the face at impact. Keeping your hands in the center of your stance works well here.

5. Be Aggressive
Speed creates lift. Don’t be afraid to give this one a little extra pop!

6. Finish High
A high ball needs a high finish. Finish in balance with your hands and arms back over your front shoulder.

In addition to these setup and swing cues, designed to control the loft of the face at the point of impact, one of the easiest ways to dictate flight is to choose the appropriate club. For low shots, select one more club than needed, choke down on the handle a few inches and execute a smooth, abbreviated swing. For higher shots, take less club and get even more aggressive.

Practice these setup and swing techniques on the range. In no time, you’ll effectively increase your arsenal of shots and be better equipped to tackle whatever the course presents during play.

PGA professional Jeff Ritter is the director of instruction at the ASU Karsten Academy, and also teaches at Nike Junior Golf Camps nationwide.

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Lesson in Links

Lesson In Links

Control your trajectory for better scoring


High ShotInstead, opt for a low-running shot that stays close to the ground and releases up to the green. This shot is one that target golfers probably don’t try very often because of the soft fairways and greens, which are often guarded by sand bunkers. Obviously, this type of shot isn’t appropriate in situations where the green is fronted by a hazard, but when the coast is clear, so to speak, it’s one of the highest-percentage shots in golf.

To execute this shot, select a club that has less loft, such as a 7-, 8- or 9-iron. Position the ball back in your stance, with the majority of weight on your front foot. It’s not necessary to hit down on the ball with a great deal of force, which will only add spin to the shot, making it more likely to be affected by the wind and the grass than a lower-spinning shot. Choke down slightly on the grip and take an abbreviated backswing. Then, simply concentrate on making solid contact with the ball, holding the clubface low through impact. This will help impart overspin on the ball, keeping it close to the ground and rolling hard toward the green.

The key to perfecting this shot, like any shot in golf, is practice. If you’re not accustomed to playing low runners, it can be difficult at first to pick a target and determine how hard to hit the ball. You must learn to let go of mechanical, distance-oriented thinking and allow yourself to visualize the shot as it rolls along the ground and up to the green. Feel the shot and let your body do the rest. Of course, with experience, you’ll better learn to judge the turf and wind conditions, which will make getting the ball close to the hole that much easier.

The High Shot
Although high-approach shots aren’t normally associated with links golf, there are situations when it becomes necessary to loft the ball over a hazard. When confronted with this type of situation, there are several modifications to make that differ from the usual high-spinning shot normally played on target-style courses.

First, the wind must be accounted for. It can be coming from behind, in the face, right to left, or left to right. Each situation demands a different type of alteration in aim, which will be crucial to producing a favorable result.

For shots that must be started left or right of the flag, be sure to use the entire length of the green as a target. This way, if you misjudge the wind or the shot slightly, the ball will still land on the green. For downwind shots, be aware that the wind will tend to knock the ball down, bringing it in lower and harder than you might think. Be prepared to miss these shots long, and pick a target that will leave the easiest up-and-down possible.

Finally, when the wind is directly into the shot, don’t be tempted to hit the ball harder. Always remember that an easier touch will produce less spin and help the ball bore through the wind. Although this is a high shot, it’s sti...

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