Drills for a lower ball flight

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Published 27/03/2010 08:31:00
 

Mastering any variation on your natural ball flight requires careful practice. These drills are designed to make this practice as simple, effective and enjoyable as possible. Without placing too great an emphasis on the specific swing mechanics you should be able to master the punch shot .

 

Obstacle drill

Hitting hundreds of punch shots on the practice ground may help you master the technique, but will not prepare you for the pressure of needing to hit the shot for real. It makes sense therefore to practise hitting balls under an obstacle.

Find a tree with branches about 10-12 feet high. Place some balls about 30 feet behind the tree and practise firing shots beneath the branches. Start cautiously hitting half-shots to hone the perfect trajectory. Once you feel confident about avoiding any branches, increase the power. By the end, you'll be hitting powerful punches with ease.

 

Chip-and-run drill

In many ways a punch shot is an extended version of a chip-and-run shot, so a good way to practise producing a lower ball flight is to build up towards a full swing from a simple chip.

To play a chip-and-run, move the ball back in your stance and place 70% of your weight on your left foot. Hit 20 balls, allowing your swing to get fractionally longer each time but preventing your wrists from breaking during the swing and adding unnecessary loft to the shot.

As you reach a full shot, your wrists will need to break during the backswing, but this should not add much height to the shot.

 

On-course control

When you are faced with hitting a punch on the course for real, it is important to prevent too many technical thoughts from clouding your mind. Once you have set your address position, squeeze the grip until your knuckles turn white.

Now start your swing as usual without concentrating on any specific mechanics. With a firm grip, your swing will remain compact - preventing too much clubhead speed and thus backspin being generated at impact.




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