Practice trajectory to improve your swing

Hans Kersting poses at the second tee at Valencia Country Club on Dec. 29, 2016. Katharine Lotze/Signal
Do you ever think about trajectory? In other words, how much thought do you put into how high, or low, you want to hit your golf shot? Most of you spend time practicing your golf swing, but not enough of you spend time practicing your trajectory. If you start working on the trajectory of your golf shots, your swing will improve. I still remember a Tiger Woods commercial from a number of year’s back that showed him hitting golf balls into a building with multiple floors. Using the same club, he hit three consecutive shots knocking out windows on three different levels. It was a great commercial, and one that helps to illustrate the importance of learning to control your ball flight. Learning how to control your ball flight comes down to understanding two key elements.  Clubface and posture. Most of you understand that a closed clubface will hit the golf ball lower than an open clubface. Generally, by playing your golf ball further back in your stance, you will produce a lower ball flight than if you play the ball further forward in your stance. What I like to see my players do is learn how to hit the ball both low AND high, without changing the ball position for either shot. But how? Imagine you were allowed to throw your golf ball once in a while during a round. Think of those shots that you need the ball to fly lower. Perhaps when you are behind a tree? If you were allowed to throw the ball, you would instinctively lean into your front foot and throw the ball towards the ground. In doing this, you would notice that your front shoulder is angled lower than your back shoulder, thus creating a lower trajectory on your throw. Position yourself in this same manner to hit a lower golf shot. On the other hand, let’s now imagine that you are behind that same tree, but now you choose to go over the tree. If you could throw the ball, you would settle back into your back foot, and throw the ball up towards the sky. In doing this, you would notice that your back shoulder is now lower than your front shoulder, thus creating a higher trajectory on your throw. Position yourself in this same manner to hit a higher golf shot. I consider it a GREAT exercise to occasionally throw the golf ball in the desired manner in which you’d like to hit the ball. When you throw the ball low, your body will instinctively create a posture appropriate for that flight. The same holds true for a higher throw. Think about this the next time you practice on the range. Challenge yourself to hit shots both low and high, without changing the ball position. By thinking instead about simply changing your posture, the angle of your clubface will naturally change with you, and your golf swing will feel much more natural. PGA Golf Tour Schedule MAR 2 – 5 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, MEX • Purse: $9,750,000. Defending Champion: Adam Scott $1,620,000 MAR 9 – 12 Valspar Championship Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, FL • Purse: $6,300,000 Defending Champion: Charl Schwartzel $1,098,000 MAR 16 – 19 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, FL • Purse: $8,700,000. Defending Champion: Jason Day $1,134,000 MAR 22 – 26 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Austin Country Club, Austin, TX • Purse: $9,750,000. Defending Champion: Jason Day $1,620,000 MAR 23 – 26 Puerto Rico Open Coco Beach Golf & CC, Rio Grande, PUR • Purse: $3,000,000. Defending Champion: Tony Finau $540,000 MAR 30 – APR 2 Shell Houston Open GC of Houston, Humble, TX • Purse: $7,000,000. Defending Champion: Jim Herman $1,224,000 APR 6 – 9 Masters Tournament Augusta National GC, Augusta, GA • Purse: $10,000,000 Defending Champion: Danny Willett $1,800,000 APR 13 – 16 RBC Heritage Harbour Town GL, Hilton Head, SC • Purse: $6,500,000. Defending Champion: Branden Grace $1,062,000 APR 20 – 23 Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio – AT&T Oaks, San Antonio, TX • Purse: $6,200,000. Defending Champion: Charley Hoffman $1,116,000 APR 27 – 30 Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana, Avondale, LA • Purse: $7,100,000 Defending Champion: Brian Stuard $1,260,000 MAY 4 – 7 Wells Fargo Championship Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington, NC • Purse: $7,500,000. Defending Champion: James Hahn $1,314,000 MAY 11 – 14 THE PLAYERS Championship TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Purse: $10,500,000. Defending Champion: Jason Day $1,890,000 MAY 18 – 21 AT&T Byron Nelson TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, TX • Purse: $7,500,000. Defending Champion: Sergio Garcia $1,314,000 MAY 25 – 28 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational Colonial CC, Fort Worth, TX • Purse: $6,900,000. Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth $1,206,000 JUN 1 – 4 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, OH • Purse: $8,700,000. Defending Champion: William McGirt $1,530,000 JUN 8 – 11 FedEx St. Jude Classic TPC Southwind, Memphis, TN • Purse: $6,400,000. Defending Champion: Daniel Berger $1,116,000 JUN 15 – 18 U.S. Open Erin Hills, Erin, WI • Purse: $10,000,000. Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson $1,800,000 JUN 19 – 20 CVS Health Charity Classic Rhode Island CC, Barrington, RI. Defending Champion: Keegan Bradley, Jon Curran $150,000 JUN 22 – 25 Travelers Championship TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, CT • Purse: $6,800,000. Defending Champion: Russell Knox $1,188,000 JUN 29 – JUL 2 Quicken Loans National TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Potomac, MD Purse: $7,100,000. Defending Champion: Billy Hurley III $1,242,000

Advertisement