Nearly every shot in winter is more difficult that in summer. Wet and muddy conditions lend themselves to more heavy strikes, leaving you covered in mud having only advanced the ball a fraction of the distance that you had intended.
With this in mind, it is important to be able to create an efficient strike in order to hit the shots that are required.
I know from experience, that throughout the winter months, you are often required to hit a low shot when faced with an approach to the green which is into a forceful wind. Unfortunately however, I hear a lot of conflicting advice.
One of the most common suggestions I often hear or read, is that you should move the ball to the back of your stance and hit more down on the ball in order to keep the ball down.
In principle this seems a logical idea. Placing the ball back in the stance will help to reduce the amount of loft on the face, lending itself to a much lower ball flight. It will however, create a list of issues, one of which is the quality and consistency of the strike.
As I have written in one of my previous articles, when Pitching I prefer my players to have a very SHALLOW angle of attack into the ball. In my opinion, the lower you can keep the club to the ground, the more likely it is for you strike the ball properly.
Think about skimming a stone across a pond. Throw the stone from too high, it simply plunges into the water. From just above the water line on the other hand, can produce a long skimming stone that lightly skips across the surface.
For me, this method would apply to hitting a low golf shot. Instead of placing the ball at the back of your stance, place the ball in the middle, or very slightly behind! This will help to you keep the club closer to the ground, leading to a more consistent strike.
So how do you keep the ball down then? I hear you ask. Simple
CHANGE YOUR CLUB.
If the shot requires an 8 iron, use a 6 instead. The naturally less lofted face, and the longer shaft length will mean that you don’t have to swing the club harder to hit the ball the same distance. Not only will it help to increase the consistency of strike, and the slower speed also helping to reduce the ball’s initial launch angle, there will also be another added benefit – LESS SPIN.
So by playing the ball in the middle and using a less lofted club, not only do we achieve the lower initial launch angle required to start the ball low, but we also reduce the amount of spin on the golf ball, keeping the ball low throughout its flight.
Try this next time you are faced with a shot into wind.
“Just wanted to let you know that I got my handicap down to single figures in the Mid-Week medal then won the final of our Individual Matchplay Knockout. The purpose of my email isn’t to brag (although I’ve been doing enough of that over the last couple of days!), but to thank you for your help in making this possible. I put my improvement entirely down to your teaching. I have been going no-where with my golf the last few years and your lessons have transformed my game and more importantly, let me enjoy playing again! I just wanted to let you know that you’re very good at your job and shall be booking more lessons over the winter”PS, current handicap 9, EGC (September 2016)