Step by Step: Hitting it Higher

By Matt Henderson

In my field I see many ladies struggle to get the golf ball in the air and as such they never achieve their maximum amount of enjoyment out of the game. The process of getting the ball airborne is counterintuitive in nature, as we have to make a downward striking motion on the ball to get it in the air.(with an iron) This means that we would like to hit the ball first and then the ground to get the ball in the air with an iron. It is ok to make a divot (area of grass removed by club) as long as it happened after contact with the ball. Please use the following drill set to help manage this skill.

Step 1: Creating a forward leaning clubshaft with an iron: Our hands must be ahead of the clubhead to strike the ball first, this is the only way the clubhead can maintain downward momentum. A nice drill is to use an impact bag, (which is just a bag of towels) striking the bag with a straightening trail arm as seen in the inset picture.

Step 2: Create consistency in contact point: Take the shape from step 1 and contact the ground with it. The” line drill” would be the best way to give immediate feedback. To setup simply draw a line in dirt or sand, address the line as if it represent the golf ball placing it in between the heels, and then create the shape learned from the Step 1. Contact point should be on the target side of the line. Make movements slowly until desired results are achieved.

Step 3: Add Speed: Not only does the club need to be moving the ball in the desired angles above, but it needs to be picking up speed while doing so. I like to do this by adding auditory response. In the inset picture Michelle is using a simple wooden dowel, but this drill can be done by just flipping the club upside down and gripping the shaft just above the head. The whole goal of this drill is to make a large swinging motion and listen for a “whoosh,” this whoosh should come after the end of the club a passed the spot of the ball.