Golf Canada

Ball flight basics

Create your desired trajectory around the greens with these simple steps from Team Canada Women’s Coach Tristan Mullally.

Having a great short game is less about perfect technique and more about mastering trajectory. Understanding how to address the ball to create the desired ball-flight height will allow you to pick appropriate landing points and finish closer to the hole. Jennifer Ha, an LPGA Tour member and Golf Canada Young Pro, demonstrates below.

Jennifer has placed five balls alongside her feet parallel to the target line with the middle ball in the centre of her stance. Your centre of gravity (sternum) remains constant and should be slightly towards the target, your hand position (another constant) should fall naturally below this point. The second ball (highlighted) is a good reference point.

From here we make several adjustments in setup to create both ends of the trajectory scale, low to high.

Lowest ball flight
Ball position moves back (highlighted), shaft becomes more vertical, stand closer and taller to accommodate the taller handle and your stance narrows.

Highest ball flight
Ball position moves forward (highlighted), shaft becomes more horizontal, stand farther away to accommodate the lower handle, face is slightly open and stance widens.

Although we have focused on ball No. 5 (low) and ball No. 1 (high), you should practise from all five positions. Vary the ball position (back or forward), shaft angle (up or down) and distance from the ball (closer to farther) as you move between each ball. If your standard flight is lower or higher than you wish, use these adjustments to create the flight that you want.

Spring_2017_Cover_ENThis article was originally published in the Family Issue edition of Golf Canada Magazine. Click here to view the full magazine