In this issue we continue the countdown to #18 of the 20 Toughest Shots In Golf. There is a corresponding drill afterwards.
Toughest Shot #18 – Ball Below Your Feet
This shot doesn’t seem like it’s hard to hit at first glance. But don’t let it fool you. It can be quite challenging. What makes this shot difficult is your distance from the ball. You’re farther away from the ball than normal. If you don’t make adjustments to your address position, you’ll hit the ball off the club’s toe and slice it off to the right. Balance and posture are additional concerns with this shot.
Here are six keys to hitting a ball below your feet:
- Use a longer club than normal
- Take a slightly wider stance
- Shift your weight to your heels
- Push your backside out to keep weight back
- Position the ball in the middle
- Keep your head steady throughout
Since reaching the ball is the key to this shot, use a longer club than usual for the shot. If you normally use a 7-iron for the shot, try a 6-iron or a 5-iron. The longer club lets you reach the ball comfortably. Hold the club at the end of the handle. You’ll need every inch of club to reach the ball.
Another key to this shot is maintaining your balance. That can be hard depending on the slope. Take a slightly wider stance for stability, bend your knees slightly more than you normal, and shift your weight more to your heels. Position the ball in the middle of your stance and push your backside out slightly more than usual. This keeps your weight on your heels and helps you maintain your balance.
Maintaining posture throughout is also critical with this shot. Keep your head steady and your knees flexed throughout your swing. Take your normal swing and swing only about 70 percent. If you’re right-handed, aim left of target because the slope curves the ball right and vice versa. If your natural shot is a fade, the slope’s effects on the shot will be more pronounced.
Above all, don’t try to do too much with this shot. It’s harder than it looks. Just because it is a rather common shot, doesn’t mean it’s easy. So slow down your tempo and play conservatively to avoid trouble.