How to Fly Tall Obstacles
Tree trouble? No trouble! Here's how to go right over it.
By Brian Mogg
Top 100 Teacher
Your drive missed the fairway, but you're a mid-iron from the green. Your lie is good the only trouble is a sizable tree standing between you and the pin.
You could make the safe play and hit a half-wedge back to the fairway, but in this situation you need to make something happen in your round. With a few minor adjustments to your setup and swing you should be able to loft the ball high enough to clear the tree and land on the green.
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HOW TO HIT AN EXTRA-HIGH APPROACH
Position the ball forward in your stance, toward your left heel. After soling your club, set your hands even with the ball (don't lean the shaft forward). Also, rotate the clubface open a few degrees (clockwise) to give the club extra loft.
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The secret to hitting high shots is steepness a more vertical downswing where you really hit down on the ball will cause it to rise quickly and fly extra-high. In order to attain the steepness you need, get the clubhead up quickly by hinging your wrists aggressively and early in your backswing.
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Feel like your left ear is behind the ball as you swing through impact, and keep your hands even with or slightly behind the clubhead when you make contact. Getting your hands ahead of the clubhead like you're told to do on most iron shots delofts the club and ruins your chances of flying the obstacle.
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There's an old rule for controlling trajectory: Finish high for a high shot and finish low for a low shot. In this situation, follow-through as high as possible with your hands finishing higher than your left ear. Now, go make that birdie putt!
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