Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.
When you need to hit a distanced golf shot, but the height will not be on your side, you have to use a low golf shot to get the ball to its destination. Hitting a low golf shot which also makes it a decent distance, can be challenging.
When you have to take a shot through foliage or any overhang, you need to know how to keep your shot low to get the most out of it.
Why Are Low Shots So Difficult?
Here’s the thing, it’s not necessarily that a low shot is difficult; it’s more that you have probably never practiced a low shot, so you’re not familiar with the adjustments you need to make for success.
As soon as your ball lands under the trees, you find yourself dreading the shot. These shots are challenging, but the good news is, you can make a great shot if you know how to do so. It’s all in the play.
Next time you’re out on the range, you might consider practicing some low golf shots so you can perfect the process and your skills for making such a shot. Every golfer has to make these types of shots at one point or another, so prepare yourself, and you will be far better in the end.
It’s all in the technique. Once you learn the basic strategy and how you can adjust your club or your stance, you will have no problems making low golf shots when needed.
5 Steps To Hitting A Low Golf Shot
This guide will share some tips on how to hit a low golf shot. When we finish, hopefully, you can put it to the test!
Make Clean Contact
You’re probably walking up to that golf ball, thinking you need to hit it hard to get it out of the trees, or perhaps through the trees.
You may not have to hit it as hard as you think, coincidentally. You can quickly move your ball up to 60 yards in a low shot if you make good contact.
Many trainers or professionals would tell you to think of this type of shot as more of a chip shot rather than a full shot.
If you think about it in this way, this makes perfect sense. Chip shots are meant to stay low but get your ball where it needs to go. A low shot is very similar in theory.
When you make your swing, only use about 20-40% of your normal swing force rather than taking a full swing, which will help keep your ball low and still put some reasonable distance behind it.
That clean contact is probably the most crucial part of the entire process. You need focus, and you need precision here so that your contact is clean and committed to the shot.
Have you ever heard the golf saying, “when it’s breezy, swing easy”? Your low golf shot needs might have nothing to do with being in the trees and everything to do with the fact that the wind is not in your favor today.
If you remember this motto every time you need to make a low golf shot, it rings true regardless of why you are making the shot.
When you strive for a low golf shot, rely more on the club and less on putting power behind the club. If you swing harder when you want to hit low, the problem is that your ball will gather backspin and height.
Height and spin both come from the power behind the shot, so the best way to downplay that is to focus on using less power behind your golf swing.
This instance again points to the importance of clean contact. Focus less on putting power in a mighty swing and focus more on making that clean contact.
You might think about focusing more on the club and having more clubs rather than focusing on the power behind the club.
Keep your swing smooth and steady but reduce your power, so you have control. This will result in a low shot with little to no spin. While usually, golfers avoid these boring shots, there is a time and place they are necessary.
Take Your Stance
Another vital factor to consider is your stance. You need a stance that gives you control with your swing and does not add power to your swing.
A narrow stance is the best way to go for a low golf shot. With a narrow stance, you get more control while also using less power, which is precisely what you need for a low golf shot.
In golf, we almost always focus on power. This is a case where you want to focus on control instead of power. Suppose you remember that you will do so much better as you set yourself up. A narrow stance is all about control.
There is more than one way to take your stance here as well. This is the time where you want to play the golf ball back in your stance.
It is the easiest way to control the shot and keep it low while still hitting it at a decent distance. Here is a note for you. The more you play the golf ball back, the lower your ball will hit.
Where you would normally probably play the golf ball forward of your stance, we recommend adjusting to playing from the center of your stance or slightly back from the center. Remember that the farther back you play the ball, the lower your shot will be, so you can adjust here as needed depending on the height that you do or do not need.
When you’re ready to swing, there are some tips for making the most of your swing as well. Start by opening your stance for the swing. If you are right-handed, you will aim to the left using your feet and hips. If you don’t open your stance and aim like this, you might end up with a push shot that doesn’t deliver the results you need.
As part of the swing, you need to keep your hands ahead of the clubhead for as long as you possibly can when you swing.
If you can keep your hands ahead from the impact, you will be able to keep your ball from lobbing higher into the air. Choke down on your club to help accommodate this.
When you swing, you want to hit the ball early in your swing to reduce the loft height that your golf ball gains from the hit.
The goal here is to reduce the height so if your hands stay ahead of the hit, this maneuver de-lofts your ball effectively, so you get less height but still have a clean hit.
Follow-through is an important part of every shot made in golf, and it is important for a low shot too. For a low shot, you will put a bit of a hold on your follow-through and make it more abbreviated. As you swing and the ball moves, hold your follow-through on the punch.
This is one of the reasons a low shot is also referred to as a punch shot. Your follow-through will be like punching the ball forward with the golf club, so you hold that forward motion at the punch before you complete your follow-through.
You probably won’t have to focus too hard on this part. If you’re controlling your swing and your stance appropriately, as mentioned in the above steps, your follow-through will happen somewhat naturally.
When we tell you to hold and abbreviate, we do not mean slow down or stop your swing. You still need to make your swing complete.
After impact, you will abbreviate your follow-through. Do not slow or stop before the impact.
We hope you find this guide to hitting a low golf shot to be helpful and informative. In this case, it’s all about control. Reduce your power, take the right stance and setup, and then swing wisely.
It may take some practice to perfect a low shot, but once you get the method down, you will find that a low shot is not as challenging as it’s made out to be. Get out of your head and remember that this shot is not about power. Rein in power and keep control as you go through the motions.