The Loop

You can hold an Augusta green if you do this

April 07, 2017

Augusta National Golf Club is the perfect example of a course where you have to manufacture high approach shots if you want to hit more than a few greens in regulation. Many of its slick greens are elevated and/or closely guarded by bunkers that require lofted shots to hold. While you might never play Augusta, there probably are more than a few holes on your local courses where you can't run one up to the green, or hit a low, liner and expect the ball to stay on the putting surface. So how do you hit higher-trajectory shots? Start by realizing you can't hit a high ball off the turf if you don't get in, and stay in, good address posture.

Bend over to the ball by hinging from your hip joints—not your waist—letting your arms hang freely. Try to be aware of the angle of your spine when you do this. Then when you swing, try to maintain that spine angle past impact. If you're struggling and hitting lower-trajectory shots, especially off the toe, take the first step toward raising your ball flight with two simple exercises in the gym (click on the video above to see a demonstration of them). These exercises emphasize the importance of good hip hinging while strengthening many of the muscles on the back side of your body—most notably the hamstrings. The muscles on the backs of your upper legs play a key role in maintaining knee flex in the golf swing. If you do them, you're on your way to hitting the ball flush and adding loft to your shots.