10 ways to hit the ball higher, per a Top 100 Teacher
There are just some times on the golf course when you need to hit the ball higher.
But do you know what it takes in order to execute such a shot? Not many amateurs understand the fundamentals it takes in order to lift the ball and still hit a flush shot with precision.
Below, I provide 10 ways that can help you hit the sky high shot that’s both beautiful visually and effective.
Follow these steps to hit the ball higher
The ability to hit the ball higher is influenced by contact, club selection, technique, and speed. When you need to hit the ball higher and you’re successful, it often leads to a fantastic result — plus, it feels good knowing you hit the shot you hoped for.
So if you’re looking to hit the ball higher, try the below, which can help with everything from swing adjustments to working on your technique.
1. It all starts with making solid contact
In general, hitting the ball higher starts with solid contact. For the loft of the club to work for you, you need the ball to make contact relatively centered on the clubface.
If your club makes contact high on the ball — making the contact point too low on the face — the ball flight will remain low.
2. Understand the physics of how a golf ball gets into the air
When I commonly ask students how they think the ball gets more height, the answers are a bit concerning. That’s because many of them often say it requires getting under the ball — but this is wrong.
Technically, it isn’t even possible to get under the ball unless you’re either hitting off of a tee or the ball sits on top of really long, fluffy grass.
To keep things simple, when the ball sits on the ground, you need your club to hit the ground. More specifically, when the ball is on the ground, your club makes contact with the ball and then the ground. So ball and then turf.
When you understand this — and you use proper swing mechanics — you’ll likely make the right motion to get the club to the ground, leading to a nice high shot.
3. Higher-lofted clubs in the middle of the bag
Before you go to hit balls next, make sure your bag is organized and you know where certain clubs are — especially the ones that can provide extra ball height.
In the middle of your golf bag — where you have the choice to have a long iron, hybrid, or fairway wood — there are certain choices you can make that will help you hit the ball higher.
Here are some options: A 7-hybrid rather than a 6-iron, a 6-hybrid in place of a 5-iron, a 9-wood in place of a either a 4-hybrid or a 3-iron, and a 7-wood instead of a 3-hybrid.
4. Proper ball position – not back
If you tend to hit the ball too low, one of the first things to check would be your ball position.
Where your ball position is in your stance will directly impact launch angles, so it’s imperative that you understand where to setup if you’re looking for more height on the ball.
You don’t want your ball position back of center (relative to the target), if you tend to flight the ball too low.
For more height, when the ball is on the ground, the ball position should be centered to slightly forward — depending upon what club you’re hitting.
5. Shoulder tilt with driver
There’s almost nothing more satisfying than launching your drive and hitting it so solidly that it just soars through the air. It instantly gets applause from your playing partners and boosts your own confidence.
When you position your golf ball more forward in your stance with the driver, it’s important that you also tilt your shoulders — so that your lead shoulder is higher, and your trail shoulder is lower.
By doing so, this will allow your shoulder line to be relatively parallel to your aim and alignment.
6. Have the proper shafts to gain clubhead speed
While your club selection certainly impacts launch, another way to hit the ball higher is making sure you have the right club shafts. After all, shafts are the engine of the golf club.
There are lots of factors that go into a shaft in order to produce a desired ball flight.
Shaft flex, weight, and kick point directly affect launch — and there are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming for many amateur players.
That’s why I send my students to True Spec to be properly fitted, as they have all the shafts and head combos to find what best fits your swing.
7. Swing faster – but with controlled speed
Every golfer wants more clubhead speed, but just gripping it and ripping it doesn’t always do the trick. It takes controlled speed to see the positive results that you’re seeking.
When it comes to getting more height on the ball, the more clubhead speed you have, the higher the ball will launch.
Swinging faster on your forward swing (and assuming you make reasonable contact) will produce a ball flight that, not only goes farther, but higher as well.
8. Use less shaft lean
When the club shaft leans forward at impact, the ball will launch lower. This is great to do if you’re looking to maximize distance, but if you want to launch the ball higher, it’s not what you want to do.
One way to help limit this is by minimizing the shaft lean at address.
You can also release the club differently if you want to have less shaft lean. To do this, use a forward swing where there’s a feeling of an arm swing, which allows the clubhead to swing and release.
9. Use a higher-lofted wedge
Naturally, a higher-lofted club can help get more ball height. So be sure to carry wedges like a 60-degree, 56-degree, and a gap wedge, with each providing more opportunities to lift the ball into the air.
Also remember that your wedge selection reflects your swing speed as well.
10. Always open the clubface on pitch and bunker shots
When you’re hitting high pitch shots or greenside bunker shots, you can open up the clubface in order to produce more ball height.
While opening the face will make the ball launch higher, also be aware that this will make the ball go shorter as well. So use a big enough swing to clear the obstacle in front of you if you decide to open the face.