How this simple trick will help you visualize the flight of your golf ball

Faced with a tricky greenside shot and wondering if you have the ability to hit a high, soft-landing pitch over trouble? This trick might be for you.

In the video above, Derek Swoboda, a GOLF Top 100 Teacher to Watch and the director of instruction at John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, Fla., explains what you need to do.

In this example, Swoboda parks a golf cart between his ball and the green to simulate the sort of high pitch shot golfers often need to hit.

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The point of placing the cart here? To test if you can hit your golf ball over it.

Here’s Swoboda’s guide, which you can copy, to figure out if the shot might be feasible at first glance.

“Take the club face, and just go ahead and put your foot on it,” he explains, showing how the shaft angle now identifies a rough trajectory. “This is going to show you what the loft of the club is [by looking at the direction the shaft points]. Very helpful for fairway bunker shots or greenside bunker shots that you might not think of being high enough. This sort of helps your mind to say, ‘Oh, I can definitely get this ball in the air.'”

Now you just have to hit the shot.

In the video, Swoboda uses a 58-degree wedge to show his typical setup.

He then puts the ball forward in his stance, in line with his front toe. He opens the club face slightly and drops his left foot away from the ball by a couple of inches. He then leans so his nose is directly over the golf ball, which he says is important so the bottom of his swing can happen at or underneath the golf ball.

“If my head gets too far behind, I’m going to [thin it],” he said.

Then, make your swing, “and you will get over everything that is in front of you during your round of golf,” Swoboda says.

Check out the video at the top of this article, and for more short-game tips, click here.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.