For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties …. well, you know what to do!

Trajectory Control

Many players watch the pros launch their irons with low, penetrating trajectory and think that being able to do that is due to some sort of inherent talent.

Talent may have something to do with it, but launchng it low is a technique that definitely can be learned.

Your ball flight trajectory has a direct correlation to your forward shaft lean at impact.

If you have no forward shaft lean at impact – if your shaft is vertical or leaning back – you will launch the ball with a high, weak trajectory.

Good forward shaft lean at impact equals a low, boring trajectory.

Here’s how you can adjust your ball flight trajectory. To hit any club higher intentionally, set up with minimal forward shaft lean. You will need a more forward ball position for this setup.

To hit any club lower, set up with maximum forward shaft lean. You will need a more centered or slightly rearward ball position for this setup, and you”ll need to practice driving your body laterally forward (towards the target) during your downswing. This will give you enough forward shaft lean at the strike to lower your launch angle. Note that I said drive forward laterally, not turn through the ball. The average PGA Tour Pro is still driving laterally through and just past the ball at impact, before significant body turn commences. Some drive forward even further after impact, some turn sooner, but on average, they are moving laterally through impact.

Practice to see where your minimum and maximum forward shaft lean positions are at setup, and practice driving your hips laterally through impact. A lower, more penetrating ball flight will result.

After you’ve practiced the extremes, settle on what flight you want for your stock swing, and work on that movement through impact until you own it.

You could also start opening or closing the clubface to adjust your shot trajectory, but when you do that too much supination and pronation makes it’s way into your swing.

Supination and pronation need to be practiced a lot before you put them into play because of the timing involved.

The hip movement described above, coupled with the resulting forward shaft lean and an “angled” hinging action, is the safest way to transport the clubhead through the ball for a low trajectory, because it relies less on timing.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom Tucker is a World Golf Teachers and United States Golf Teacher Federation-certified golf instructor. He may be contacted via his website or at the Plum Creek driving range in Batavia, NY.