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anthony

Why would one want a lower ball flight?

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I read threads here and other places around the web that discuss wanting a shaft that produces a lower ball flight and I can't help but wonder why. With a driver or fairway wood, I could see how a lower boring flight would be more desirable. Also, if you're loosing distance due to a higher flight, I could understand that as well. Although, that would most likely be a swing issue though, no? Otherwise, wouldn't you want the highest flight you could get into a green?

I speaking about ideal conditions here, a lower flight is obviously desired when it's windy.

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Well I would think the answer is primarily distance.  I think Hogan mentions how the best players turn a 5-iron into a 4-iron because they get lower trajectory, while bad players turn a 5-iron into a 7-iron.

Obviously higher flight is better for sticking greens but in that case a good player can simply go down to a wedge or any other lower club to get added loft.  However in many cases distance is what is desired so a more penetrating trajectory gives that.

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If you hit it too high, you want a lower ball flight. If you hit it too low, you want a higher ball flight. Coming in high is nice for holding greens, but going too high will hurt your distance. There are people struggling with hitting it too low and people struggling with hitting it too high. Shafts and clubheads are means you can use to manipulate the ball flight.
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That's a really good question. I've often heard the expression "low, penetrating shot" and wondered (other than the obvious) what that meant.

It seems as though when I hit a 5 iron cleanly - one where I can hardly tell I hit the ball - the flight is always high and the ball seems to continue to climb. I just don't get that feeling or distance from lower trajectory shots. So unless I'm trying to shoot under branches, I don't try to hit low. Keep in mind, I obviously have a great deal to learn about the game.

For me, the hybrid and fairway woods are different. Depending on where the club head makes contact, a clean shot from say my 5 wood off the turf can result in either a higher or lower trajectory, both of which feel good and travel about the same distance. The lower shot rolls more while the higher shot carries more. If there's a difference in distance, it isn't noticeable to me.

As far as the driver, the longest shot I've ever made was of relatively low trajectory but that shot was an anomaly.

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Couple reasons why guys hit it too high.  Flipping it resulting in high weak shots or for whatever reason, spinning the ball too much.  Guys that spin the ball too much tend to have higher swing speeds, the initial launch might be ok but the ball keeps ballooning.  I don't think anyone should ever want to hit it low consistently, unless they live in Scotland or something.  Hitting it high, effectively, should be more preferable over hitting it low.

Originally Posted by anthony

With a driver or fairway wood, I could see how a lower boring flight would be more desirable.

Go to the range of a tour event, see how "boring" they hit their woods.  Most people would be surprised how high they hit it.  Easier to get distance through the air than on the ground.

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Originally Posted by anthony

I read threads here and other places around the web that discuss wanting a shaft that produces a lower ball flight and I can't help but wonder why. With a driver or fairway wood, I could see how a lower boring flight would be more desirable. Also, if you're loosing distance due to a higher flight, I could understand that as well. Although, that would most likely be a swing issue though, no? Otherwise, wouldn't you want the highest flight you could get into a green?

I speaking about ideal conditions here, a lower flight is obviously desired when it's windy.


the first sentence...."threads here and other places around the web"........a lot of crap is said on the net, yes there is times when a lower ball flight is optimum, but its not the be all and end all.

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It's all about finding optimal. If your ballflight is so high that you're losing distance, you'll want to bring it down a bit.
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I'm a perfect example of a golfer who, at times, prefers a low trajectory shot.

I'm not a heavy hitter. there are many occasions, e.g. second shots on par 5's or long par 4's, when I just want to advance the ball as much as possible on a relatively flat fairway. All that extra roll from a low shot can be quite beneficial, especially if it's rolling towards the green.

Also, wind hasn't been mentioned much (though one person made the Scotland reference). I've seen what wind can do to drives, and blow them off the fairway is most certainly one of the potential consequences. If I'm playing on a blustery day, I definitely tee up a little lower, and hope for the best...

Well, I guess I'm always hoping for the best :).

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hitting too high or too low is mostly a technical problem. changing clubs and shafts is finding the wrong fix I beleive. might as well search technical progress.

also many beleive it's really cool to say they hit it so hard they need a lower ball flight

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Seems to me there's less room for error ... a low to medium ball flight would have to be more accurate than a high ball flight.

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I have a Nickent Evolver driver with a Grafalloy ProLaunch Red shaft that hits it lower and a UST ProforceV2HL shaft for when I want to hit it high and get more carry.  If I'm playing on a windy day or on an dry course where I think that roll is more important than carry the Pro Launch is great.

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After hitting a lot of thin shots today, I have to re-think my opinion that lower-trajectory iron shots don't have the same distance as my normal higher-trajectory ones. I hit a few that carried over the green when I was at the distance where a well-struck high shot wouldn't have.

For many of the reasons listed in the above posts, I still prefer the predicability of my normal high shot even if it isn't the maximum distance that I'm capable of hitting.

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If your hitting a low shot and the ball is not staying on the green due to lack of backspin, then you probably need a higher ball flight. If you hit a more boring, low trajectory and the ball holds the green with spin, than no need to change. Depends on the low shot for me. I've had a towering high 7 iron land soft and not back up, and have a low boring 7 iron back up 5-10 feet on the green. The spin difference was absurd. This is because i flip at the ball and when i don't and actually swing good, the ball comes off much lower, and with a lot more spin.

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Originally Posted by JonMA1

After hitting a lot of thin shots today, I have to re-think my opinion that lower-trajectory iron shots don't have the same distance as my normal higher-trajectory ones. I hit a few that carried over the green when I was at the distance where a well-struck high shot wouldn't have.

Not sure if you're joking, but the lower trajectory shots this thread is talking about are more of the solid strike, lower ball flight shots.  A thinned shot is a miss hit.  At least that's what I've been assuming lol

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Originally Posted by mvmac

Not sure if you're joking, but the lower trajectory shots this thread is talking about are more of the solid strike, lower ball flight shots.  A thinned shot is a miss hit.  At least that's what I've been assuming lol

Thin- ier. POW.

TMAG should come out with a modified tour striker that only hits worm burners for the extra-ier yardage!

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Originally Posted by mvmac

Not sure if you're joking, but the lower trajectory shots this thread is talking about are more of the solid strike, lower ball flight shots.  A thinned shot is a miss hit.  At least that's what I've been assuming lol

Sorry about my mis-use of terminology. I meant when I don't hit what I consider my normal high-flight shot. Whether it's thin, or I haven't hit it at the correct angle of attack, or it's too far back in my stance, whatever is the cause or term. The low shots I hit today had plenty of power, they just resulted in a longer, less predictable distance.

As far as putting backspin on the ball, that's a bit advanced for me at this stage of my game (but it's cool to watch the good players do that). I'm just happy to have my iron shots land softly on the green without rolling through and at a distance that is predictable. That's why I prefer the high shots. I guess that was my point. The only time I try to purposely hit a low shot is to keep it under branches.

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mini has (had?  it's been a while) a wicked flip and wants a lower ball flight.  Less spin would be nice, too.  Or maybe the same spin with the lower ball flight.

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As others have said, optimizing distance is key and this is the only time you would really have a legitimate cause for concern in ball flight.

I prefer my high, soft-landing shots. I  generate a lot of backspin and 90% of the greens that I hit are a result of my ball coming to rest with the ball coming to rest several inches to two feet behind the ball mark (backspin). The other 10% would be in the event I catch it a little thin or a pitch or punch is required where my ball will still land softly and roll out only several inches.

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