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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Michael Breed on Trajectory

On The Golf Fix Monday night Michael Breed talked about a number of things, including yet another way to control trajectory when you're hitting the ball off the ground rather than a tee. (The photo came from a YouTube video that doesn't really deal with this problem but the photo will be helpful later.)

The reason this caught my attention is because it doesn't involve changing the ball position!

Michael Breed

You may have heard of the "reverse K" setup position -- that is, your trailing shoulder is lower than your lead shoulder. Some instructors advise using the "rev-K" for hitting driver and a more level shoulder position for shots on the fairway. Here's a video of Michael explaining why the "rev-K" happens naturally with all clubs (if the video didn't embed correctly, the link to the original is at the end of the post):

BUT -- and this is what Michael talked about Monday night -- you can switch back and forth between the "rev-K" and the "flat shoulder" positions to control your trajectory!

The "rev-K" setup allows you to hit the ball higher because your lead shoulder turns back on a flatter plane, more level with your trailing shoulder. (If you look at the photo up top, you'll see that position.) This lets the club come in more parallel to the ground when you contact the ball. That sends the ball higher because you're using more of the club's loft, not unlike a driver swing which actually swings up on the ball.

With the "flat shoulder" setup position, that lead shoulder would be lower than your trailing shoulder as you make your backswing. When you do that, you have a steeper downswing and hit down on the ball, which makes it fly lower like a chip shot.

Because the "rev-K" moves your head more behind the ball, it has the same effect as if you moved the ball forward in your stance, which is the more traditional way to create a higher trajectory. On the show, Michael hit the ball 5 degrees higher with the "rev-K" setup than with the "flat shoulder" setup when using the same club. Obviously that could vary with different clubs, but you get the idea.

So now you have yet another technique for varying your trajectory. The more options you have, the more likely it is that you'll find one that works consistently for you.

In case the video didn't embed properly, here's the link to the video at

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