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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Paul Casey on the High Lob Shot (Video)

Since Casey won last week, he gets to teach a lesson this week. He recorded this lob shot video as one of the Titleist Tips from the Tour shorts.

Before getting to the tip itself, Paul reminds us that he doesn't have to go straight at the pin. This is something we often forget -- there's nothing wrong with playing the safe shot and avoiding the high score if we aren't sure we can play the bold shot. A low-scoring player always considers all of his or her options.

A quick note about that "safe" shot: Paul specifically says it's a lower shot, and it might even be a running shot. That's a lot easier shot to play, and perhaps that should be your choice if it's available to you.

Okay, here are a couple of things I picked up by studying the video, things that Paul doesn't mention and that may not be clear with only one or two viewings:
  • While Paul mentions that his stance is open, you may not realize how far forward his ball position is. He has the ball up even with his lead heel. That's quite far forward when you aren't using a tee, and he has the clubface wide open so he has to catch the ball almost perfectly. This isn't a shot you want to try if the ball is sitting down. You need a good lie.
  • You absolutely can't hang back on your trailing foot! With the ball so far forward and the clubface wide open, that's a sure recipe for a skulled shot. It's true that you can't hit down on the ball with this ball position, but you have to make sure your upper body stays stationary during the swing -- it doesn't move backward but it can't move forward either. (At least, not until after the ball has been struck.) You MUST hit the ball accurately in order to get that high ball flight.
Paul makes this look easy, but you need to be sure of yourself if you want to play this shot. Given how much clubhead speed this shot requires to get both the height and the distance, this is not the shot for you if you aren't confident of your ability to pull it off.

That's when you take the safe shot. Never feel guilty about doing that.

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