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PGA Championship Tip-Knockdown Shot

Hit a shot low to avoid the wind.

Far too many times a golfer is faced with the challenge of keeping their shot low to avoid the wind. Most golfers may think that putting the ball in the back of their stance will do the trick. Even though it is a simple shot, it takes more than just that.


Most of the technique comes from how a player sets up the ball before the shot.


"The first thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to grip down on my club, about an inch from the top of the club," said Ravenwood Golf Club teaching pro Rob Horak. "The second thing in my setup position is I'm going to place the ball towards my back foot, so we'll have the ball behind the center of our chest. And then the third thing we're going to do in our setup is we're going to keep our weight to our front leg. The key to the swing is keeping the weight to the front leg throughout the entire swing."


To hit this golf shot the swing has to create a descending path with the hands in front of the ball at impact. This is going to take loft off of the club, lower the spin rate, and let the ball fly through the wind better.


The swing speed and length is key to hitting the knockdown shot correctly. You have to make sure that you only take a 3/4 length swing, and keep the speed down to only 60-70 percent of your normal swing speed. "The biggest mistake that is made by players is that they try to swing the club hard, at full speed or more, and drive the ball low." Horak says.


"You're going to want to go up a club, at least, one or two depending on the wind," says Horak, "if it's an 8-iron shot you would want to go to a 6 or 7 iron."


This shot won't react like a punch and run shot around the green. Even though the ball flight is similarly much lower, the ball will still come into the green or fairway as if it was a normal shot.


The knockdown shot can also be used from under the trees. The only change with this play is that the trajectory has to be addressed before hitting the shot. You must take a club you can keep below any tree branches or leaves.


The easiest way to hit this shot, along with other different shots, is just practicing the routine at the range. "I think the fun part about practicing at the range is just trying to create different shots," says Horak, "As much as we help swings by teaching, I think when players just go out there and fool around with their shots, they sometimes learn just as much about their swing by doing that."
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