Todd Sones: Controlling Your Trajectory and Spin

You have to
At the Masters, players like Rory McIlroy had to be able to control their trajectory and spin to get the ball close to the hole.

You have to be able to control the trajectory and spin of your golf ball in order to score effectively. The Masters last week at Augusta National was a perfect example. Those guys had to control their trajectory and spin around the greens just to get the ball to finish close to the hole.

But how do you do it? Todd Sones is a Golf Digest Top 50 and Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor who also serves on the Golf Academy of America’s National Advisory Board. In the following video, Todd shows you how to do both. The “how-to” might surprise you.

In his Scoring Zone program, one of the things Todd tries to teach people is how to control the trajectory of their shots around the green. When you’re on the golf course, there are certain situations where you need to hit a high, soft shot and then there are certainly times when you need to hit a low stopping or low running (releasing) shot.

When they want to hit a lower shot, most people know to play the ball back in their stance. That’s obvious. Putting the ball back in your stance helps to de-loft the golf club. Here’s the real secret to hitting low shots: when you take the club back, it’s more of a bowing action with your lead wrist, which keeps the toe of the club down.

Sometimes Todd tells people, “Make sure the face of the golf club stays toward the golf ball.”

Adam Scott
The secret to hitting a higher trajectory shot around the green like Adam Scott is more of a cupping wrist action.

It’s more of a bowing action, which de-lofts the golf club. When you come into it, the shaft is leaning forward, the face is de-lofted, it’ll trap the golf ball, and it’ll come out low. If you use a 60-degree wedge, for example, and hit the shot off a tight lie, it’ll come out lower and actually have some spin on it.

If you use a pitching wedge or 9-iron, it’ll hit and then release more. You can change golf clubs depending on what you want the spin to be. Again, lower trajectory, ball back, bow the left wrist, and keep the toe down.

If you want to hit a higher shot, move the ball more forward in your stance. Todd always says, “Stand to the handle.” The butt of the golf club points to his middle, the shaft of the golf club is straight, and now the ball’s more forward in his stance.

Here’s the secret to this shot: when you take the club back, it’s more of a cupping action. If you cup your left wrist, now the toe of the golf club is up in the air, which puts more loft on the face. If you deliver the club from that position, you’re going to hit a much higher-trajectory shot.

Same golf club, completely different trajectories just by changing the ball position and understanding what the left wrist and face of the golf club should be in relation to the golf ball.


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