Day 6: High and Low Fade


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Learn the control secrets of Ben Hogan by mastering the high and low fade shot.


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Alright. Here's where things start getting hard. You may be laughing to yourself, "Okay. I thought everything else was hard already." This is where things start getting a little bit more into the fine details, let's say, of starting to manipulate things so that you can consistently hit the same shot over and over again. The reality is, is that if you sit out here and practice and hit enough balls, you'll learn how to manipulate the club face enough to get the ball to kind of do what you want. The question is, can you do it 99% of the time? The trick to doing it 99% of the time is not just practice, it's understanding the fundamentals and the mechanics of what make the ball do what we are asking it to do.

                In today's video, we're going to talk about hitting high and low cuts. The trick to this shot is understanding the mechanics of swing path and club face angle, and what the tendencies are. That's the one thing I like to use ... I like to use that word a lot because golf is full of tendencies. The club will tend to do this if you do that. When you're going to hit shots and you're trying to be repeatable, because the whole point of shaping the shot is to make it do something that you're trying to be less aggressive with and trying to give yourself more margin of error, so as it works its way around the trouble, you want to be able to make sure it does that every single time.

                When you go to hit a cut, and as we're turning to change trajectories, low verus high, I'm going to start with the low one first because it's the hardest. As you're going to hit the low cut, you need to understand what we want to do with the ball position. Now as I mentioned in the first video about hitting the ball low, we don't necessarily want to move the ball way back in our stance except on this shot. There's always something that's going to jump up and bite you, so that's where you've got to understand there's some variance here as we start changing trajectory and shot shape.

                Now, as we're starting to hit a low cut, I am actually going to move the ball back on my stance a little bit. Now why do I want to do that just with the cut? Well, understand that as the club is working down toward the ball, the more time it has to keep moving forward to the bottom of the swing arc, the more time the club face has to rotate closed. The more time it has to rotate closed, the less likely you are to hit a cut, so what I'm going to do is again, build in margin of error. Now I'm not talking about moving the ball back off the back foot. We're talking about changing the ball one ball width. That's it. That's enough to change the club face angle two or three degrees, which will make the ball cut 15, 20 yards. It's a small amount but it's important because as you move it back in your stance, it buys you more time, it builds in more margin of error to ensure that that club face doesn't have a chance to shut down on you.

                Let's say my normal ball position may be here. Now I'm going to move it here for the low cut. Everything else stays the same, so the stuff we worked on in the low shot, I'm bowing my wrist, I'm opening the chest a little bit, so we're putting those two things together now, right. So these fundamentals we learned in the first few days, now we're starting to put them together in different trajectories, so for the low cut, I'm opening my chest a little bit, bowing my wrists a little bit, moving the ball back a little bit. Those three things go together.

                Now when we want to reverse that, we want to hit the high cut, what do we want to do? Well then we're going to move the ball back just into it's normal position. The important thing to understand here is now that club face has more time to close, so we've got to be more aggressive with keeping the club face open, but the benefit to hitting the high shot is that as you rehinge your wrists instead of just roll it while keeping it bowed like you would on a normal shot, the rehinging helps hold the club face open a little bit. As you were doing your little half shot drills and doing this, you probably found that the tendency was for them to leak out to the right and you had to start kind of finding a little bit of rotation with your wrist and rehinging to help get the ball up in the air and online.

                Now, the benefit to this, or the simple thing about it is this is going to happen naturally. As I go to hit this high cut, so I let my wrist rotate, the club face is right before impact is still about two to three degrees open. It's going to be very high. It's going to go out to the right, so I've got to aim myself a little bit to the left.

                To recap, when you're hitting a low cut, you move the ball back a little bit, bow your wrist, hold the face open, rotate the chest. When you go to hit the high cut, everything stays the same except the wrist changes. You don't change your swing plane. You don't change your path. The balls goes back to a normal position because you don't want that steeper angle of attack that's delofting the club, we want to get the ball up over this tree and around this corner because we put it in a bad spot or we're just trying to go for a green in two. The same thing is true with a fairway wood. I'm going to leave the ball in the same spot. I'm going to open my chest a little bit, and try to let that club face rehinge, my wrist rehinge on the other side of the ball.

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