Probable Golf Instruction 

Expertly Shaping Swings & Trajectories; Solving Errant Golf Problems 

Golf Course Play

You can apply Probable Golf to the course with success right away, unlike swing changes.

Make Your 19th Hole the Best

You'll be able to boast about your new found knowledge.

Trajectory Height Same for All Clubs 

Would you believe that you hit your Driver as high as your full pitching wedge? Doesn't it seem like you hit your wedge much higher? It's all perception. In fact, you hit each club in your bag (with a full swing) about the same maximum height. Why is this? And why does it appear that you hit your short irons so much higher than your longer clubs?

 Take a look at the PGA Tour Average Statistics below. Observe how the maximum height for each club is about the same. The LPGA Tour Average heights have a similar pattern except the heights are less.

It all has to do with what you are observing. What's very different between your Driver and full wedge is the launch angle. The full wedge trajectory has a much greater launch angle. Therefore, the ball climbs to its maximum height in a much short distance. The Driver trajectory climbs gradually. Once the ball is at its peak, it's a long ways away, and therefore it appears to be low. 

 It's much like a distant mountain. It appears to not be very high because it is a long ways away and low on the horizon. But, from experience, your know it is high. Likewise other objects at a distance such as trees and buildings appear very low on the horizon, but you know there are actually high.

 A golf ball launched by a short iron like a wedge climbs very quickly, thus it is very high relative to the horizon. You need to be looking more upwards, at a greater angle, to follow its flight than the flight of the Driver. The angle at which you need to look up is greater. 

 Look at the trajectory graph below. The 3 trajectories are average PGA Tour trajectories as determined by Trackman. The various values such as maximum height, carry distance, launch angle, etc are consistent with the Trackman data above.

o, after 1 second, the 9-iron is higher but has travelled less distance (because the ball is not moving as fast as when struck with a 5-iron). Thus, the angle you need to look up at is significantly greater: 20 degrees for the 9-iron and 13 degrees for the 5-iron. At the 2 second point, the 9-iron angle is about the same, but by 3 seconds, the angle is less at about 13 degrees so it appears that the ball is now falling, while in fact, it's at its maximum height. 

The 5-iron ball can be seen at 14 degrees, just before it reach maximum height. Note that between 2 and 4 seconds, the 9-iron angle changes as 20-18-13 while the 5-iron changes as 15-14-11. The 9-iron angle changes more quickly. The 5-iron angle is more steady. 

The Driver angle, in comparison, is even more steady, hardly changing at all, thus the ball appears to just hang there in flight. So, there you have it. Another "golf myth" revealed for what it really is. So, next time you hit the high full wedge shot, remember, it's not any higher than your other clubs, it just appears to be because of your perspective of the angle of the ball above the horizon. Other than curiosity and the need to know, how helpful is this fact of trajectory height for your different clubs. 

Well, consider choosing a club to hit over a tree. You can hit over the same height tree with a 5-iron as a 9-iron; you just need to be further back with a 5-iron. Knowing where your peak trajectory is for you various clubs is really important when you're trying to clear trees. 

Disclaimer: Now, the maximum height for your clubs might not be as clustered as those of the average PGA Tour player. You might actually some of your irons higher due to your swing. PGA Tour players hit their irons with a descending blow (club is moving downwards at impact). You might "scoop" your irons more, releasing your wrists more quickly and increasing the loft of the club. Plus, let's face it, your launch angles (and therefore peak heights) are probably not very consistent. One shot goes high, then low, then really high, ....... If you have access to a club monitor (like a Trackman or Flightscope), see if you can get a profile done of your trajectories. What are your launch angles? maximum heights? etc. 

Take a look at the trajectory graph below of just the 5-iron and 9-iron trajectories. The trajectory that carries 200 yards is an average 5-iron trajectory for a PGA Tour player. I've marked on each trajectory the angle above the horizon as seen by the golfer during each second of flight.

Golf Academy

From kids to older adults, learn how to improve your score and the love of the game.

Simple Putting

Improvement in putting will lower your score more than any other part of the game.

Swing Speed & Distance 

The most important factor in hitting it long is increasing your swing speed.

Hitting Uphill or Downhill

You need to adjust your club selection when hitting uphill or downhill. But how much?

Online Consult

Do you have a question about any of our services. Using our booking form, you can specify the details of your curiosity.