Master The Mid-Range Lob
One of the things that makes this shot so tough for most golfers is the leg action. Most either freeze their legs, causing them to slap at the ball, or shake like Elvis and slide all over the place. To play this shot correctly, the legs must remain quiet going back, but active coming down, as the back knee kicks toward the target. It’s this passive-then-active leg action that makes players like Tom Watson and Tiger Woods so good at the mid-range lob.
Here’s another thing to keep track of: Your right knee should kick inward along your toe line on the downswing by allowing your back foot to come up onto its inner rim. If your knee moves up and away from your toe line, you’ll ruin the shot. You can check to see that you don’t have “trotter knee” (named for the high-stepping racehorse) by taking your stance and laying down a club along your toe line. Now make a practice swing and stop just before impact—your back knee should be pointing along the same line as the shaft.
The finish to the mid-range lob should feature such a full rotation of your chest that it faces well left of the target. Also, your forearms still haven’t crossed over even though your left arm is fully folded at the elbow. A good check for the proper finish is to look at your clubface—if it was a mirror, you’d see your reflection. Practice the feeling of the finish to the mid-range lob by posing with your right hand under the left and the butt of the club pointing away from the target so the clubshaft is almost parallel to the ground. When you’re ready for the real thing, simply swing to this position, and the chances are good that you’ll execute the mid-range lob correctly.
Use the mid-range lob when a low-running shot just won’t do. You’ll also find that the shot is perfect for ultra-fast greens when judging how far your ball will roll once it lands is most difficult. Hit it high, land it soft, then make the putt.
PGA Professional Dr. T. J. Tomasi is one of the most widely published authorities on the golf swing and is recognized as one of the top 100 teachers in America.
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