Tiger Woods has promoted swinging with a high follow-through and a "fuller finish" to hit a high shot. Here's a video example of Woods hitting a full shot from the fairway.

High follow through

Also, he abbreviates his follow-through and finish to hit a low shot, in which he refers to as his "stinger." Here's a video example of Woods hitting a low shot under the trees.

Abbreviated follow through

How does a golfer's follow through affect a golf ball's flight? Does follow through also dictate/promote drawing/fading the golf ball, and if so, how?

  • What does "high follow-through" mean? Does it mean that the swing path is such that the club is rising in the contact point (i.e. positive angle of attack between the earth and club) or does it mean something else?
    – hhh
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 2:36
  • By drawing/fading, you mean slicing/hooking? Excellent follow-through means more control, related question.
    – hhh
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 2:40
  • @hhh Drawing and hooking (and fading and slicing) are associated but not quite the same. A hook is a pronounced turning of the golf ball from right to left in flight (for the right-handed golfer) whereas a draw is a slight turning from right to left. A slice is a pronounced turning of the golf ball from left to right in flight (for the right-handed golfer) whereas a fade is a slight turning from left to right.
    – user527
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 2:43
  • @hhh See edit and link to provide an explanation of a "high follow-through" or "high finish." The club is not rising in the contact point...this is in regards to after the ball is struck, how Tiger finishes. This influences ball flight.
    – user527
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 2:49
  • 1
    Unfortunately I cannot understand "high follow-through" from pictures. How do the swing paths look like? Video 45:46 shows different swing paths: is the swing path a round circle or something different with high "follow-through"? High follow-through could mean different angle of attack btw earth and club or some odd modification to swing path. Which one does it mean? Is this question equivalent to the question "How does the swing path affect the path of golf ball?"
    – hhh
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


The follow-through, in itself, has no bearing on the shot shape, especially with irons when you tend to tee the ball further back in your stance; for those shots, the ball is long gone before the clubhead begins to rise out of the turf. However, the mentality inherent in adopting a particular follow-through can cause a player to adopt certain changes in swing mechanics that do affect the portions of the swing prior to impact.

For instance, a mentality to abbreviate your follow through will cause you to lead more with your hands so you can control the club, and you'll feel like you're not "breaking" your wrist to release the clubhead until after the ball's already gone. In reality, you end up releasing the clubhead just before impact, so your hands are still a little out in front, de-lofting the club at impact. You also do one or two other things; keeping your hands in front means there's more distance between your hands and the ball at impact, and that can cause you to hit the ball "thinner", toward the bottom edge of the clubface, which causes a lower launch. Or, the additional bracing of your arms in anticipation of controlling the follow-through will cause you to stand up slightly on the downswing, and that also causes a thinner, lower-launch shot.

By contrast, focusing on taking a relaxed, full swing and follow-through will lead you to release the clubhead earlier, so the clubhead's inline with your head and hands at impact. That decreases the distance between your hands and the ball so you hit higher up on the clubhead, and lofts the club a little more, both causing a higher launch.

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