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What is a Flyer in Golf? (+ 4 Tips to Avoid Hitting Flyers)

What is a Flyer in Golf? (+ 4 Tips to Avoid Hitting Flyers)

Knowing how to identify the lie is one of the first steps in improving your golf game. Every lie is different, and how the ball sits on the turf can have a huge impact on playability and ball flight. 

A flyer is an item that you will see at least once or twice while playing golf. Knowing how to play this shot will save you many strokes and ensure that your golf ball is much closer to the pin. 


Table of Contents

  • What is a Flyer in Golf?
  • Here are 4 ways to avoid hitting flyers

What is a Flyer in Golf?

Flyers are golf balls that travel further than the average golf ball because of the lie it has. Flyer lies just above rough and looks like it is sitting up. It will be easier for you to make contact. 

This could be because the club must travel through less turf in order to make solid contact. Flyer lies also involve moisture and debris between the clubface and the golf ball (the grooves). 

With very little friction between the two surfaces, the golf balls will travel up the face the club without any spin. The result is a shot which flies much further than usual and jumps significantly forward once it hits the green. 

You have probably seen this happen with your short irons. This is because flyers are most effective at reducing the impact of the ball. If you have a 9-iron to the green, but hit a flyer lie, you may hit the ball over the green and end up with a long chip. 

There is sometimes not much you can do about flyers. But there are some steps that will help you avoid making these frustrating shots. 


Here are 4 ways to avoid hitting flyers

Professional golfers will tell that sometimes hitting the flyer is inevitable. This is a shot that you may not be able or willing to take on. If you are able to identify and make adjustments to your swing, you might be more successful. 

1. Learn how to identify your lie 

The best thing I have learned when it comes to adjusting for flyer lies is to know how to identify what I am working from. There is a big difference in a flyer and a ball that is deep or buried in rough. 

You will notice that the ball is almost sitting up in the shot. Many players walk up to this shot and are pleasantly surprised to see that the ball isn’t buried. You just need to be aware how the ball is going to fly. 

I find that flyer lies occur more often in the shorter rough than it does in the deep rough. 

2. Take Less Club

I notice a huge difference in my short iron shots to the green when I use one less club. For example, if I have an 8-iron distance with a flyer lie I will often just take my 9 iron to see where it takes me. 

This is where you need to be smart and make sure there is nothing between your green and you. While it is fine to hit the ball too short, it is a problem if you land it in a water hazard. 

3. Use a 3-Quarter Golf Swing 

A little bit of a reduction in your swing can help you to have more control and reduce the distance. The three-quarter swing is useful regardless of the type of shot you are playing. An unprepared player will quickly notice this. 

These are the types of swings that you should be practicing on the range. They will allow you to reach the distances you desire. Professionals recommend that golfers adopt a slightly different angle of attack to a standard lie. 

The steeper angle allows for more spin and less forward movement when the ball lands on a putting surface. 

4. Choose the Right Clubs 

We know that the flier is caused by dirt and debris causing a lack in spin. Golf manufacturers are creating wedges and short irons for golf that filter out debris and still allow for friction between the ball and the clubface. 

Groove technology is a feature that can be added to your next set of golf club clubs to increase the spin and traction you get from a difficult lie. 

This is especially important when you have to chip a flyer near the green.