Thursday, June 1, 2006
It's Not Your Fault!
Never make the same mistake twice and start shooting lower scores by fixing your swing faults
Topped Fairway Woods
Theres more than a few ways to top a fairway wood shot, but the most common fault is the result of what I call a missed radius. The radius is the straight line formed by the left arm and clubshaft. When this radius isnt fully extended at impact, the body will lead the arms into a late-hitting position, and unless youre Tiger Woods, the average player cant release his or her arms fast enough to make solid contact.
To fix a broken radius, stop listening to what TV commentators have to say! While the ideal downswing features considerable lag for a whip-through effect at impact, the average player doesnt swing fast enough to garner such an effect. Instead of holding the angle formed by the arms and clubshaft through the downswing, the means to eliminating the missed radius fault is to release the hands and arms earlier than usual. This will prevent the topped shot and help golfers with average to slow swing speeds make better contact.
To make a full extension through impact, imagine casting a fishing line toward the ground as soon as your hands reach hip high on the downswing. Use a weaker grip as well.
Pulled Iron Shots
A pulled shot is often the result of how golfers approach the ball. Typically, the shoulders face way left of the target at address (to the right for southpaws), the ball is too far forward, and weight tends to reside too much on the forward foot at address. The result is an outside-to-inside swing path, a deep divot and a shut clubface.
Fixing the pull is as simple as altering the setup. Begin with a stance parallel to the target, with the hips and shoulders aligned perpendicular to the clubshaft. Maintain a ball position toward the middle region of the stance. As you swing, allow the arms to lead the backswing inside the target line. On the downswing, allow the body to turn and concentrate on keeping the right elbow tucked in through impact.
The key to eliminating the pulled iron shot is to remember to swing from the inside of the target line to outside the target line. Try and trace this inside-out swing path on both the backswing and downswing in slow motion a few times, until youre in the right position at impact. As you can see at left, my hips have already cleared, and the arrow indicates Ive swung from the inside of the target line to outside the line. From here, allow the club to release and square through impact as you turn toward the target.
Equipfix: Lie Detector
By Mike Chwasky
If youve ever purchased a pair of slacks off the rack, you know that one size doesnt necessarily fit all. In fact, if you want your clothes to look and feel right, its important to employ a decent tailor once in a while to nip here and tuck there. The same thing can be said for golf clubs, particularly if you dont fit into the average category of height and build. Of course, nobody really fits into this group, not exactly anyway, so basically all golfers need to consider fitting their clubs to both their body and swing.
One of the most critical aspects of clubfitting in regard to iron play is lie angle (the angle formed between the hosel of the club and the ground). This angle, as the name suggests, refers to the way in which the sole of the club lies on the ground in the address position. This is called the static lie angle. The dynamic lie angle refers to how the sole of the club meets the ground during the swing, which in reality, is what really matters.
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