It's Not Your Fault!

Never make the same mistake twice and start shooting lower scores by fixing your swing faults

PitchesFlubbed Pitches
The flubbed pitch shot is often the result of two things: 1) a ball positioned too far forward; or 2) a decelerating downswing. When the ball is too far forward, the club bottoms out behind the ball on the downswing, resulting in a fat, powerless shot. With a decelerating blow, the body outraces the hands and the downswing becomes excessively steep.

The Fix
On the backswing, the shoulders and arms should turn away at the same time, as opposed to letting the arms get out ahead of the body. Most importantly, one must remember that the length of the backswing and forwardswing should mirror each other. However far you take the club back should determine the length of your swing postimpact. The difference? The downswing always should be faster than the backswing. Also, keep your weight toward the forward foot at address.

The Thought
Atop the backswing, the key to solid contact is to begin turning the body toward the target while the arms drop downward. Stay loose, too.

Equipfix: Bridge The Gap
By Mike Chwasky
Wedges are arguably the most important scoring tools in the bag, yet a large percentage of golfers don’t have a properly gapped set of wedges in their bag. The simple cause of this problem is that over the past 10 years or so, iron lofts have grown stronger, yet wedge lofts have stayed about the same.

So what was once an eight-degree gap between a 48-degree pitching wedge and 56-degree sand wedge is now 10 degrees due to the modern 46-degree pitching wedge. The result is a huge distance gap in the set, and a lot of tricky, in-between yardages. To fill this gap, most golfers would do well to put a fourth wedge, or gap wedge, into their set. This wedge should feature a loft that’s comfortably between the pitching wedge and sand wedge (generally between 5Beat The Chunked Fairway Bunker Shot0 and 52 degrees).

Beat The Chunked Fairway Bunker Shot
Don’t worry about the fairway bunker shot, especially if you have a decent lie. There’s a good chance you can still reach the green or at least get it close.

The Fix
Because golfers assume they need more club to get out of the bunker, they often sacrifice the loft that’s needed to get the ball out. Wrong! You need to add loft! Take a higher-lofted club and address the ball with an aggressive, hands-forward stance. As you make a smooth and easy swing, keep your weight centered, as opposed to letting your weight shift during the swing. This will help ensure the needed downward blow.

The Thought
To play this shot effectively, imagine playing a shot into a stiff breeze. “When it’s breezy, swing easy” and don’t try to muscle the ball out!

Craig Bunker is a longtime teaching instructor and oversees the John Jacobs Golf Schools located throughout the U.S. For more info, visit and find a learning center near you.


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