Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Outdraw The (Slice) Outlaw
Draw your driver, and never slice again!
This Article Features Photo Zoom
Without question, the draw is golf’s most difficult shot for players to learn. It takes great timing, coordination and trained muscles to swing in the proper sequence, square your clubface and put the desired right-to-left spin on the ball. Over the next few pages, I’ll demonstrate five different tips that will get you hitting the ball farther, more consistently and out of the right rough for good!
To draw the ball, you must learn to close your clubface slightly through impact. While many players rotate the clubface open as they approach impact and go through it, you need to learn to close the face as you release it.
Notice, in this photo, how I’m rotating the clubface as the club approaches and passes impact. If I leave the face open after impact, I won’t hit a draw. In fact, I’ll slice it. Rotating the face releases the club and puts draw spin on the ball.
The next time you’re at the range, make some swings where you try to roll your right forearm over your left, so that in the followthrough, the bottom of your right forearm actually touches the bottom of your left forearm. After you’ve done that for a bit, you might be snap-hooking the ball. If so, dial it back a bit so that you retain the sensation of rolling your right forearm over your left, but not so extreme that they touch. This will get your clubface closing through impact and your ball drawing!
Checking your clubface’s position at the top of the swing is a great way to make sure you’re prepared to start your downswing. To hit a draw, your clubface should be square or slightly closed at the top.
Check out the bottom photo. Notice how my left wrist is in a “cupped” position and the leading edge of the club is hanging vertically. My clubface is really “open.” This makes it a lot more difficult to hit a draw; you’d really have to manipulate the club on the way down. It’s possible, but I don’t recommend it.
Now look at my left wrist in the top photo. Notice how much “flatter” it is at the top and how the leading edge of the clubface basically matches it. From this square position, I have a much better chance to hit a draw. You can check this position either in a mirror or by simply swinging to the top and looking up at your hands and the clubface.
In the bottom photo, you can see that I’ve swung the club well to the inside of my target line on the backswing. In many cases, this leads to an open clubface and arms that “lift” the club as it works its way to the top of the swing. Unfortunately, from that position, there’s really nowhere to go but over the top, in which case, the upper body unwinds before the lower body, and the clubface cuts across the ball, leading to a slice or pull.
In the top photo, however, you can see that I’m swinging the club slightly to the inside of my target line and I’m keeping the clubface square. Doing so helps me actually start my downswing on a slightly inside path, just the approach I need to turn the club over and apply some of that much needed draw spin.
The key to getting your swing on the right “track” is to make a backswing where the clubhead is moving just inside the stick. It’s easy to swing the club too far inside as you try to make sure you miss it. Just barely miss it on the backswing, and then go to the top of your swing.
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