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Golf Faults And Fixes

Is your golf swing in need of a fix? Our top tips will help you improve your golf swing and take your game to the next level.



Fact Or Fiction?

The truth about golf instruction

Fact Or Fiction?

No matter where you are, where you go, or more appropriately, whom you end up playing golf with, it seems there’s always someone nearby who I like to call “the resident E.O.E. (Expert on Everything).” You know the type. It’s the fellow who knows how to help you increase your net worth and can explain how to install new copper pipes in your house without having to cut drywall. This same guy also watches a lot of golf on TV, and because he hears one or two commentators analyzing someone’s swing, he assumes their advice is well suited for you, too.

No Layoffs!

No Layoffs!No matter how hard you work at achieving a technically sound golf swing, once in a while you’ll encounter a small flaw that causes your shots to run amuck. One of the most overlooked and easy-to-fix mistakes golfers make involves the position of the hands at the top of the backswing. For all intents and purposes, you can have a perfect weight shift, a great arm extension, a powerful coil, and the perfect head and spine position, but if you don’t have your hands holding the clubshaft properly at the top of the swing—well, the downswing may as well be doomed from the start.

50 Ways To Lower Your Score

Use our top tips, equipment advice, Tour examples and a few new training aids to play your best golf

50 Ways To Lower Your ScoreFrom driving and iron play to putting, tough lies and strategy, it's all covered in the "Big 50," including easy tips to groove a foolproof swing and gear advice from the brightest minds in golf.

Give Your Slice The Elbow

Give Your Slice The ElbowOver the years, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the proper position of the right elbow at the top of the backswing. Some players like John Daly swing with their elbow flying out, while others like Sergio Garcia keep it in, proving that it’s possible to hit great shots with either method. However, my biomechanical studies with PGA Tour pros using the K-Vest, developed by Bentley Kinetics, indicate that the flying right-elbow position favors a fade ballflight while a tucked right elbow promotes a draw.

Home Remedies

Elementary tips and do-it-yourself teaching aids for keeping your swing in shape during the off-season

Home RemediesWhen it comes to posture, the key is to establish your natural spine angle, which will allow the body to rotate freely throughout the golf swing. A good training aid to help improve your posture can be fashioned with a broomstick, sponge, six-inch ruler, scissors, pen and a belt.

Slice Compensation

Slice CompensationIf you’re one of the millions of golfers who battles a slice, odds are you compensate for the left-to-right ballflight by aiming to the left. However, no matter how far to the left you aim, the ball still slices to the right—sometimes worse than it did before. On the occasion you do hit it straight, well, it doesn’t do you much good because you were aimed toward the trees or deep rough on the left. Hmm—you’re doing what you think will fix the problem, but it’s only making the problem worse.

Stop The Pop

Stop The PopUndoubtedly, the most embarrassing tee shot in golf is the drive that pops straight up, barely clearing the tee box. The pop-up is an agonizing mis-hit most often caused by an excessive forward weight shift on the downswing and a club that approaches the ball on a very steep angle of attack. The steep descent de-lofts the clubface to such a degree that the topline of the club effectively becomes the leading edge. The result? Not only a humiliating pop-up, but one of the most hated marks in golf: a scuff on the crown of the clubhead. Yuck.

Go Topless

Go ToplessIf you tend to skull your fairway woods, it’s because you’re catching the ball on the upswing, often caused by trying to scoop or lift the ball up. To fix this problem, you have to understand that solid ballstriking is sometimes a game of opposites. To hit the ball higher with a fairway wood, you actually have to hit down—as opposed to up—on the ball.

Three Mistakes

Three MistakesAfter watching thousands of swings over the past 30 years, I’ve pinpointed three mistakes that the majority of amateurs commit, each of which can diminish power and accuracy.

Shank Stoppers

Shank StoppersYou’re enjoying a great day on the links, and you have an easy pitch to the last green where a par or even a bogey will give you your best score in a month. Easy pitch, easy swing, stick it close. But instead, some evil dragon maliciously guides your hosel toward your ball, and you shank it right of the greenside bunker. The shot so unnerves you that you proceed to shank a succession of shots around the perimeter of the green counterclockwise.

Get Happy

Get HappyAs an instructor, one of the most common swing flaws I see is the dreaded reverse pivot. This move wreaks havoc on any golfer’s ability to hit consistently good golf shots. One of the best ways to overcome the reverse pivot is to try a drill designed to make it impossible to hold your weight back on your downswing. I call it the baseball drill, or the “Happy Gilmore,” named after the title character in the film who steps into the golf ball the way a field goal kicker lunges toward the ball.

Triple Overlap

Triple OverlapOne of the most common causes of bad pitches and chips is the dominant hand (right for righties) taking over  the swing. The result is typically scooped or thin contact that produces fat or sculled shots. To alleviate this tendency, learn to make your hands work together by experimenting with the triple-overlap grip. This technique effectively takes the dominant hand out of the swing, and promotes a descending blow, which is absolutely critical to creating crisp contact and consistent results.

Ten-Minute Swing Changes

Quick Fixes To Save You From Suffering A Bad Day On The Course

Ten-Minute Swing ChangesThe situation: You’re on the range hitting balls, extremely off line and not very solid, with only 10 minutes remaining before your assigned tee time. The remedy: W.O.O.D.—quick adjustments that Work Only One Day, otherwise known as the “quick fix.” These “Band-Aids” are a necessary part of the game and come in handy when you don’t have time to seek out a long-term correction from your teaching pro. The key is knowing what needs adjusting. If you choose the wrong adjustment, things could get worse.

Is Your Swing Out Of Date?

In with the new. The swings of today?s top young golfers are vastly more efficient than those used by yesterday's heroes, which begs the question

Is Your Swing Out Of Date?The trophy cases of the likes of Nicklaus, Irwin, Miller, Stewart and Trevino are full of championship hardware, but all had swings that would now be considered old-fashioned. Yesterday’s players used a significant amount of lateral lower-body movement, which placed a lot of undue stress on the neck, hips and back. The great young players of today strive for a more stacked position at impact, which is both more efficient and much healthier for the body.

Align The Easy Way

Align The Easy WayMost of my students struggle with the slice. Many of these golfers have serious swing issues, but the majority certainly possess enough talent and an understanding of the golf swing to keep slices at bay. The problem is they’re trapped into hitting slices because their setup facilitates swinging on the out-in path to which all slices owe their existence.

Swing Barefoot For Balance

Swing Barefoot For BalanceThe majority of recreational golfers fail to achieve the balance needed to excel at golf or any athletic activity. One of the reasons why most golfers don’t swing in balance is that they swing too hard. A rule I like to impose on my students is “Swing as hard as you want to as long as you finish the swing in balance.”

Wake Up Your Game!

Wake Up Your Game!

Sometimes golf just isn’t fair. Professional baseball has Spring Training. The NFL and NBA have training camps and a handful of preseason scrimmages. But golf? Well, it’s up to each and every professional to get their game on track on their own and show up ready to compete at the highest level. There’s no organized stretching sessions (Can you see Tim Herron or Phil Mickelson showing up?), no group mental conditioning, no preseason practice tournaments. Professionals are left to prepare by themselves.

Caddy Knows Best

Five key tips learned from a PGA Tour caddy

Caddy Knows BestAs a golf instructor and PGA Tour caddy, I’ve seen my fair share of golf swings, ranging from the sweet rhythms of the best players in the world to the herky-jerky moves of the frustrated first-timer. Yet despite the huge gap in natural ability between the novice and the professional, I’ve learned it’s not uncommon for the world’s elite players to struggle with a few of the same mechanics and course-management issues that a casual 18-handicapper might face during a round. The swings of touring professionals may be more advanced, but nobody is ever really immune to the occasional swing flaw or mental mistake. We’re all human after all.

L.A.W.S. Revisited

Match your swing to your body type for maximum performance

L.A.W.S. RevisitedNot all athletes or golfers have an extreme body type. Instead, a great number of players fall into the “in-between” category, meaning they have a relatively “average” build with a solid combination of flexibility and strength. If you have this type of body, you need to develop a swing that takes advantage of both attributes, not just one or the other. This body type is best suited to a Leverage swing.

Swing Thoughts That Really Work

Think your way to a better golf swing now

Swing Thoughts That Really WorkOld-school golf instruction is full of imagery that was originally created to help players make what were perceived as the the proper moves in the swing. In those days, many of the technical aspects of the golf swing weren’t completely understood, largely due to the lack of video technology that exists today. Instead, players mostly relied on feel, natural talent and repetition to hone their technique and overall game. Not surprisingly, the average scores of recreational golfers barely ever improved significantly, other than what was delivered by technological advances in equipment and golf course conditioning.

Finishing School

Look at the end of your swing to find and fix hidden flaws

Finishing SchoolBasically, there are only two positions in the golf swing: the address and the finish. Everything else is a motion and, as such, difficult to analyze. But the finish is static and allows for serious self-analysis. If you know what to look for, then how you end your swing can give you some good ideas of what’s going on in your motion.

Match The Circles

Match The CirclesGood golfers give the impression that their forearms suddenly cross over through impact, but the swing is so fast that it fools the eye. What little forearm roll there is begins in the backswing with a gentle clockwise rotation of both forearms, a motion that reverses itself as the club swings back to the golf ball.

Face The Facts

Visualize slice and hook causes to eliminate them for good

Face The Facts

The precision required to hit an absolutely straight golf shot is so great that, for all intents and purposes, such shots don’t exist. For that very reason, every golfer is either a hooker or a slicer. You may only hook or slice a little at times, but your shots do have a pattern. Even the game’s best players favor a fade or draw.

 
 
 
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