Common Practice

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A great way to get the body positioned correctly before you make a swing is to practice hitting a few drives with the clubhead situated a few inches behind the ball at address. This not only magnifies your shoulder tilt at address and promotes a more rounded golf swing, but also helps with your forwardswing, as well. As you swing down and through, because the ball is ahead of the clubhead at address, you'll need to fully rotate and extend to make solid contact.

Try this drill a few times out on the practice tee. If it works for you, don't hesitate to try it out on the golf course while you play.

If you take the club too far back to the inside, you run the risk of having a position at the top of your swing that leans too much over the ball. This means you'll shift your weight to your right side on the downswing (opposite the proper direction) and hit all sorts of ugly golf shots.

Here's the right way to do it! Notice how my head is behind the ball, my hips have turned about 45 degrees and my shoulders have rotated about 90 degrees. Also, my weight is predominantly situated over my right leg. From here, all I have to do is uncoil as the club whips through the impact zone. To copy this position, practice getting your head above your right knee at the top of your backswing as I'm doing here. That will prevent you from leaning toward the ball at the top and help you make a bigger, shallower, more powerful arc into the golf ball.

Telling you to extend, take the club back low and slow and make a full backswing make up only part of a successful backswing equation. The secret in doing all those things is to allow the weight to shift naturally to your right side. Don't force it! In the golf swing, there really isn't a weight shift, as some mistakenly say there is. As you rotate back and to your right side on the backswing, the majority of your weight will move by itself.

I've seen some students artifically create a weight shift by sliding to the right—a move predicated by little to no body turn!

So to ensure you're rotating and not shifting, try this drill. With a golf bag next to you, if you can make a full backswing without bumping the bag, you're on the right track. If you hit the bag, or knock it over by shifting your weight and popping your hip out, then practice making a bigger rotation without forcing your weight to your right side. With a few swings, you'll gain a better feeling for what it means to rotate back and not sway or slide.


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