Faults And Fixes
Forget the myths and find your game
Myth #4: Hold the wrist angle for as long as possible.
Myth #3: Keep the left arm straight in the backswing.
Fault: This “extension” causes the left shoulder to fold in toward the chest, causing the upper body to stop turning and the arms to lift. In turn, this promotes the right shoulder to dip on the downswing. What’s more important is where the chest is, because that’s where the length of the arms is. When the club is extended back with a straight left arm, the chest doesn’t rotate fully, limiting range of motion and weight transfer. Typically, this causes weak and poor contact.
Fix: Maintain the natural bend in the left arm, both at address and at the top of the backswing. This allows the shoulders to complete the backswing without dipping or lifting and prevents the hips and lower body from swaying. Instead, the chest is rotated for a full release to occur at impact.
Drill: Begin by addressing the ball. From the address position, hinge the club until it rests on your right shoulder. Now, complete the backswing so that your upper body is behind the ball. This demonstrates the correct position at the top of the backswing. Slightly lift the club off your shoulder, make your swing and hit the ball!
Fault: “Holding the wrist angle” causes players to spin their hips, tilt and drop the right shoulder and work under the ball, resulting in pull cuts.
Fix: Approximately 75 percent of the clubhead speed at impact comes from the unhinging of the wrists on the downswing. Another 11 percent comes from the unhinging of the arms. Thus, 86 percent of clubhead speed comes from the arms and wrists unhinging. When the hands get thigh-high on the downswing, allow the wrists to unhinge. This will give a full release with more power and accuracy.
Drill: Players who try to “hold the angle” are depending on their lower body to drive them through impact. Instead, try holding the clubhead in your right hand and swing the club by only hinging and unhinging your arm and wrist. Feel the speed?
Myth #5: Keep the head still in the backswing.
Fault: A head that doesn’t move in the backswing prevents the golfer from getting the upper body behind the ball. This will lead to swaying or a reverse pivot, with the majority of body weight placed on the front (closest to target) foot.
Fix: Allow the head to move toward the back foot on the second half of the backswing. This allows the chest to get behind the ball without swaying.
Drill: Put on a necktie. At address, when hanging straight down, the tie should fall in line with the tips of your toes. At the top of the backswing, the tie should now be pointing inside your right foot. If your head has remained still, the tie will point inside your left foot because your chest will not have moved behind the ball. Once you get the feel for this move, you should feel significantly more dynamic.