Faults And Fixes
Forget the myths and find your game
Myth #6: Stay behind the ball at impact.
Fault: This causes the golfer’s right shoulder to dip and work under the ball, resulting in fat, thin, hooked or sliced shots.
Fix: At impact, the ball begins to climb the clubface, imparting backspin. The loft of the club determines the trajectory of the ball. The player must allow the head to move toward the target so that the chest can move forward and get the body in a stacked position with the shoulders over the hips. This will allow the player to trap and compress the ball, resulting in more distance and accuracy.
Drill: Make a half swing using just your chest, shoulders, arms and wrists. Allow the head to move back and forth with the clubhead. Focus on having the top groove strike the ball at or above the equator. In other words, cover the ball with the clubhead, or said another way, “put a lid on the ball.” Be certain to allow your head to move with the club.
Myth #7: Take a wide stance for more stability, balance and power.
Fault: A wide stance limits the player’s rotation in the hips and chest and prevents getting completely to the left side on the downswing. The only way to get behind the ball is to sway.
Fix: At address, the thigh bones and shin bones should line up to maximize stability and mobility. In other words, set the feet hip-width apart. This gets the joints stacked up and properly aligned for ease of movement.
Drill: Imagine yourself waterskiing. As you’re being pulled behind the boat, you notice that your skis are hip-width apart. As the boat turns from side to side, you’re able to glide easily through the water because your body is in perfect balance. As you widen your skiing stance, it becomes harder and harder to maintain control through the turns, until you finally lose your balance and wipe out! Remember to keep your feet hip-width apart.
The notion that a wide stance leads to more power is incorrect. A stance that places the feet at shoulder-width will allow your body weight to shift freely.
Myth #8: The hips and stomach should face the target at impact.
Fault: This concept causes the hips to rotate too soon, causing the right shoulder to dip and the clubface to open. To square up the clubface, the hands must be manipulated. This is a leading cause of tendinitis in golfers.
Fix: Staying connected through impact causes the hips and shoulders to be in alignment, which yields greater ballstriking consistency and lessens injury to the lower back, shoulders, elbows and wrists. It also doesn’t require manipulation of the golf club, allowing it to be released at the correct time.
Drill: Try to feel that your hands and zipper are passing through impact at the same time.
At the top, you’ll notice my hips have opened early and the clubface has overrotated. If you stay connected (above), the clubface will be square and your shots straight.
Carl Rabito is a Master PGA Professional and strength and conditioning specialist. He currently teaches at Bowling Brook GC in Illinois and Sanctuary Ridge GC in Florida. For more info, visit www.carlrabitogolf.com.