Flaws And Fixes 2002
A guide to finding and fixing common flaws that may be hiding in your swing
Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of golfers, and if I had to find a common trait among them all, it would be that each and every one has his or her own unique swing. A second—albeit unfortunate—universal characteristic is that all of these swings are plagued by at least one major flaw.
This is not to say that all of my students can’t play the game of golf. Some are intimately aware of the position of their golf club throughout the swing and understand the adjustments that must be made in order to get the clubface squared up in the impact zone.
Most have become better golfers by eradicating their flaws, however. For these players, the path to lower scores wasn’t easy—it takes a great deal of time and practice to beat a swing fault. But the process is much simpler if you discover which flaw or flaws are doing the most damage to your swing and, more importantly, the drills you need to eliminate them.
That being said, ask yourself if you’re guilty of committing any of the faults listed on the next several pages. If you’re unsure if your swing is hindered by any of these flaws, look at the clues we present for each. Often, a golfer may not know he or she is laid off, for example, but will know the ballflight errors this flaw typically creates. Once you uncover a flaw, or flaws, get to work on the drills. You’ll soon find yourself fault-free and ready for a season full of low scores.
Are You Laid Off?
Here are the clues:
1 You seldom take a divot, your ballstriking is inconsistent and you feel the need to make adjustments on the way back down to the golf ball.
2 Your playing partners tell you that your shaft points left of the target at the top, and that you take the club away too far to the inside.
3 Your backswing initially is flat, so you adjust it on the way up and down. Your hands are very active in the golf swing.
Typically, the club gets laid off in the beginning of the backswing. If you can start the club back on the correct path, chances are good that it will stay on path, eliminating the need to make costly adjustments. First, check your setup. Specifically, make sure your right arm isn’t tucked in too much (above). A tucked right arm leads to an inside takeaway and a laid-off position at the top.
If your setup is solid, then the problem may be an overactive right hand or right arm in the backswing. When the right side dominates, it usually pulls the club too far to the inside.
Also, if you prefer to roll the clubface open as you take the club away, you may be susceptible to the lay off—don’t overdo it.
Fixing The Lay Off
Shaft At Ball Drill
Assume your setup and make a 1/3-backswing (left arm at waist height) and hinge the club up. Check the following to see if you’re on the right path: 1) your hips have rotated so your belt buckle has turned toward your back toe; 2) your left arm is parallel to the target line and your left elbow points down; and 3) the shaft points at the ball and is on-plane (use a tee for reference). These are all elements of a fundamentally correct takeaway.
Push Ball Drill
Take your normal setup, but with a second golf ball placed on your target line six inches behind the ball you’re going to hit. Now, make your backswing. Did your club “push back” the second golf ball? If your club traveled back on path, it would have pushed the second ball straight back. If you rolled the club to the inside, the ball would have moved inside the target line. Practice this drill until you get both the club and the second ball traveling straight back. Progress to hitting the real ball and check your ballflight against the direction in which you pushed the second ball back.