Saturday, June 1, 2002
Flaws And Fixes 2002
A guide to finding and fixing common flaws that may be hiding in your swing
Are You Reversed?
Here are the clues:
1 You finish your swing on your back foot, you have a vertical backswing and you find it difficult to hit low shots.
2 Your ballflight is inconsistent and you seldom take a divot. Furthermore, you feel the need to overuse your hips to create a weight shift and your hands are very active in the golf swing.
3 Also, you try to keep your head perfectly still. These are all flaws that can lead to the dreaded reversed position.
The reversed position has the majority of the golfer’s weight stranded over the front foot at the top of the backswing. A common fault that can lead to a reversed position is establishing level shoulders and hips at address (right). Your right side should be slightly lower so that your left heel, left knee and left shoulder are all in a vertical line that’s also slightly tilted away from your target.
Even if your setup is sound, you can force a reversed position by keeping the head too still. Remember, the head must “float” a bit on the backswing. If it isn’t allowed to, you’ll make it extremely difficult to swing the club in balance.
However, the most typical cause of a reverse pivot is sliding—not turning—the hips on the backswing. When you slide, your upper body will tilt toward the target. This negates any possibility of turning behind the ball. Without rotation, the only backswing you can make is one that’s all lift and no turn, with the bulk of your weight sitting where it was at address. This is a powerless, slice-causing position.
Fixing The Reverse
Take your normal setup with any club. Once you’re set, place the shaft on your chest to mimic the angle of your spine (left) and see where it points. The shaft should point toward your left heel. Notice that when it does, your left hip sits taller than your right and that your right shoulder hangs below your left. Proceed to make backswings from this address position with an eye toward rotating your hips and turning your left shoulder over your right thigh.
Backswing Coil Drill
Once your setup is correct, set the club across your shoulders. Practice turning the shaft over your right foot, keeping your right knee flexed. Picture your hips turning in a barrel, not sliding side to side. A good, upper-body pivot will naturally shift your weight onto your right leg without conscious effort. Now you’re coiled in a great position to swing the club to the ball on the proper path.
Are You Trapped?
Here are the clues:
1 Your ballflight is very low and, since your right arm is trapped behind your body, you can only block it right or you flip your hands through the hitting zone and send the ball low and left.
2 As such, you can’t hit a high, soft fade, and the majority of your divots point to the right or,
3 if you come over the top—a natural result of being trapped—your divots point left.
Two main culprits: your setup or your overactive hips. A common setup problem is that your right side is too high. This causes your hips to slide to the right during the backswing. You react by bringing your right arm inside to get the club on path (right). On the downswing, your objective is to swing the club on an in-to-out path, and you achieve it, but your chest and shoulders are too open. With your upper body racing in front of the lower, the clubhead gets trapped behind you. Ouch.
Trapping also occurs if you rotate before your arms and elbows get in front of your chest on the downswing. In a good motion, the arms drop down (without releasing the hinge in the wrists) while the body gradually opens. This creates arc width without destroying path.
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