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 Too Steep?
Here are the clues:
1 Your ballflight is very high and left-to-right (slice).
2 You take a divot, but it’s usually too deep.
3 You like hitting short irons, not your woods.
4 You hate to play in the wind.
5 You find it difficult to hit low shots.
6 You like to take the club straight back in the backswing and your hips tend to slide instead of pivot.
7 Your backswing is long, with your hands high above your shoulders.
Again, check your setup. If you bend from your stomach and shoulders, the upper body will tend to hunch over too much. This results in the shoulders turning too upright in the backswing and in the downswing. If your setup is good, then the problem may be with your hips. If you keep your head too still and slide your hips instead of turning them, you’ll get too upright.
Fixing The Steep
Perform the Setup Drill discussed in the Too Flat section and the Right Foot Drill discussed in the Trapped section.
Hip Pivot Drill
Take your setup. As you assume your posture, set your golf club across your shoulders. Now, make a backswing and turn the shaft over your back foot, making sure that the spine tilt you established at address is intact (left). In order for this to happen, your hips must pivot, not slide. Don’t keep your head still. A correct hip pivot will help the club travel back and through on the correct path—neither too steep nor too flat.
Are You Flippy?
Here are the clues:
1 You either like your woods or your irons, but seldom do you like them both at the same time.
2 You’re great on the practice range, yet struggle on the golf course.
3 Your hands are always very active in the golf swing.
4 As a bonus, however, you’re fairly adept at the greenside flop shot.
Enemy number one: Your body is out of position or out of balance. Your body senses this, so your hands take over to try to get the clubface squared at impact. However, this adjustment usually takes the form of a flick or flip of the wrists.
Flippiness can also occur if your body gets too far in front of the golf ball. When this happens, your club will drastically lag, usually with an open face. Instinctually, your hands will work to close the face at impact. This level of timing is difficult even for the pros to execute on a consistent basis. What usually happens is the clubhead races in front of the shaft and strikes the ball with an open or closed face, and typically on an ascending arc. In baseball, if you get too far in front, you’ll hit the ball to right field, unless you flip the wrists. The same is true in golf. You need to establish a firm left side and keep your head behind the ball. If you do, the flipping will disappear.
Fixing The Flip
Impact Bag Drill
The best drill to help eliminate a timing flip is to use an impact bag. Set up to the impact bag (or use an old duffel bag full of towels), push the club into the bag and set your body into a good impact position. The left arm and shaft should form one straight, vertical line while the head remains back. Make sure your left leg is braced and your hips are turned slightly open. Hold this position to create the feel. Now, set up to the bag and make a small swing into it. Again, hold the impact position and make sure the elements of a solid contact position are all there. Focus on form first and not speed in this drill. Work on hitting the bag with a square clubface and with the clubshaft aligned with a straight left arm. Now, you’re solid.
Take a short iron and tee up a golf ball. Assume your normal setup. Now, close your eyes and swing. The key here is to keep your balance and feel the club during the swing. The better the balance, the easier it is to hit solid shots. Swinging with your eyes shut forces you to become much more aware of your balance since you won’t be able to rely on hand-eye coordination. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.
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