Flaws And Fixes 2004

Cure common faults by getting to the source

At The TopFault: Too Upright At The Top
Fix: Maintain Right-Knee Flex

If you’re too upright at the top of the backswing, your left arm is above the original shaft line established at address. This occurs because the upper body has turned improperly and is more bent over than it was at address. Deep divots with the irons and pop-ups with the drivers can result. The Fix: Keep your right knee flexed.

Fault: Too Flat At The Top
Fix: Steepen Your Shoulder Turn

At the top, the left arm is flatter than the original shaft line. This occurs because the upper body rotates too much, which keeps the arms from going up. The results can be tops, thin shots and pushes. The Fix: Point your left shoulder at the ball at the top of the swing.

Fault: Across The Line
Fix: Allow The Left Arm To Rotate

At the top, the shaft points to the right of the target line. This occurs because of the improper rotation of the left arm or an overly steep shoulder turn. This often causes shanks, pulls and slices. The Fix: Rotate your left arm away from the ball on the way to the top.

Fault: Laid Off
Fix: Keep Your Elbows Level

A laid-off position at the top features a shaft that points to the left of the target line. This occurs because of excessive rotation of the left arm or a flat shoulder turn. The result is a steep, over-the-top attack. The Fix: Create a level elbow position at the top of the backswing.

Strike The Ball With A Descending BlowFault: Sculling Or Thinning Pitch And Chip Shots
Fix: Strike The Ball With A Descending Blow

Skulled and thin chips and pitches are the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of how the ball gets in the air. Basically, these types of misses occur because many players believe they have to get the clubhead under the ball to get it up. Like most problems in the golf swing, this one starts in the setup, with too little weight on the front foot and an incorrect shaft angle. Generally, this bad setup prevents the clubhead from getting in the air quickly enough in the backswing, forcing the ball to be struck with an ascending blow, making contact with the leading edge of the clubhead instead of the clubface inevitable.

The long-term solution to this problem is learning the proper way to get the ball airborne, which is to strike it with a slightly descending blow. Creating the proper setup position with the hands ahead of the clubhead, the majority of the weight on the front foot, and the knees flexed toward the target is critical, because it allows you to get the clubhead in the air quickly and encourages the hands to lead the shaft into impact. Striking the ball in this manner also is the proper way to create spin on full wedge shots, which is another concern many recreational golfers have.


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