Give Your Swing A Tune Up

Fix your swing faults and lower your score in 30 minutes

This Article Features Photo Zoom

It's already the middle of the golf season, and I'm sure some of you are finding yourselves stuck in a rut. Don't worry, it happens. Golf is a fickle game. One day you have it; the next day you don't.

Knowing that every golfer—even Tour pros—suffer from common faults, I've come up with 10 common ones, and the fixes that will best address them.

I've structured this article so that it moves fluidly from tee to green, from fundamentals to feel. If you want to completely overhaul your game, try each tip in the order I've written them. If you find one tip that speaks directly to your current needs, then practice that one. Everything here was meant to address common faults, and hopefully after reading it, you'll be able to fix whatever ails you.


I always tell my students to play with "educated hands." And by "educated hands," I mean hands that hold the club properly so they can optimize how the clubface makes contact with the ball.

So how do you do that? It's simple: Go to a correct impact position and then grip the club in a way that it squares up the clubface. Consider what the clubshaft looks like at impact. The golf shaft has a forward lean and is in line with your lead arm. While that's happening, the clubface is aimed at your target and delofted. At that moment, your hips have rotated and your weight favors the forward foot, all while your hands are in the best position to make solid contact. Educate your hands so that your grip promotes a forward wrist that's flat/unhinged, and your rear wrist is bent.

My rear wrist is bent, and my forward wrist is flat.
In the photos at left and above right, notice that I've secured door hinges to my wrists to help illustrate this point. When you grip your club at the impact position, it allows your hands to lead and control the swing so you return the club to impact and "smash" it into the back of the ball.

To begin ingraining the feeling of a proper hand position, hit some short chip shots so your forward hand controls your shot's direction, and the rear hand controls the club's loft. Once you've successfully hit a number of shots in a row, increase the size and speed of your swing until you're making full swings and producing noticeable ballflight control. Educated hands are critical to playing great golf!

To eliminate over-the-top swings, you need to picture hitting the inside third of the golf ball. To do this, simply keep your back to the target longer so that your hands can drop the club into a correct downswing slot when you start the downswing transition. Remember to start the transition with your lower body first.

Check out the three colors on the ball just like your traffic lights: red, yellow and green. You always want to swing your clubhead on the path that will deliver it to the green "light." If you're on a yellow-light path, be cautious; and if you're on a red light, you'll slice the heck out of it or have to yell, "Fore left!" Either way, it's time for a lesson! Avoid those red lights. Work on getting your clubhead on the green-light path and go, go, go!

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