Give Your Swing A Tune Up

Fix your swing faults and lower your score in 30 minutes

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As you can see here, I've hit two different shots. The pin was tucked over a bunker, and in one instance, I took dead aim and ended up in the kitty litter. From there, it's pretty hard for the average player to get up and down. During golf schools and playing lessons, I see students shooting for pins like this all the time. And they often end up short-sided, as you see here. Difficult shots like this are almost impossible for the average golfer to hit consistently near the hole.

The next time you're confronted with a tucked pin, aim for the middle of the green, as you see by my shot at left. I might have a long putt, but at least I'm on and I have a much better chance of two-putting than getting up and down from the bunker.

When you sweep a broom, your "backswing" is short.
The last factor to consider when hitting approach shots to tough pins is what kind of putt you want to leave yourself. While it's hard to control those shots from 150-200 yards away, you still want to position yourself for an easy putt. If you miss the green, make sure your upcoming chip or pitch shot leaves you in a position where you'll have an uphill par-saving putt for your next shot. You can always make a run at a putt from under the hole, but get above it on a fast green, and look out—you'll be lucky to walk away with two putts!


At "impact," the broom has a forward shaft lean.
Why am I swinging with a broom? Well, I hope that it'll illustrate a few things. First, you should be making a sweeping motion that "brushes" down to the ground, not up. Second, the swing I make with the broom has a longer followthrough than backswing. On chip, pitch and bunker shots, I often see students do the exact opposite. They want to help the ball in the air, so they swing up on it. They also tend to make a long backswing with an abbreviated followthrough. Neither one of these faults produces good shots. Hitting up on the ball leads to thin shots, short finishes, and stubs and chunks.

And its "followthrough" is longer than its backswing. Copy this movement when you chip.
The broom also should illustrate the importance of a third key point—forward shaft lean. By making impact with a forward shaft lean, you'll let the club do the work for you. And finally, notice that my broom is sweeping down until it passes my left shoulder. This is the low point of your golf swing. Once you decelerate, the club races ahead of your hands, which creates all kinds of problems.

Remember, make solid, crisp contact to accelerate and let the club's loft get the ball up in the air and onto the green. If you keep your hands forward and sweep down as if you're using a broom, your short game will become more consistent.


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