Saturday, February 1, 2003
Heat Up Your Game Inside And Out!
Whether you're snowbound or course-bound, here?s all you need to keep your game burning hot
All good golf swings feature a full release of the hands.
Grab a videocassette with your left hand, palm down, and make mock hip-high to hip-high swings. Focus on how your left hand rotates from palm down in the downswing to palm up in the forwardswing. Turning your left palm to the sky past impact will help you rotate your forearms properly and improve your extension.
A good way to feel your release and make it occur more naturally is to swing with a split-hand grip (again, a weighted club will only work to augment the key sensations). Set up in your standard address position and make your everyday swing. As you move through impact, you’ll find that with the split-hand grip, you must rotate your right arm and hand over their left-side counterparts in order to keep the club on-plane. You should also notice how the split-hand grip forces your weight forward on the downswing. After several split-hand swings, move back to a normal grip, but this time, swing with your feet together. Feet-together swings effectively take your lower body out of the equation and place more emphasis on the arms and, more importantly, the hands.
Exaggerate a specific feeling in order to make that feeling stick.
Golf is a game of feels. Therefore, it helps to sometimes exaggerate a specific “feeling” to make a change in your swing and, more importantly, make that change stick.
If your downswing plane is too steep and you’re hitting fades and slices, find a spot at your driving range that features a noticeable uphill lie. Practice hitting balls with the ball above your feet. This will force you to swing on a much flatter plane. A flatter swing plane will reduce your tendency to slice and help you to produce a right-to-left ballflight.
If your swing plane is too flat, and you’re hitting draws or hooks, do just the opposite. Find a sloping lie with the ball below your feet and make your swings from there. When the ball lies below your feet, your swing will need to move on a more upright plane. Making your downswing plane more vertical will lessen the occurrences of deadly hooks.
Adjusting your swing plane isn’t an easy task, so take advantage of the lies at your driving range to exaggerate the feeling of the swing changes you wish to make. Once you can feel the change, it’ll be easier to swing from a level lie and maintain the adjustment.
Make An Impact
Among other benefits, swinging into an impact bag can help change—that is, improve—the timing of your “release.”
If you’re fading or slicing the ball, then you’re probably not releasing your hands quickly enough. Practice swinging into the bag so the clubhead strikes the impact bag with the toe portion of the club first. From this toed-in position, you’ll train your muscles to square up the clubface sooner. After 10 to 12 swings, hit a few practice balls and you’ll likely see a favorable change in trajectory.
If you’re hitting a lot of hooks, make impact with the heel portion of the clubhead. This will slow down your release action at impact and help you regain the feeling of what square is.
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