Why Factor

Get all the answers for your best golf ever


Why Factor In a recent poll on the Golf Tips® Website, we asked you what swing flaw you’d most like to correct. More than 5,000 readers responded, with the majority citing slicing (27%) as fault number one, with a lack of distance and poor putting following close behind. To the question of why golfers can’t beat that one flaw that keeps them from their scoring potential, we asked teaching professional Brady Riggs to develop simple answers and provide key drills to eradicate your most common flaws once and for all. Whether your golfing Waterloo is bunker play, chipping or navigating obstacles, our “Why Factors” have the answers you need.

Why Can't I Hit Longer? You dont achieve full extension.

The surprisingly simple answer: lack of extension. That’s right, you don’t have to be built like Tiger to hit the ball long, but you do need to avoid the dreaded chicken wing.

This bent front-arm position can sap power from even the strongest golfers.

Believe it or not, lack of extension is without a doubt the biggest power-related mistake in golf. To remedy this problem, try my headcover drill. Simply place a headcover under your left arm (for right-handed golfers) and begin taking full swings. The goal is to hold the headcover in place until the weight of the swinging club pulls your arms off your body through impact. If you shorten your front arm (chicken wing), the headcover will fall out prematurely. By practicing this drill, you’ll learn to achieve full extension and create maximum power.

SliceQuick Fix
Though I don’t believe there are a lot of shortcuts to a solid golf swing, a good quick fix for the chicken wing is the “palm to the sky” drill. By ingraining the feeling of getting the palm of your left hand to the sky past impact, you’ll learn to properly rotate your forearms and quickly improve your extension and distance. 

Why Can't I Cure My Slice? Your body is too open at impact.

To eradicate the banana ball, try my “parallel foot” drill. Assume your address position, then turn your front toe back, so it’s pointing away from the target. Place the ball in line with the middle of your front foot and begin swinging slowly. Your body will feel closed, and it will be almost impossible to open it too quickly. You’ll most likely begin hooking the ball, due to your closed shoulder position. With regular practice, your slice should disappear for good.

Quick Fix
For a quick slice fix, try strengthening your grip by rotating your hands clockwise, or to your right. Most golfers have a tough time squaring the clubface through the hitting zone, and a strong grip can help achieve a square or even slightly closed clubface at impact. This will both fight the slice and promote crisper contact.

Why Can't I Be More Accurate? Your clubface isn't square at the top of the swing.

Clubface Angles
1. A square clubface angle at the top of the swing is a key for straight shots. Notice how the toe of the club points toward the target—this promotes the desired square clubface angle at impact.

2. Closing the clubface at the top of the swing is a common cause of smother hooks and fat shots. This position can also cause a lack of rotation in the arms and hands.  

3. This laid-off or open clubface position at the top of the swing will, for the majority of recreational golfers, be a surefire way to create severe slices and thin shots.




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