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If you’re planning a golf vacation this winter, be prepared to face a course element common to most tracks in Hawaii, Arizona and Florida: Bermuda grass. If you’re not accustomed to playing on this type of turf, you may be surprised at how it can affect your game, both on the fairway and the putting surface.
All good players have one position in the golf swing that’s similar despite their very different-looking swings. This position is impact. Good players retain their wrist-cock through the hitting area so that their left wrist is bowed and the right wrist is flexed (for right-handed golfers), and both hands are slightly in front of the golf ball at the strike.
Professional and low-handicap golfers consider the swing plane to be one of the most important concepts in golf. Swing plane directly relates to how straight, high and far one can hit the ball. At the same time, swing plane is one of the most intimidating terms for high-handicappers, simply because they’re not sure what a swing plane is, let alone what a good one looks like.
Generate a more productive swing by correctly moving the right elbow
Contrary to popular belief, the arms and elbows, from address to the top of the backswing, travel only a short distance. This is a reality few recreational players grasp. Most choose to believe that the arms and elbows travel a very great distance, and this is what provides power in the golf swing. These golfers are drastically misinformed. Power isn’t generated by swinging the arms and elbows out and away from your body. In fact, just the opposite is true. Read on to learn why and how to develop a more compact, more efficient and more productive swing.
Like all sports, golf requires a high degree of hand-eye coordination, as well as advanced hand motor skills. If you don’t employ your hands correctly, you’ll find it difficult to hit quality golf shots consistently. As a golfer who’s serious about improving, it’s imperative that you learn what role the hands play in the golf swing. Once you do, you’ll have all the tools to take your shotmaking to a much higher level.
For many golfers, topping the ball is a serious problem. Not only are worm burners the ugliest shots to watch in golf, but they invariably put your ball into horrendous situations from which to escape.
Believe it or not, the long-held belief that the clubface must be square through the hitting zone to hit straight shots is a myth. Over the past 10 years, I’ve measured the activity of the clubface during Tour players’ swings through the impact zone, and what I’ve learned is that not a single player holds the clubface square during the hitting area. Not one! In fact, these top-level players rotate the face counterclockwise around the shaft (for right-handed players) at about 30 degrees per foot of linear motion forward.
Take a seat! Use a chair, a soccer ball and a trusting friend to create a smooth transition.
A common swing error from which many golfers suffer is throwing the club from the top of the swing. This fault can produce a variety of bad shots and typically an impact position in which the clubhead is too far out in front of the hands. Throwing the club from the top is a start-of-the-downswing error, but most golfers, sensing it’s their hands lagging behind the clubhead that’s producing weak slaps at the ball, will choose to focus on correcting their impact position.
Most golfers have felt the agony of wasting a great drive by shanking a wedge shot into the trees or the water. That one shank probably has even made a few of you so paranoid that you shanked the next four shots around the green.
Get behind the ball for better, more powerful swings
Most golfers know that a full, 90-degree shoulder turn is a crucial element of a solid golf swing. Without it, a proper weight shift and a correct swing plane are almost impossible to achieve. A good shoulder turn not only ensures that your shoulders and chest are behind the ball at the top of the backswing, but helps maintain consistent balance throughout your motion. Before you can master a proper shoulder turn, however, it’s important to understand what it entails and exactly what it is.
Contrary to popular opinion, loose swings produce loose shots
How many times have you been told to relax your grip, your arms or your entire body to better your golf shots?Everyone has, most often by a well-meaning playing partner hoping to pull you from the depths of a horrible round. However, such misguided advice can wreak havoc on your swing. Most golfers would be better served by tightening up their swings rather than making them looser or, to coin a phrase, “more fluid.” The next time a tournament airs on TV, check out Ernie Els or my old college teammate David Toms.
Do you have a problem striking the ball solidly on a consistent basis? Do you tend to hit behind the ball? Do you struggle getting the ball to go into the air? Do you lack power? If so, it could be that you have too much lateral body movement through impact.
Keep that right knee flexed for more consistent golf
There are many important facets to a good golf swing, but maintaining the bend in the right knee is one that simply can't be overlooked. When a student comes to me with a common complaint (slicing, poor ballstriking or a general lack of consistency), I always take a close look at his or her body angles, and make certain that their posture and knee position are constant throughout the swing. If the student is having problems with posture or knee position, it's not worth spending a lot of time working on other aspects of the swing. Solid results just can't be achieved without correcting these problems first.