Learn Like A Pro

So you can play like one

This Article Features Photo Zoom

minor tweaks...

In the photo at left, you'll see the old position at the top of the backswing. During this part of her swing, the shaft is in a crossed-the-line scenario. If you draw a line from the clubhead down the shaft and through the butt end of the grip, the shaft will point behind Paige's body. This happened as a direct result of her old takeaway, which
On my off weeks, I'm usually at the golf course six days a week. I spent a lot of time on these mechanics and on my short game this off season. It's already made a huge difference so far this year.
again, was too low and to the inside. Many argue that the takeaway isn't important, but I promise you that it sets up the top part of the backswing. This position was off the original shaft plane, and Paige had to reroute the club during the downswing to refind the correct plane. Again, she could do it because of her high skill level, but for the average player, getting him or her to reroute the club back on plane from a position like this is a tall order. It usually leads to smother hooks and big slices.

Take a look at the new top-of-backswing position. If you draw a line from the head down the shaft through the butt end of the grip, the shaft now points at the inside of the golf ball—a perfect position that doesn't disrupt the correct geometry of the shaft plane. Getting to this point in the swing is critical, since it initiates a series of chain reactions on the downswing. And put it this way: If you start off on the wrong track, you have little to no chance of hitting a good shot. When you're on the right plane though, the transition into the downswing is a lot easier. Simply drop the arms and turn the body, two things Paige does exceptionally well.

watch those hands & clubface

You can tell a lot from this part of any player's golf swing. The old position shows a closed or overrotated clubface. This is an indication that Paige had to manipulate the clubface through impact to hit the ball at her desired target. Not only is the face closed, but to get here, she had to flip her right hand post-impact. When the right hand
moves in this fashion, the clubhead isn't able to move down properly to the correct low point of the swing, located four inches left of the center of the stance. This overactive clubface led to inconsistencies with Paige's ballflight, which ultimately led to missing greens both right and left.

As you take a look at the new postimpact position, you'll notice the right hand is still in a bent position. This allows the clubhead to move down properly through impact to the low point. This also created a much more passive clubface through impact, allowing Paige to have much more consistency with her ballflight, ultimately allowing her to become one of the best ballstrikers on the LPGA Tour.

When I'm not having a good ballstriking day, I want to eliminate the left side of the course, so I usually open up my stance a little and hit fades.

double the shaft...

The orange rod worked great to clean up Paige's impact conditions. If you insert the rod in the grip, it's impossible for the right hand to flip too early after impact. This allows the hands to stay in front of the clubhead longer through impact, thus creating a more passive clubface. Using this tool, Paige was able to have a much more predictable ballflight, resulting in more GIRs, too.

It's important to note that when performing this impact drill, you need to make little golf swings. The clubhead shouldn't get any higher than your right or left hip. Any higher, the rod will impede your golf swing.


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