Stop Your Slice
Find the Problem Before You Find the Cure
The Single Shift
This technique is a single shift from the shaft plane at address to a more vertical plane during the transition. It’s an out-and-over move commonly seen in a player who moves the ball from left to right. Unfortunately, the single shift easily can turn into an uncontrolled, over-the-top motion, especially when tempo is off. This is a good technique for an intentional fade.
The Double Shift
This is the most common plane angle shift model taught by modern teachers, particularly David Leadbetter. This shift starts from the clubshaft plane at address, then moves into a more upright position into the backstroke and then falls back to the clubshaft plane through the ball. This is a very good motion, provided you can keep the clubshaft from lifting too much into the last part of the backswing. Use the double shift only if you have a good level of flexibility.
The Triple Shift
This is the classic in-up-and-over move that you see in a player like Bruce Lietzke. Basically, the club moves to the inside of the shaft plane on the backswing, then above it on the downswing. If you use this plane angle shift, then you must control your release or you’ll hit left-to-left shots.
The Reverse Loop
This shift is used by players who lift the club to the top slightly, yet have shoulder turns that are level or perpendicular to the axis of the spine. These players have no need to re-route the arms and shoulders, but only need to re-route the shaft back to the clubshaft plane on the downswing. Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Nick Price employ the Reverse Loop technique, evidenced by a “flattening” of the shaft on the downswing.
The Reverse Shift
This is the action Trevino, Couples and Furyk use as they lift the club steeply to the top with a high right shoulder and then re-route the club back to the clubshaft plane established at address. The Reverse Shift requires powerful lateral and rotary hip motions to aid the reversing action, which can lead to back problems.
The Pivot Motion
When the club is in a manageable delivery position at belt high, you’ll find that the club is either trailing the hands slightly or slightly out in front of the hands, but not by much in either position. From here all you have to do is allow your weight to continue to move into the forward foot as your torso rotates. These two motions together allow the body to move and control the arms, hands and clubshaft through the impact zone. If you feel a blocking or rolling action of the wrists, or you’re consciously trying to release the club, then you’re either off plane to an exaggerated degree during the downswing or your pivot is faulty. Done correctly, the pivot controls almost everything in the golf swing normally associated with impact and balance. The best way to learn how to pivot correctly is to hit belt-high (no higher) pitch shots, feeling your weight move through as you rotate into the finish. If you do this correctly, the ball should go straight and you should feel little or no hand action through the ball. Now your body is controlling the club rather than your hands, which is the only way to keep your slice at bay.
To quickly improve your pivot, place a headcover under each arm at address and swing waist high in the backswing and forwardswing without allowing the headcovers to drop to the ground. This will force you to hit with your body.
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