Sunday, August 1, 2004
Right Vs. Right On!
Is your swing a slice swing or a solid swing?
At impact, the last thing you want is
a bent left elbow, which forces an open face. Instead, strive to extend your arms and create a solid line that runs from the face up the shaft and through the left arm.
If your downswing path moved from outside the target line to the inside, it will show in your followthrough, which will continue to move to the inside of the target line. Among other disasters, such a finish restricts a full release of the clubhead, robbing your swing of precious power.
A solid followthrough is characterized by the clubhead moving outside the target line, which ensures the downswing path was in-to-out and that your hips turned correctly toward the target. Also, your divot should be straight; if it points to the left, your downswing path was too much outside-in.
Momentum is so important and so difficult to change. If the clubhead travels on an inside-out downswing path, it’s easy to keep it outside the target line in the followthrough. However, if the clubhead travels on an outside-in downswing path, there’s almost no way to change this direction. Your clubhead will keep to the inside on the followthrough, your divot will point left of the target and you’ll produce an insufficient release.
The fix is to focus on your downswing path and teach your left shoulder to work up through impact versus around. This will allow the arms and hands to swing the club out toward the target line in the followthrough. To practice this, position a shaft covered by a swimming pool noodle on an angle just inside your original shaft plane and target line. With the shaft in place, make short and slow golf swings with an attempt to avoid hitting the noodle. If you start the club down the correct path and educate your left shoulder to work up through impact, you should avoid the noodle. Once the club passes your left foot, the left shoulder will open as the arms swing the club out and the hips turn to the target. You should finish on your left side, with your body facing the target. Make sure you perform this drill slowly at first until you get a feel for the new move.
When fixing a slice, be careful to address corrections in the proper order to build a solid golf swing. I highly recommend you work with a PGA professional to ensure you’re performing the drills correctly and that you’re working on the cause of the problem and not the effect. That’s the key for lasting improvement.
The correct in-out downswing should carry over into the followthrough, with the arms traveling toward the target while your hips rotate. Key to this scenario is the right shoulder working “up” through impact.
PGA professional and Senior Instruction Editor Glenn Deck is regarded as one of the top-100 teachers in America. Deck is the director of instruction at the Pelican Hill Golf Academy at Pelican Hill Golf Club & Resort in Newport Coast, Calif. (www.pelicanhill.com).
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