Is Your Swing Out Of Date?

In With The New. The Swings Of Today’s Top Young Golfers Are Vastly More Efficient Than Those Used By Yesterday’s Heroes

The trophy cases of the likes of Nicklaus, Irwin, Miller, Stewart and

Trevino are full of championship hardware, but all had swings that

would now be considered old-fashioned. Yesterday’s players used a

significant amount of lateral lower-body movement, which placed a lot

of undue stress on the neck, hips and back. The great young players of

today strive for a more stacked position at impact, which is both more

efficient and much healthier for the body.

Lengthen The Right

Golfers often talk about the importance of keeping a straight left arm during the backswing. Equally important, but seldom discussed, is the value of keeping the right arm straight during the first two feet of the takeaway. I see many amateurs bend their right elbow too much at address–which causes incorrect posture–and fold their right elbow too quickly as they take the club back. These right elbow flaws create a lifting action and produce a too-narrow swing arc, robbing players of their power potential.

Get A Wedge Edge

There’s more than one way to hit the ball long. Just look at the swings of long hitters like Tiger Woods, John Daly and Fred Couples. Each is different and each serves its purpose well. However, to hit your longest, most powerful drives, three elements must be present: You must fully release the club, swing with an even tempo and remain in balance.

Anchor Your Right Foot

One key to hitting more powerful golf shots is keeping your body behind the ball before impact. A premature lifting of the right foot during the downswing causes golfers to shift too much of their weight to the left side, resulting in a loss of power and distance.

Get Happy

As an instructor, one of the most common swing flaws I see is the dreaded reverse pivot. This move wreaks havoc on any golfer’s ability to hit consistently good golf shots. One of the best ways to overcome the reverse pivot is to try a drill designed to make it impossible to hold your weight back on your downswing. I call it the baseball drill, or the Happy Gilmore, named after the title character in the film who steps into the golf ball the way a field goal kicker lunges toward the ball.

High Hopes

You’ll discover the need to hit over an obstacle–tree, fence, even a scoreboard–during the course of an everyday round. And while amateurs fear the shot, pros know that only a few setup adjustments can fuel success.

Accelerate The Putter

Acceleration is the increasing speed at which the clubhead moves through the ball and is important not only for hitting shots of substantial distance, but also for short putts. In fact, if you find that you’re missing too many short putts, the cause may be failure to accelerate the putterhead. Here’s a drill that will help.

Triple Overlap

One of the most common causes of bad pitches and chips is the dominant

hand (right for righties) taking over  the swing. The result is

typically scooped or thin contact that produces fat or sculled shots.

To alleviate this tendency, learn to make your hands work together by

experimenting with the triple-overlap grip. This technique effectively

takes the dominant hand out of the swing, and promotes a descending

blow, which is absolutely critical to creating crisp contact and

consistent results.

Alternate Driving

When your driving goes south -- or when situations call for something other than the big dog -- ?don't forget your options

The well-worn cliché “drive for show, putt for dough” is familiar to

most golfers, but heeded by few. Hitting big drives is, in fact, often

the most desirable accomplishment in the game for many recreational

players, most of whom are less concerned with score than the bragging

rights that accompany a long drive. Players who are interested in

shooting good scores, however, know that accurate driving, or

strategically positioning the ball off the tee, is a critical part of

playing solid golf, and sometimes mandates the use of different clubs.

Myth Busters

Many popular swing tips and equipment theories are just plain wrong

If you practice your backswing at a gas pump while talking on your cell

phone, the station will explode. It’s myths like this—though hardly as

ludicrous—that can send golfers who need the right answers into a

tailspin. The trouble with myths is that most sound reasonable, and

usually are passed from one golfer to the next with only good

intentions. Nevertheless, the common tip shared across grill room

tables and on tee boxes nationwide tends to do more harm than good if

only because the true reasoning behind the suggestion is misunderstood.

Let’s clear the air, shall we?