Stop The Pop

Undoubtedly, the most embarrassing tee shot in golf is the drive that pops straight up, barely clearing the tee box. The pop-up is an agonizing mis-hit most often caused by an excessive forward weight shift on the downswing and a club that approaches the ball on a very steep angle of attack. The steep descent de-lofts the clubface to such a degree that the topline of the club effectively becomes the leading edge. The result? Not only a humiliating pop-up, but one of the most hated marks in golf: a scuff on the crown of the clubhead. Yuck.

Go Topless

If you tend to skull your fairway woods, it’s because you’re catching the ball on the upswing, often caused by trying to scoop or lift the ball up. To fix this problem, you have to understand that solid ballstriking is sometimes a game of opposites. To hit the ball higher with a fairway wood, you actually have to hit down–as opposed to up–on the ball.

Three Mistakes

After watching thousands of swings over the past 30 years, I’ve pinpointed three mistakes that the majority of amateurs commit, each of which can diminish power and accuracy.

Shank Stoppers

You’re enjoying a great day on the links, and you have an easy pitch to the last green where a par or even a bogey will give you your best score in a month. Easy pitch, easy swing, stick it close. But instead, some evil dragon maliciously guides your hosel toward your ball, and you shank it right of the greenside bunker. The shot so unnerves you that you proceed to shank a succession of shots around the perimeter of the green counterclockwise.

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.

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.

Ten-Minute Swing Changes

Quick Fixes To Save You From Suffering A Bad Day On The Course

The situation: You’re on the range hitting balls, extremely off line

and not very solid, with only 10 minutes remaining before your assigned

tee time. The remedy: W.O.O.D.—quick adjustments that Work Only One

Day, otherwise known as the “quick fix.” These “Band-Aids” are a

necessary part of the game and come in handy when you don’t have time

to seek out a long-term correction from your teaching pro. The key is

knowing what needs adjusting. If you choose the wrong adjustment,

things could get worse.

Align The Easy Way

Align The Easy WayMost of my students struggle with the slice. Many of these golfers have

serious swing issues, but the majority certainly possess enough talent

and an understanding of the golf swing to keep slices at bay. The

problem is they’re trapped into hitting slices because their setup

facilitates swinging on the out-in path to which all slices owe their

existence.

Swing Barefoot For Balance

The majority of recreational golfers fail to achieve the balance needed

to excel at golf or any athletic activity. One of the reasons why most

golfers don’t swing in balance is that they swing too hard. A rule I

like to impose on my students is “Swing as hard as you want to as long

as you finish the swing in balance.”

Wake Up Your Game!

Sometimes golf just isn’t fair. Professional baseball has Spring Training. The NFL and NBA have training camps and a handful of preseason scrimmages. But golf? Well, it’s up to each and every professional to get their game on track on their own and show up ready to compete at the highest level. There’s no organized stretching sessions (Can you see Tim Herron or Phil Mickelson showing up?), no group mental conditioning, no preseason practice tournaments. Professionals are left to prepare by themselves.

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