IIf your driver shots bend uncontrollably or you have poor contact with your irons, do you try to put a bandage on them halfway through and hope the problem goes away, or do you get to the practice tee somewhere. time after the round and get to the root of the problem? If you are like most golfers, I know your answer.
It’s understandable to want a quick fix to your ball hitting woes just to enjoy the day, but the compensations you choose often make things worse in the long run. Rather than surviving another round with a few makeshift adjustments, you’re much better off removing these manipulations from your swing and instead making quality changes that resolve your issues over an entire season, not just the last nine. .
In this article, I’ll identify the four most common problems I help golfers fix – slices and hooks with a driver off the tee and chunks and thinnings with irons off the turf – and why quick approach hurts more than helping and what to do instead. If you get to the pit and work on my keys and drills to improve your trajectory, body rotation and contact, you will make some quality improvements to your game. –With Madeline MacClurg
Larkin, Golf Digest’s # 1 teacher in Virginia is at the Creighton Farms club in Aldie. She became a professional Golf Digest teacher in 2021.
SLICE AND HOOK PROBLEMS ARE OFTEN EXACERATED BY THE DESIRE FOR IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENT. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES.
SETTING UP TO SWEEP IT
Slicers usually descend too steeply on a path from the outside to the inside, so that they throw the ball low. It’s a classic bandage solution just so they can make decent contact, but they still cut. To make good contact and correct the slice, what they have to do is tee up higher – half the ball over the driver. This encourages a swing path and allows you to hit the ball, two key ingredients in driving it straighter or even pulling it. Also, to make sure you catch the ball just as the driver begins to climb, address it so that it is aligned with your front heel (above).
STAY BROAD AND CONNECTED
Another misguided slice solution that almost always leads to poor contact is trying to direct the clubhead into the ball as straight as possible, which usually causes the elbow of the main arm to flex on impact – the look. classic chicken wing. The squareness of the clubface at impact is important, but it should be the result of a swing with good body rotation and no sagging of the head arm. To get a feel for it, slip a glove under the main armpit and do a few movements without dropping it. You should feel that your arms are more connected to your body and are moving in sync with its rotation. This will help to square the clubface without having to point it. Use your swing as a control point. As you spin your shot, make sure your club butt is pointing towards your belly button (above).
LEAD WITH YOUR HEEL
Golfers hitting hooks often aim to the right of their target hoping the ball will come back down the fairway. Instead, they should aim straighter and reduce their hook by calming overactive hands. The heel of your piste hand should guide the fingers during impact (above) to prevent the clubface from closing. As you practice this, notice how this palm appears to reflect your clubface. You want them both to be facing the target on impact.
LET THE BODY WIN THE RACE
Much like slicers who try to force their way into straighter shots, prostitutes do, too. But a cocked swing will promote a closed clubface, not prevent it. Instead, think of your body as your engine and your arms as followers. Don’t let your engine stall. Keep your core rotating on impact and feel your upper body guide your arms and club along the target line (above). When the arms follow, the path and face of the club will be more neutral.
POOR CONTACT WITH IRONS IS ALMOST ALWAYS THE RESULT OF TRYING TO HIT THE BALL INSTEAD OF SWINGING INSIDE.
RETURNING TO THE BALL WITH GOOD POSTURE
When golfers dig behind the ball with their irons, they start to stand taller at address as a quick fix. Unfortunately, a too upright posture brings the feet closer to the ball, promoting a steeper swing plane and even fatter shots. To adopt a good posture that allows you to swing in balance and not crush the club behind the ball, use this exercise: grab a club in your main hand and stand straight with your knees slightly bent. Hold onto your hips and let your trail hand slide down the trail leg until it reaches the knee (above). Now take your grip; you are in a good posture of address.
STAY IN BALANCE
Golfers who tighten their irons often try to sit on their heels to avoid hitting the ball. The only way to hit the ball from this position, however, is to rush towards the ball on impact, and then you start digging again. The correct weight distribution for a cleaner contact can be formed by placing alignment rods under the balls of your feet (above). The rods will let you know where your weight is and how to maintain a balance between the toes and heels. You will also notice that I am hitting my iron off a high tee here. This is another exercise to help heal digging by helping you manage the low point of your swing. When hitting a high tee you must reduce your swing to the level of the ball or you will swing just below.
FEEL MORE ABOVE THE BALL
Players hitting the ball often slide away from the target in the backswing, causing them to try to find an unorthodox way to get the ball off the ground while swinging with the back foot. Instead, place your weight more on your front foot and hold it there throughout the swing. This makes you feel more on top of the ball, so you can squeeze it and make a good divot. Imagine that the target side of your body is against a wall, so you form a straight line with that shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. Then hit swings around your front side, keeping it leaning against the wall (above).
GET DOWN AND CROSS FOR BETTER CONTACT
Many players who slim it start moving the ball into position to make better contact – and it can work briefly, but the shots fly too low. Over time, the golfer will then try to pick up the ball to raise the trajectory, then it returns to the skulls. Rather, let’s do the opposite. To make your contact easier, practice hitting shots with the ball from your main heel at address. You will quickly realize that you have to shift your weight forward and down and through to hit net irons (above). Practice this way, but play the ball in a more centered position after grooving this movement.
HERE ARE THREE OF MY FAVORITE WAYS TO PRACTICE THE BALL HIT, NO MATTER IF YOU SLICE, HANG, CROSS, OR DECREASE YOUR SHOTS.
CHECK YOUR PATH AND ADJUST IF IT CAUSES THE CURVE
In addition to the orientation of the clubface, the path taken by your driver on impact greatly influences the curve of the golf ball. That’s why I love this drill. It not only tests your current path to see if it’s too inside or outside of target, but it also improves it over time, bringing it much closer to neutrality if you keep going. to do it. After playing a ball, use a handful of other tees to create cues – a neutral swing arc – around a clubhead inside your target line. Note how the tees form an arc (above). Your objective is to miss the tees as you swing the club and hit your target. If you hit the tees, you will receive immediate feedback on your swing path. If you hit the tees in front of your ball, you’ll know it’s because you are swinging inward. If you hit the tees behind the ball you will know you are straying too far inside the target line. The club must travel on a slight arc.
USE YOUR BODY TO SEQUENCE A QUALITY THROUGH SWING
For better rotation and sequencing in the through swing, create an extension of your club shaft with an alignment rod placed under your lead arm at address, then start a swing at half speed (above, left). Keep swinging to the end of the ball. If your body stops spinning or your swing is out of sync, the rod will hit your ribs around impact. If you keep turning, feel the arms and club drag the rod (above, right), you won’t be hit. This feedback should help remind you to keep spinning the ball when you are on the course.
GET THE BOTTOM OF THE ARC IN FRONT OF THE BALL
Using two alignment rods, form a small gate about six inches wide to rotate your club as you hit shots, making sure the rods are aligned with your ball (on the top corner left). After hitting him (above, right), note where your club bruised the grass or started a divot hole. This spot is the low point of your swing, and it should be in front of the alignment rods or you won’t get the most out of your iron shots. Good irons hit the ball first, and the club continues to descend a few inches after impact. If you can do this consistently, you will become a great ball forward.
Editor’s Note: This story appears in issue 7 of Golf Digest. Read our latest issue in its entirety through our digital editor app.