6 Ways to Fix Every Bad Shot
Placing an old shaft or dowel in key positions can help you build a flawless swing
Top 100 Teacher
If you know what kind of shots are doing the most damage to your scores, an old shaft can help you get rid of the error that's causing them. Just match the flaw to the drill and watch your bad ball flights go away.
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1. If you push the ball, you're moving your lower body toward the ball on your downswing. This blocks the path your hands take to impact, so the club gets stuck. You can fight off the block by flipping your hands, but this usually creates a hook.
FIX: Place a shaft through the two front belt loops on your pants with the grip end to your right. Make practice swings with a focus on keeping your chest pointing down and your hips back. This allows your arms to correctly swing in front of your body. Do it the old way and your arms will bump into the shaft.
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2. If you alternate between slicing and pulling the ball, you're swinging the clubhead from outside the target line to the inside.
FIX: Take your normal setup and place a shaft in the ground eight to 12 inches behind your ball and four to six inches outside your target line. Angle the shaft to match the lie of the club in your hands. Your goal is to swing under the drill shaft as you make your way back down to the ball. This will force you to swing more from the inside. The ball may fly to the right at first, but if you keep making the same inside-out swings and feel the toe of the club passing the heel as you swing through impact, your shots will straighten out.
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3. If you consistently slice the ball, you're tilting toward the target on your backswing. Your upper back will be closer to the target than your lower back once you reach the top.
FIX: Place a shaft in the ground on the opposite side of the ball at a 15-degree angle leaning away from the target. On your backswing, maintain your forward bend and move your chest even with the grip end of the shaft. This correctly tilts your upper back away from the target and eliminates the slice-causing reverse-pivot.
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4. If you hit thin shots, you're not swinging down steeply enough into the ball or you're releasing the club too early in your downswing.
FIX: Stick a shaft in the ground sideways six inches in front of your left foot so that it sits at a 20- to 30-degree angle with the grip end pointing away from the target. Set up to the ball and make your normal swing using the shaft in the ground as a guide. You want the clubhead in front of the grip as it moves into the hitting zone. This means that you're bringing the club into the ball on a slightly steeper angle of attack. If it's behind the grip, your swing is too flat and you're in danger of catching the ball thin.
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5. If you make consistently poor contact, you're swaying away from the target on your backswing, making it difficult to return your body and club to a solid impact position.
FIX: Take your normal setup, then place a shaft in the ground next to the inside of your right heel. Angle the shaft so that the grip end presses against your right calf. Maintain this pressure while you swing to the top of your backswing to eliminate swaying and increase your chances of solid contact.
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6. If you hit fat shots, you're sliding your hips too much toward the target on your downswing. This causes your upper body to tilt away from the target so you can maintain balance. Now, the bottom of your swing arc is behind the ball you'll hit the ground first and the ball second.
FIX: Take your setup position and place a shaft straight into the ground just outside your left foot. From the top, your goal is to move your left hip and knee into the shaft at the same time and then turn them immediately to the left. If you slide, you'll hit the shaft and then bend it forward. This drill helps stabilize your lower body and position the bottom of your swing at the ball so you catch it flush instead of fat.
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