Private Lessons: Connect to the ground for crisper contact

October 28, 2017

Your ballstriking is all over the place. On one hole you hit a high, majestic mid-iron approach that practically knocks down the flagstick, and on the next your ball soars wide right and you end up making double-bogey. If your iron game tends to seesaw like this, you may be swaying off the ball in your backswing, rather than simply turning away from the target.

THE FAULT: THE TILT THAT KILLS

In an attempt to create more power, you allow your body to sway behind the ball (away from the target) on the backswing, and then move too far ahead of the ball (toward the target) on the downswing. This lateral—as opposed to rotational—movement makes it very difficult to hit the center of the clubface consistently, leading to those erratic results.

THE FIX: EMPTY-BUCKET DRILL

During your next practice session, grab an empty range bucket and place it between your feet so that your ankles touch each side of the bucket.

Make a few practice swings as you maintain contact with the bucket. As you swing down, feel as though your ankles are squeezing the bucket while your feet remain connected to the ground. You should now feel very balanced and centered over the ball.

Repeat this drill five or 10 more times, then add a ball and make some real swings. When you’re out on the course, try to re-create the sensation of squeezing the bucket—you’ll immediately get that “connected” feeling with the ground that you’ve been missing, and your tendency to sway will disappear.