The Prevailing Wisdom:
Pull shots result from a fast left
side. Slow down your left hip
and you’ll stop pulling the
ball to the left.
Why It’s Misleading:
Because it doesn’t jibe with
physics and the conservation
of momentum. Think about
why a whip cracks or why you
should always wear your seatbelt
while driving your car.
When one part of a moving
system stops, another part
picks up the motion. During
your swing, if you slow down
your left hip rotation, your
right side will hit the gas and
shoot past, ruining your
sequence and creating a pull.
Your shots start way left of target
If you’re hitting the ball left, you’re
usually making pretty good contact.
Nevertheless, your pulls have to stop.
You probably blame your upper
body or your hands for causing the
pull. But you should also consider
your hips. Like most golfers, you have
about half the hip rotation of a Tour
pro because (1) you don’t turn
enough, and (2) you begin your downswing
with your shoulders. These hip turn errors force
your club across your
target line (an over-the-top swing).
Your shots start left of target then fade,
hook or go straight depending on
your face angle at impact.
What You Should Do
Conserve your fast point
Understand that maximum power
and accuracy result from your right
side whirling toward the target, but
only after your arms drop the
clubhead into position from the top.
In other words, save the “fast point”
of your downswing for impact.
To do this, rotate your left hip
toward the target as you shift your
weight to your front foot. Leading
your downswing with your left hip
produces the correct sequence: left
hip, left shoulder, arms and then
The Old (And Flawed) Fix
Keep your back pointing toward the target on the downswing
The logic here is that by keeping your back toward the target
you’ll slow down your left side and give your right side time
to swing your club from the inside—out. This sounds accurate
enough, but any move that slows down any facet of your
swing is a poison. If you try to slow down your left side, you’ll
under-rotate your left hip. Your shoulders and arms then have
no choice but to flip across your body and pull the ball to the
left. The more you hold your left side, the worse your pull.
The Modern Fix: Speed up your hip turn
Rotate your left hip sooner and more aggressively from the
top of your swing. This positions your clubhead behind your
shoulders where it belongs. It also ensures that your left
shoulder won’t catch your left hip until well after impact. As
soon as your weight hits your front foot, all you have to do is
keep moving every thing that’s moving. This is how you
produce the sequence where your left hip is chased by your
left shoulder, your left shoulder is chased by your hands, and
your hands are chased by your clubhead.
Drill Instructor: Avoid a collision
To see if your sequence is solid, and
that you’re correctly chasing one
body part with another, grab a 7- and
an 8-iron and hold one club in each
hand. Get into your address position
with the clubs about two inches
from each other. Swing slowly to the
top of your swing and then through.
If you conserved your fast point and
produced the correct downswing
sequence, then the clubs will not
collide. If the club in your right hand
catches the club in your left, then
you slowed down your left side.
Once you’re able to swing
without the heads or the shafts
colliding, speed up your motion until
you reach full power. To swing faster,
speed up your midsection. This
applies to this drill and for every
swing with any club.