I was giving a golf lesson the other day and the student was hitting a lot of “fat” shots or behind the ball. He informed me that he hits a lot of golf shots like that. With this in mind, we went to work. One of the main causes for “fat” shots is the flipping of the wrists prior to impact. This increases the length of the arc at the wrong position in the swing. At the point of impact, the hands should return to the same position at the ball as they were prior to swinging the club. The best advice to give is to tell you to make sure to hit the golf ball first.
Therefore, follow these easy steps to learn how to get the grip past the ball first to hit cleaner golf shots:
• Remember, the most important object of golf is to hit the ball into the hole in the fewest shots possible. For proper ball flight and distance, it is important that the ball is struck at the same time that contact is made with the ground.
• Set up in your normal stance. For optimal results, practice this with an eight iron. The object is to learn the skill first and worry about distance later. Your ball position should be slightly ahead of the center of your stance. Your hands should be preset slightly ahead of the golf ball. Your head should be behind the ball, because the ball is forward in your stance. The right shoulder is lower than left shoulder at address. (left hand golfers the left shoulder will be lower than the right.)
• Once you have determined the target, take a couple of swings allowing the left hand to pull the club through the downswing. Remember to allow the lower body to clear out of the way on the downswing first. The clubhead should lag behind your hands and do not roll the wrists over until the club has gotten past the golf ball as well.
• Get an old tire and practice hitting the tire (softly) and watch your hands get past the tire first. If the clubhead is hitting the tire first the wrists are still breaking down. Hit the tire 50 times to begin the retraining of the muscle memory that has been incorrectly developed.
• Hit five to ten shots with a half swing to check the proper impact zone. Do this slowly so you can physically watch the shot occur. Work your way up to the full swing. Make sure as the swing length increases the hands go through the golf shot first.
• The eight-iron trajectory should be much better. The ball will get up in the air and fly the proper distance. The ball will not be scooped up nor will the club “lay sod” over the ball with the proper impact. Just visualize the great Ben Hogan and the photograph of his golf club lagging behind his hands.
Practice this easy drill and before you know it you will be hitting clean crisp longer golf shots. An added benefit to this drill is that the left half of the golf course will be eliminated. This is due to the left hand leading the way through the golf shot; thus, the clubhead angle should normally be square to slightly open, creating a straight to fade shot pattern.
Be sure to tune in every Saturday morning from 7-9am on Arizona Sports 620 to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show for more tips, updates on all of the weeks golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg,Marty Monaghan and Jim Hill for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week. And, remember if you have any questions about this drill or would like to have a drill featured, feel free to contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.