|The trademark of a high handicapper is the dreaded banana ball. The common denominator is an open clubface at impact, which imparts sidespin causing the ball to curve from left to right. We discussed three slices previously the pull slice, the push slice and the straight slice. The difference between them is the path of the clubhead on the downswing. With the push slice, the club returns to the ball on an inside path, however the clubface is wide open at impact. With the straight slice, the club starts straight down the target line then curves to the right as a result of an open clubface. The pull slice is the product of an outside-to-in swing path coupled with an open clubface. In Lessons 1 through 4, we reviewed the proper grip, release and related drills to reinforce the proper counterclockwise forearm rotation and swing path.|
|Swinging the club down on outside-to-in path is one of the most common swing faults exhibited by amateur golfers. Slicers start the downswing by throwing the club outside and across the ball-flight line with their hands and arms (over-the-top), instead of initiating the downswing with their lower body.
Before you start down, here are some checkpoints to make certain that you have completed your backswing in the proper sequence.
At the top of the backswing the shoulders have turned 90 degrees. Your left shoulder is under your chin, and your back is facing the target.
The turn winds up the hips at 45 degrees and stretches the muscles in the left side and back.
Your arms are fairly high and extended from your body.
Your left heel may raise and your knee points behind the ball, which is evidence of a full turn.
Your weight has shifted to your back foot. The turn is more rotational, rather than a tilt.
Your right knee has remained flexed and loaded.
|If the shoulders have turned 90 degrees and the hips 45 degrees, then the left hip is aligned to the left of the target at the top of the backswing. As we replant the left heel and push off the right foot, the hips bump to the left in the same direction that the hips are aligned, not at the target but to the right of the target.
The proper forward swing is both lateral and rotational. As the hips bump an inch or two to the left, the weight shifts back to the front foot and starts the arms and shoulders downward. The sliding of the hips creates room for the right elbow to drop into the slot close to the body on the downswing. This allows the golfer to swing down on a shallower path, with the right shoulder staying back instead of jutting out and crossing the toe line. Youll arrive at the desired online delivery position, releasing the forearms and club through impact and achieving maximum clubhead speed at impact.
|Here is another great drill that will prevent you from swinging outside in. Make a ¾ swing and use your left hand to pull your right hit pocket through. When starting the downswing, your right shoulder will work down and under. You will get the feeling of releasing your entire right side and hands from behind the ball.
The proper sequence of motion on the return is:
Shift your weight.
Rotate you hips.
Release your hands and arms from behind the ball.
|This ensures the clubhead will make the correct contact with the ball at the moment of impact.
The clubface is square to the target line.
At impact, your hips are open to the target line.
Your shoulders are in the same respective position as address.
Your swing path is inside, down the line, inside.
The club returns on the correct angle of approach.
If youre like me, you may need a trigger to initiate your downswing. I tell my students and myself this:
Before you have completed your backswing, uncoil your hips through the ball. This works best when using an abbreviated swing.
For information on how to influence the proper downswing, please refer back to the Ball Toss Drill in from Week 2.
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