Many swing faults are caused by an incorrect club path into the ball. Whether you pull it (over-the-top), push / block it (in to out) or shank it (either or), your swing path is to blame. There are many drills on this site that can help you fix any of these faults, but today I want to go over some drills you can perform to cure these faults with something as simple as a range bucket.
You can get a push in a variety of ways, but usually it happens in one of two ways – either your lower body moves towards the target coming into impact and you getting ahead of it or your swing path attacks the ball too much from the inside. If you are getting ahead of it, stabilizing your lower body is as simple as clenching a range bucket between your knees as shown in the image to the right. Attacking too much from the inside? Stick a range bucket just inside your target line – ensure your backswing and downswing don’t make contact with it… and you can be sure your swing path is more along the correct path.
The “S” word that nobody likes to talk about is a nasty miss-hit. It happens a variety of ways, but most common is an improper weight shift towards the ball into impact. A simple drill to help get your swing back on path, and improve your contact, is to place a range bucket just outside beyond the toe’s reach of the club if you were to hit the sweet spot. You can place two buckets as well as shown in the image if you want to give yourself less room for error… if you make contact with the buckets, it’s likely you shanked it in the process.
A pull is caused by an out to in swing path, which is most commonly known as an over-the-top swing. You see this in a variety of forms from the severe pull slice with beginners to the more subtle with swings like Phil Mickelson. We can use a range bucket to help cure this fault in two ways, one is as simple as placing the bucket just inside your target line on the follow-through – you’ll need to avoid it on the follow-through, discouraging an out to in swing path. The other is to make yourself a make-shift “Inside Approach” as shown in the image to the right, have the grip end of the “training aid” hanging over the ball… if you can swing and only make contact with the ball your swing path will be moving into a better position.