Golf club extension

Today we’re going to share with you a great drill to help fight the dreaded follow-through chicken wing, or pull-up at impact fault that plagues many people. This fault is characterized by top and thinned shots that lack distance, consistency and accuracy. This fault is surprisingly common, despite how awkward it looks in the video below. Even if you’re not routinely thinning your shots, this specific drill can really help people hit down and through the ball on their follow-through by encouraging a solid arm extension through impact. This drill is a great way to encourage a downward angle of attack as well as a solid release.

Like the video below shows, the trick is to setup in your impact body position, swing back to about 10 o’clock, hit the ball and hold your follow-through position without breaking your wrists. You’ll notice in the video that this drill looks very similar to a knockdown position – and you’d be right. This drill is effectively asking you to hit a modified knockdown to really feel the proper positioning of your arms and body post impact. The benefits of this new position include a downward angle of attack into impact for better contact, additional power created by more lag and better transfer of power, and finally more accuracy.

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 thin topped shots drill

For players who suffer from an overly flat swing, getting solid impact below the equator of the ball is often difficult. Especially with the irons, a steeper swing path into the ball is needed to produce better contact. In case you don’t understand the difference between a flat an upright swing, here is a quick rundown.

 

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Today, we’ll look to answer a question from a reader – if you have questions yourself, be sure to drop us a line on our contact page.

I am a girls' high school golf coach and have a player with a habit of going up onto her tip toes at contact with every club. She can't seem to break the habit and I'm out of ideas as to how to help her. Suggestions and drills PLEASE.

Todd

Hi Todd, thanks for the question. I’ve got some insights and suggestions to help you on your way. First things first, I want to understand the severity of your students habit of standing on her tip toes at impact. On tour, and as the image below shows, you’ll find many professionals have their trailing heel off the ground at impact. This isn’t a bad thing. It shows that your weight and power is transferring through to your front foot.

feet positions at impact

Now, likely as a golf coach you would already know this. So I will assume, and your e-mail suggests that you mean your student is going up on her tip toes of both of her feet at impact? If this is so, it makes me wonder what would cause this motion…as it’s not natural; it’s likely something in her swing caused this to happen. I can only think of one cause – and that would be a ball that is too close to her body at address. To compensate for this, she would have to lift up at impact to even make contact with the ball. Likely her body position fundamentals are out of whack. Double check that her clubs are properly fit to start and then her address fundamentals.

 

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1100-flat

For players who suffer from an overly flat swing, getting solid impact below the equator of the ball is often difficult. Especially with the irons a steeper swing path into the ball is needed to produce better contact. In case you don’t understand the difference between a flat an upright swing, here is a quick rundown.

A flat swing is more horizontal or base-ball like (green and white shirt). This student has a swing that tends to lead to topped and thinned shots.

An upright swing is much more vertical to the ground (purple shirt). This swing type tends to lead to chunked and heavy shots.

To help get away from a steep swing path, give this drill a try:

Use a mid-iron and set the ball up on a tee. About two inches back of your teed ball, setup another tee as shown in the picture. Address the teed ball and try to make a normal backswing, the back should get in the way. This will force you to lift the club up more steeply off the takeaway. Once you can do this properly, go through a full swing and try to take out both tees at impact.

This drill will reinforce the important of a steeper swing path, especially with your irons, and will also encourage you to make contact with the ground at impact. Give it a try!

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If you’ve just hit a thin shot, 9 times out of 10, your spine angle changed throughout your swing. What does this mean to the average player? It means that something forced your body to shift slightly upwards before impact. Usually this is caused by poor fundamentals such as standing too closely to the ball or having the ball too far forward in your stance. But without me seeing your swing, I can’t say for sure.

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