Golf Cross Drill

Most players out there have a natural shape to their ball flight, whether that be a straight (lucky you), fade or a draw. I for one, play a draw, despite having an affair with a nice fade a few years back (ironically, when I was playing my best golf too). While I can talk endlessly about causes of each, this post deals with a particular part of the swing that few golfers realize has an incredible effect on the results of your golf shot – this is called your swing path.

The video below can really help you visualize how your swing path directs the path of your golf ball. As this video explains, an out-to-in swing path (classic over-the-top) will produce pulled shots that start to the left of your target, and depending on your face angle at impact can either move further left, go dead straight left, or fade back to the right. This move is also normally accompanied by an early release of your wrists, which results in a lack of power and distance.

The opposite of this swing fault is an in-to-out swing path that produces pushes, shots that fly right of the target, and again where they end up is dictated by your face angle at impact. While many golfers are likely aware of this, few realize how simple fundamentals like ball position, body posture and your body weight position can drastically effect your swings path.

Here are five things you should know about how the fundamentals effect swing path:
• If the ball is too close your body at address, it becomes incredibly easy to come over the top into impact.
• If your body weight hangs on your rear leg into impact, you’re likely going to push the ball.
• If the ball is too far forward and your stance, coming over the top becomes incredibly easy.
• If the ball is too far back in your stance, pushes become more likely.
• If the ball is too far away from your body, you’re more likely to attack the ball from the inside.

Golf Cross DrillI can’t stress enough how important solid fundamentals are in the golf swing. The simplest mistake can have a drastic affect on the results of your golf shot, and lead to other poor swing mechanics. By putting an emphasis and proper fundamentals you can help reduce the number of swing faults your swing can suffer from, and really start improving your game. I invite you to review the fundamentals at the range by placing an two clubs down on the range in an ‘+’ pattern,

Use one shaft to align your feet, knees, hips and shoulders to your target line, and use the other to better identify the ball position in relation to your stance. You may be surprised to find you ball position creeping forward or back using this method.

Give this drill a shot, take a refresher on your fundamentals, and take your game to the next level.

Coil

One of the most common power leaks in the golf swing is an over-active lower body. For some players, instead of coiling their body to generate power, they resort to sliding their hips laterally. This fault is a huge contributor to inconsistency at impact, and often big swooping block slices. If you’ve ever stepped up to a ball and let go a huge block fade – this drill is likely for you. Another term for this fault is called “getting ahead of the ball”. In a nutshell, as you swing back, your lower body slides back with the backswing laterally, and as you swing down into impact you often slide forward and clear your hips too early leaving the club wide open at impact. Some players (with wrists of steel) can even see a snap hook from this fault.

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Bucket Knees Golf DrillI myself have used this drill many times to help stabilize my lower body. It’s really is amazing how easily it helps to fix an over-active lower body. By placing a bucket between your thighs, right above your knees (as shown), you can really minimize the movement allowed by your lower body (remember to pinch your knees inwards to hold the bucket in place). Take a look at the picture to better understand what I mean. I personally focus on squeezing my knees inward, it helps to increase resistance and torque while preventing a slide, it’s a very effective combo.

If you tend to suffer from quick hips or you slide them through impact, try this golf drill. Hit balls with a short iron and focus on turning through impact. You’ll see a large difference in ball contact, direction and distance.

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Sliding drills pushing golfSliding drills pushing golf

You reach a short par 5, you’re playing well but could really use another birdie. You address the ball and swing a little harder than normal, thinking about reaching the green in two.  You make your swing, you finish, and watch your tee-shot sail way into the trees on the right. Sound familiar? It does for me, especially when I was a junior golfer. I had the tendency to slide my hips into impact in attempts to get more distance. This fault lead to an in to out swing path, resulting in my blocked shot.

This was one of the drills I have used to help force my hips to stay stationary and turn instead of sliding to get those extra yards. You can clearly see in these two pictures that this student’s hips are moving horizontally. Timing the motions of the hands and sliding hips to create solid contact is nearly impossible with this swing problem. To help maximize consistency a player would ideally, want his hips to turn rather than slide.  This drill will help you reduce your hips from sliding.

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1532-feettogether
feet together golf drill

Players who tend to push the ball likely have an in to out swing path into impact. This is usually created by an over-active lower body, and a slower moving upper body.  A great drill to help reduce your lower body movement is the leg together drill:

With a 7 iron on the driving range, place your feet together as shown in the picture and set up to the ball in the middle of your stance. Make full swings, while focusing on trying to keep your balance and turning your hips through impact. I cannot stress this enough, focus on the turning of your upper body… and the turning of your hips.  If you can make solid swings, while turning your hips – you’ll help reduce your lower body movement, and start hitting straighter shots.

Also keep in mind the timing of your hips and your arm swing through impact. This drill helps with your swing tempo, balance, and upper body rotation. Give it a try!

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Problem:

Thousands of junior golfers can relate to this problem – in attempts to gain more distance, they all move their hips so forcefully into impact that they cannot maintain their spine angle. The result is often a block / push. Maintaining your spine angle throughout your swing is the key to unlocking your consistency. This simple drill using a chair is a great way to improve your consistency.

 

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Often I find junior golfers have an issue with sliding their hips on the downswing in attempts to get extra distance.  Unfortunately this causes your spine angle to change leading to anything from pop-ups to big blocks.  The biggest problem with this fault is that after awhile, this fault becomes ingrained, and then very difficult to get rid of.

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