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5 simple drills for common golf swing flaws

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I believe that teachers learn more from students than students learn from teachers, since they have a different perspective on how everything feels during the golf swing. And feel is arguably the most important part of building a golf swing that works.

With that in mind, I wanted to offer a few simple drills that students of mine have used for years to fix their issues. Funny enough, most of these drills came from student feedback on what they feel, and my response to those feelings. 

To ALL my students, I say thank you for helping me to become a better teacher.

Hanging Back? Close your right eye

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Hanging back, or failing to properly shift your weight, is an easy habit to fall into if you’re not careful.

One of my students, Jack Li, gave me a great thought. He said he closed his right eye and hit a few balls to get a better feeling of staying more “on top” of the ball through impact. 

Why does this work? Because if you fall back, you will lose sight of the ball on the downswing. This simple drill helps you feel how to stay more stacked through impact thus fixing your faulty pivot. 

Restricted Hip Turn on Backswing? Pull your right foot back

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Whenever you pull your rear foot back at address and leave everything else square, it will encourage a freer hip-turn on the backswing. This helps you to turn a touch more on the way back. 

Some people say that this “isn’t correct” and won’t do it on the course as they feel that they should align squarely to the target, but if you’re older or have trouble turning into your rear foot on the backswing, this position works wonders. You will get “into” your rear foot more than ever on the backswing — just make sure you move back through the ball or you will hit the ball fat.

Turning hips too much during the backswing? Pull your left foot back

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The opposite reaction occurs when you pull your left foot back. This drill will restrict hip motion on the backswing and increase hip motion on the forward swing. 

I use this drill for my over-flexible juniors and ladies who tend to spin themselves into the ground on the backswing. This gives them a feeling of tightness on the backswing and one that will help them to spring back through the ball more than ever before. 

Can’t clear your hips? Turn left foot outward

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This drill is awesome for the players who cannot seem to “clear” their hips on the downswing, and the ones who feel too little leg action through the impact zone. 

This left foot position helps to restrict hip motion on the backswing and zips the hips through on the forward swing naturally. This position at address is a MUST for the older golfers who are losing distance due to an arms-only downswing. 

Try this and I guarantee you will have a better feeling of how to move more efficiently on the downswing!

Too much hip slide on the forward swing? Turn left foot inward

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This drill WILL stop you from sliding your hips on the way through the ball, but BE CAREFUL!  

By turning the left foot inward, you will place some stress on your left knee if you hit full speed shots, so PLEASE only hit quarter-speed shots with this drill or you might hurt yourself. 

In the photo above, you can see I have turned in my left foot at address and on the impact photo on the right frame you’ll notice that I have not slid too far forward. This is due to the left foot’s position. It will restrict downswing hip slide. 

For those of you who tend to get “soft in the legs” on the downswing, I suggest you give this drill a whirl. It just might help.

Remember that fixing things in your swing is all about knowing the feels, and using drills in the correct way to help accelerate the learning process. 

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Watch How To Build A Diy Furniture. Detailed Diy Furniture Plans And Instructions. - News and Updates

  2. MBhimji

    Mar 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    An excellent article, 68 years old I am starting to go for some lessons and out on the Range, hopefully will break the elusive 97 that I am stuck on – bets rounds, thank you

  3. Charlie

    Mar 11, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I’m 68 and not that flexible anymore. If I turn pull my back foot back, putting me in a closed alignment, it restricts my turn to the front, hurting my lumbar spine area, and I can’t live with that. If I open my alignment by pulling my front foot back or turning the front toe more toward the target, it restricts my already-too-short backswing, wrecking my timing and hurting my lumbar spine area – and I can’t live with that either. So I do what I do, alignment fairly square with both toes angled out a bit. Even with that the golf swing still hurts me – so I take another Hydrocodone & Ibuprofen and go on with what I can do.

  4. Jamie

    Mar 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Nevermind me in general, I’m all confused.

  5. Tom Stickney

    Mar 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Tip 1…close the rt eye. If you hang back your head will rotate targetward on the way through and you will lose sight of the golf ball

  6. nodoubles22

    Mar 10, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    For number 1, a right handed golfer should close the right eye. You want it to be so you would lose sight of the ball if you hang back and pull up and out of the shot. If you leave the right eye open, you can do this and still see the ball. If you close the right eye, your left eye can only continue to have the ball in its field of view if you stay in better position on top of the ball.

  7. Jamie

    Mar 10, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Regarding #1, a right handed golfer should close their left eye. It really helps you stay on top of the ball. By closing your right eye, I’d think it would make you more likely to keep your head back (hang back).

    • TR1PTIK

      Mar 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Actually, a right handed golfer WOULD close their right eye. If you hang back with only the left eye open, you will lose sight of the ball.

      • Jamie

        Mar 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        Actually, Tom just corrected the article to say right eye.

  8. antonio

    Mar 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Great tips, thanks. Just confussed about number 1. Should you close right or left eye (for a right handed player)?

  9. Lordmokoloko

    Mar 10, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    … Nice post and tips btw

  10. Jake Anderson

    Mar 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    very good tips! nothing fancy, but spot on!

  11. Lordmokoloko

    Mar 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    What are Adam’s shoes on the first photo?

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Instruction

Golf 101: What is a strong grip?

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What is a strong grip? Before we answer that, consider this: How you grip it might be the first thing you learn, and arguably the first foundation you adapt—and it can form the DNA for your whole golf swing.

The proper way to hold a golf club has many variables: hand size, finger size, sports you play, where you feel strength, etc. It’s not an exact science. However, when you begin, you will get introduced to the common terminology for describing a grip—strong, weak, and neutral.

Let’s focus on the strong grip as it is, in my opinion, the best way to hold a club when you are young as it puts the clubface in a stronger position at the top and instinctively encourages a fair bit of rotation to not only hit it solid but straight.

The list of players on tour with strong grips is long: Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Fred Couples, David Duval, and Bernhard Langer all play with a strong grip.

But what is a strong grip? Well like my first teacher Mike Montgomery (Director of Golf at Glendale CC in Seattle) used to say to me, “it looks like you are revving up a Harley with that grip”. Point is the knuckles on my left hand were pointing to the sky and my right palm was facing the same way.

Something like this:

Of course, there are variations to it, but that is your run of the mill, monkey wrench strong grip. Players typically will start there when they are young and tweak as they gain more experience. The right hand might make it’s way more on top, left-hand knuckles might show two instead of three, and the club may move its way out of the palms and further down into the fingers.

Good golf can be played from any position you find comfortable, especially when you find the body matchup to go with it.

Watch this great vid from @JakeHuttGolf

In very simple terms, here are 3 pros and 3 cons of a strong grip.

Pros

  1. Encourages a closed clubface which helps deloft the club at impact and helps you hit further
  2. It’s an athletic position which encourages rotation
  3. Players with strong grips tend to strike it solidly

Cons

  1. Encourages a closed clubface which helps deloft the club at impact and can cause you to hit it low and left
  2. If you don’t learn to rotate you could be in for a long career of ducks and trees
  3. Players with strong grips tend to fight a hook and getting the ball in the air

 

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Clement: Driver lesson to max out distance and help you get fit properly

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This is an essential video on how to get you prepared for a driver fitting at your local Club Champion or favorite golf shop or store. I will be showing you two essential drills that we use at Wisdom In Golf, which will get you in the right focus for your driver fitting session which will also give you way more accuracy and consistency out on the golf course. What you should be looking for before your fitting session is the consistency of the golf ball hitting the center face of the driver and your ability to maintain an ascending angle of attack to your target.

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Clement: How to use the legs in the golf swing

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Shawn Clement’s Wisdom in Golf has been going against mainstream instruction for the last 40 years. Before that, we had the Snead Squat, and the teachings of Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus and Wisdom in Golf has taken it from there while others were too busy nipping and tucking all the talent and natural ability out of the game through video analysis. Those teachings showed up in the ’80s, we have theorized on what to do with our body parts and we have examined under a microscope what the leg work of the PGA Tour and LPGA tour players have. We taught “resist with the legs and coil upper body against the lower body” and paid a heavy price both physically and mentally. Then we said “stable lower body,” then finally, just a couple of years ago, we start saying to “let the hips turn” in the backswing.

Well, we have been doing our own thing and blazing a trail for our 115, 000 followers, and because your Human-machine is free of wires and strings, it knows what to do if you give it a clear task. CLARITY IN YOUR TASK will get you the consistency in the movement and it is important for your mind to understand so you know how to let things happen! Enjoy this video on proper leg work in the golf swing and enjoy the practice in your backyard with the easy drills we provide you!

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