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How to feel your swing fix

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I keep a collection of swing images and associated feels on hand to facilitate subtle adjustments for advanced players’ launch monitor data and ball flight. Let us define an “advanced player” as one who possesses a solid setup, consistent face strike and good coordination of in-swing movements. These players generally do not require dramatic mechanical changes and can quickly benefit from the well-defined images and task below.

Shallowing AoA (Angle Of Attack)

CONE UP 600 edit

Advanced players can often struggle hitting down too steeply with their short irons and wedges.

Feel: Most of us have tinkered with our swings while indoors, so I ask the players to take a wedge and make a few rehearsal swings. The players should feel a nice, shallow brush as if swinging on their living room carpet. I remind them, “You can brush the carpet, but you had better not take a chunk out of it!” Feel this, then apply. The angle of attack number will become more shallow and strike will improve.

Players can also hit down too much with their driver. An image that I like is placing an agility cone in front of the ball; then feel as if the club head is ascending along the inclined angle of the cone. Feeling like you are set up and swinging a bit “uphill” is another great sensation to achieve positive AoA with the driver.

Neutralizing an outward path

CONE 3 600 edit

Advanced players can hit hooks and blocks from their path moving too much outward, or traveling too much from inside-out in relation to the target line.

Feel: I place a taller cone inside the target line and about 2 feet in front of the impact area. I then ask the players to make a swing and feel as though they will knock the cone over. Sometimes the image is all that is needed, but sometimes we make practice swings while actually hitting the cone. Swing path and direction will quickly improve.

Tweaking face-to-path relationship

CONE 1 Heel Inset 600

Most golfers tend to be good at making adjustments to their swing path. Consistently controlling the club face, however, is a bit more challenging. I see many advanced players who struggle with misdirected shots that draw too much or too quickly.

Feel: I want you to imagine a race to impact in which the heel of the club wins. “Heel beats toe!” is the mantra. This image works well in conjunction with our cone drill. Rotate the chest open and the hands inward to give the heel the advantage of winning.

Conclusion 

Check your pre-swing fundamentals, then give these fixes a try. For advanced players, a little bit goes a long way, so pay close attention to your ball flight and/or measurement device to determine just the right amount for you.

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Michael Howes is a G.S.E.B. authorized instructor of "The Golfing Machine" - Director of Instruction "Carter Plantation Golf Course" Springfield, La. - Director of Instruction "Rob Noel Golf Academy at Carter Plantation. - Golf Channel Academy Instructor - SPi Instructor of the SeeMore Putter Institute - Featured Writer GolfWRX Teaching philosophy: "We will work together on adding the all-important elements of power and consistency to your game while maintaining the individualism and art of your swing." Work on your swing from anywhere in the world - NO software needed. www.howesgolf.com www.youtube.com/cedarstreetgolf

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. RT

    Oct 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    GREAT stuff, Michael! Keep it coming!

  2. Saevel25

    Oct 1, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Mike,

    You are asking golfers to make swing changes to their path and clubface control with out even talking about the fact that most golfers can’t keep their heady steady enough, or get their weight forward enough at impact for them to even attempt such control. These tips are very much for better golfers since they have a better foundation to actually tinker with the swing path and clubface.

    You also talk about these feels as if they would work with anybody. Golfers come in all different shapes and sizes. One golfer might feel one thing while another golfer might feel another. How would you instruct Phil Mickelson who is a right handed person playing left handed versus Rick Fowler who is right handed playing right handed? See what I mean. Putting out these articles with quote “Feel” of what they should do is not good instruction because it might not even work for a golfer who reads it. Heck it might even damage their swing.

    It’s better to give the commonalities of a good swing and then tell people to go find a good instructor to help them figure out what works for them.

    • Hawk

      Oct 9, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      There is not enough space here to account for every body type.
      That is just silly.
      What of the handicap golfer, (hearing, sight, blind, missing a limb etc.), are the instructors suppose to account for them?
      These are general statements/instructions for the average body type, better player.
      Most instructions are given for the average golfer.
      Golfers who are, shorter, taller, heavier, slighter etc., know what they are and I suspect adjust for it.
      Common sense must prevail.
      Hawk

  3. Kevin

    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Heel beats toe? I did that several times today, shank city. I’m swinging too much out and not enough down and left, I’d like to forget I read this. No offense…

    • Michael Howes

      Oct 1, 2015 at 12:43 am

      Substitute an empty water bottle for the cone drill on the range and start there. Get path under control first. From your description sounds like u started with, and were overdoing the face part. Hope that helps.

  4. Nathan

    Sep 29, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Great article!

    ‘Heel beats toe’ has been my swing thought recently and has really helped my game turn the corner.

  5. luke keefner

    Sep 29, 2015 at 5:45 am

    More of this please!!!!!

  6. Travis Saxton

    Sep 28, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Excellent article! I’m a feel player and 1 handicap and have always wanted instruction that can resonate with me. Thanks for the great article love golfwrx

    • Michael Howes

      Sep 29, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Appreciate it Travis!

      • Regis

        Sep 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        I’ve been playing 50 years and never been close to a 1 hcp and never will be. But the heel beats toe is something that is easy to pattern and I will like give it a shot. Periodically (read most days) my swing goes into a funk and one adjustment I’ll fool with during a round is to open the clubface slightly at address. Always seems to work as a stopgap measure but the heel beats toe seems comparable and less drastic of a fix. Thanks.

  7. snowman

    Sep 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Yes, Yes.. More of this and less Swing Mechanics Please. How bout some “Feel” Sugestions or images to cure over-the-top move and Poor Downswing Sequencing.

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