Turn a Slice Into a Draw By “Reversing The Loop”

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    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. As a golfer, you must change something in your golf swing to change your ball flight. Grip, stance, alignment, and posture are extremely important in the setup, but I consider them variables, not fundamentals. You see phenomenal golfers with all type of setups, grips, alignments, and postures.

    Can you change your ball flight and make impact conditions different with grip, stance, alignment, and posture changes? Absolutely, but in my experience one of the worst things you can do is change a golfer’s grip without determining what the outcome needs to be. I have seen golfers with strong grips slice the ball and golfers with weak grips hook the ball, so as a golf instructor I have to be very careful.

    My goal for the majority of my students is “getting the car out of the ditch,” so to speak. I want to get them back on the road to competent golf as quickly as possible. Watching ball flight and listening to impact is the best way to help a golfer improve, and my diagnosis of a golfer always starts with the ball flight. Then I go to the club face, then to the shaft, and then what the body is doing in the motion to create the golf shot.

    Golfers do not need to change their entire golf swings to improve their ball flight, but if the goal is to change ball flight — hit the ball higher, farther, and make the bottom of the swing more consistent — we need to find a way to improve impact, face angle, and angle of attack.

    The first few feet in the takeaway is crucial to have a repeating swing, and the majority of golfers I give lessons to or watch on the range have a distinct movement in their takeaway that directly affects their downswing. In an effort to create power, the golfer whips the club too far inside and usually opens the face way too early in the backswing. Compensations abound from creating this type of position with the club face and shaft. The handle of the club will move up and out, making the front arm become disconnected from the body, and golfers experience an automatic loss of power.

    Doing this, the club head will also move too far behind the body in the backswing. At the halfway-back point in the backswing, golfers are doomed to an over-the-top, out-to-in downswing, which causes the ball to curve to the right (slice) for a right-handed golfer. The club face is now way too open, and the golfer has created a steeper angle of attack. It’s no wonder most golfers have never hit a real draw in their life.

    In the video at the top of the story, you will see the shaft is above the shoulder in the start of the downswing. It creates an in-and-over motion with the club head and shaft that leads to a slice. Now, there have been some very successful golfers with this type of motion: Bruce Lietzke, Hale Irwin, Raymond Floyd, and Colin Montgomerie to name a few, but these are professional golfers who have perfected their technique. They are swinging on a path with a club face that works for a ball flight they want to see, and they also have awesome wrist, hand and body action.

    The following motion will have golfers picking the club up with their arms and not completing their pivots. They are lifting their arms up and not tilting properly, which may cause them to lose balance.

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    These golfers will most likely have an open club face at the top of the swing, too. Having an open club face at the top of the swing leads to many swing faults, including hitting behind the ball, too much weight on the trail foot at impact, and casting the club, which adds way to much loft to the club face. The golfers will generally have a major, backward shaft lean at impact with the handle leaning back to their trail leg.

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    On the downswing, the golf club will start moving across the ball like a butter knife. The club face will be slicing across the ball, resulting in pulls, slices, and weaker shots. Loss of distance and accuracy will be a huge factor with this type of motion. The arms will be pulling apart, usually having the chicken-wing look after the ball. Topping can also occur with this type of motion because the head of the club is swinging too much up and in toward the body. The trail arm will also have space in between the trail elbow and the body during the downswing.

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    Reversing The Loop

    How can we fix this type of motion? Very simple! Reverse the loop! What I mean is that golfers can reverse engineer their entire motion to create a very effective swing with the desired ball flight. For your backswing, take the club up the path of the faulty downswing, and then bring the club back into the ball on your original backswing path. This is called “reversing the loop.”

    Your golf swing will feel as if you are swinging way up and outside, but this is what you need to feel and create to change your ball flight. You can even feel an early hinge in your backswing, making your takeaway and backswing steeper and having the shaft shallow on the downswing. You will start to create a swing path that travels out on the downswing, not in to your body, which jams you up.

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    The shaft will now be working properly and not coming down over your neck in a steep fashion. You can keep swinging back up and around on your follow through, because the golf club will be swinging around in a circular motion. This is an excellent way to change your impact conditions and path.

    Now your club face will be looking slightly right of your target with a path that is farther to the right, creating a perfect drawing opportunity. Make sure you do this slowly at first before you build speed.

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    8I always recommend 10-15 minutes per day of slow motion swings that are 10 percent speed of your normal golf swing. Begin practicing with a ball on a small tee and gradually move the tee down until you’re ready to start hitting shots off of the turf. You will have completely changed your impact, the bottom of your swing, your contact and ball flight.

    Reversing the loop is a change you can do!

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    Jess Frank is a PGA Teaching Professional at Deer Creek Golf Club in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He's owner of the Jess Frank Golf Academy, and his passion is to help golfers play better and have more fun on the course. Students have described his instruction style as non-intimidating, friendly and easy to understand.

    Jess works with every level of golfer, and his lesson tee includes complete beginners and high-level golfers. Playing lessons are also a very important part of his lesson program. His greatest joy is seeing his students smile and get excited about playing golf!

    Please feel free to email him at pgapro@jessfrankgolf.com or contact him directly at 561-213-8579.

    30 COMMENTS

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    1. Hi. Seems like I tend to tilt my shoulders rather than turning them when practicing this drill. I then return slightly from outside the target line. I am having a hard time “feeling” the move from the backswing to the finished shoulder turn position. With this being said, this is one of the best drills to help me shallow out. Any comments would be appreciated.

    2. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” You mean just like all these one hit wonder “fixes” for your swing. Yup. Doing these quick fixes over and over expecting a different result is in fact insane….

    3. I don’t think this drill is only for slicers. I am a drawer of the ball, but I tend to get v steep in transition which ends up in pull hook stuck flip vortex. I always struggled with the steep to shallow concept and doing a drill similar to this move was the only thing that ever got me to produce that steep to shallow move on video.

      Problem is taking this loop swing to the course was near impossible and I struggled with finding a back and thru type thought to replicate this continuous loop drill when playing golf. But when I go back to just a back and thru thought, I always end up back to steep.

      • Hey Ted! Thanks for your comments and reading my article! I have also struggled from steepening and then shallowing with too much lateral movement. You have to spend a lot of time to get rid of a movement that you are speaking about and then taking it to the course is even more of a journey. However, one of the best swing thoughts is pushing the club out away from your body. If you push your hands away from your body this will keep width in your swing and will shallow with out steepening. Thanks again!

    4. The changes usually will occur pretty quickly because of my hands on approach to teaching. I will move a student through the motions over and over again. And I will use obstacles to make sure the shaft and club head move in the direction I know will help a student. Nothing is guaranteed but I have had a lot of success with golfers looking to improve. I see students regress too. Changing movement patterns is difficult for a lot of people so if I can improve contact and ball flight in a non-invasive manner that is my goal:)

    5. It’s a drill people! I have worked for while keeping the clubhead outside the hands after years of yanking it real quick… It always helps me to exaggerate the motion a few times on the range to get the feeling… When I play an actual round I don’t hit the ball doing any kind of “feel” drills but I may take a few practice swings to make sure I know what I am trying to do when I get up to the ball… This type of people would greatly benefit major slicers (like my Dad) because the path and motion are just so over the top.

      • Thanks for the comments beachsideandy! I agree, once you are on the course you have to believe in what you have practiced and the positive results you have seen. You can absolutely rehearse this type of motion in your practice swings and during the round.

      • I know back around 1996 or so I watch John Daly hitting pitch shots pulling the back swing in but it seems he just came back around to the ball and hit it straight without going over the top…I did notice years later he was not doing it that way….I think that was back when they talked about how good his hands and short game were (Were is the message here).

    6. Pulling club inside and looping back straight into the back of the ball also works there have been a few Pros make good money doing it that way, I believe the term is called getting the club back into the slot….knowing what the club face is doing is the key.

          • Hi Jess.

            Why not teaching a simple drill such as: one ball ahead of the ball you hit inside the target line, one grip length; one ball back in the stance outside the target line, one grip length from the ball you hit. Of course, the ball you hit is in the target line. From there you have to swing in to out, otherwise you hit the wring balls as well. Now…loop or not loop, my drill against yours, if the rythm of your swing is not good then you will mess it anyway. How do you fix that rythem issue from there?

      • Since we are so used to our “bad” swing sometimes it is helpful to do something drastically different, to shake up the way the body feels during a swing to get a different result. If you stick too closely to your “bad” swing you probably won’t get too far away from it, while if you can start to feel what a wild hook swing feels like versus your own slice swing you can work back to the middle where you’ll hit is straighter. I had read that before and thought it was crazy, but it worked for me.

        I still play a little bit of a fade with most clubs, but rarely hit the high banana ball off into the woods anymore. And when I do, I can usually feel it and understand what I did, where if I had not forced myself to swing the other way I’m not sure I would notice as much.

      • You could read the article to understand why.

        “My goal for the majority of my students is “getting the car out of the ditch,” so to speak. I want to get them back on the road to competent golf as quickly as possible.”

        This is a quick way to do so and then you can work from there on getting the path straightened out to a more normal approach.

        • Yes sir Lopey986! You have to improve impact to get the ball flight better and different. That’s the key to golf instruction. Make a student have a better ball flight and more solid contact and your book is full:)

      • Hey Larrybud! Thank you for your comments. I totally agree with you but sometimes you have to a mile to get an inch. Most golfers who don’t practice need to feel an exaggeration or else they just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over.

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