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5 simple drills for common golf swing flaws



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 ( 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: [email protected]



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  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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