Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do your shots start right then hook left, often hitting the turf behind the ball or topping the ball?

I earlier discussed that straight, solidly struck shots are the result of three occurrences at impact:

• The club head has moved from the inside to parallel to the target line
• The club face is square to the online path of the club head
• The club head is at the bottom of its arc

These occur when a player’s timing is correct. The simplest definition of timing is the coordination of leg and hip movement with the swinging of the arms. A player’s timing can be off in two extremes. First, the legs and hips can turn before the arms swing down. This is generally the case with players who slice the ball. Second, the hands and arms are too fast for the leg and hip action. If your shots fit the above topic then you fall in this extreme. You are casting the club with your hands and wrists at the start of your downswing.

Because your hands and arms are too fast the club reaches the bottom of its upward and downward arc too soon – before it gets to the ball. This is why you take divots behind the ball or the club has begun its upward arc before impact resulting in topped shots. The ball usually starts right because the club is moving in that direction. It hasn’t returned to the on line portion of the path because the hips haven’t turned and cleared. The ball curves left because the hands and arms being too quick have closed the club face at impact.

The main cause of casting the club is from the hands separating at the top of the swing. The left thumb and right palm separate at the top then reconnect to start the downswing. This causes the wrists to uncock too early in the downswing. To correct this place a small coin or piece of string between your left thumb and right palm and hold it in place during the swing. This will stop the separation of your hands and the resulting casting of the club.

This adjustment along with the clearing of the hips will allow the club head to be along the target line and at the bottom of its arc when impacting the ball. You'll soon be hitting straight and solid shots once again.

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