20 Most common shot problems
Lesson 3 of 20
Diagnosis: Long shots slice from left to right. With tee shots occasionally chopping under the ball or topped along the ground. Also a general loss of distance especially with the longer clubs.
Explanation: If you ask most players why they top the ball they will answer “Because my head is coming up”. I will agree that lifting your head as well as the body can cause the ball to be topped, but this is not the majority cause. In fact I could hold the head of many poor players rock steady and they would still manage to chop under the ball or top their tee shots. This is because the problem is not with their head moving, but rather from the way they start their downswing.
Instead of swinging the club freely with the arms and hands you cling to the club with your hands while unwinding your body to the left. Swinging oneself rather than the club from the top of the backswing forces the club to move outward before it can start downward. You top tee shots and chop under others because the approach angle to the ball is too steep – the result of the club moving across the target line on an out-to-in path. Slicing is common because with the hands locked and without the arms swinging, the club lags too far behind the legs and hips arriving at impact with the face still open to the right.
Correction: Hit practice shots with your feet together. Start with a six iron and the ball on a low tee. Make sure you start your downswing with your arms and hands without using your body. You’ll feel the free swinging of the arms and release of the hands that all good players developed early in the careers. At first you may feel that you’re casting the club, but stick with it and soon you’ll feel the release of your hands and the club squaring at impact. You will no longer be falling off balance by overusing your body. Once you can feel yourself swinging the club freely gradually widen your stance. The club will now approach the ball from the inside with a square club face resulting in straight and solid shots.
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