Use your body to con­trol path and face

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - News - By Dar­ren May

3 drills to straighter tee shots.

For most golfers, the draw is the power shot. You can gen­er­ate more club­head speed with less ef­fort and achieve a more di­rect hit when the club comes down from in­side the tar­get line. Com­pared to the out­side-in slice swing, a draw com­presses the ball bet­ter and pro­duces more roll.

But three out of four golfers strug­gle with a per­sis­tent slice. If that’s you, I have a sim­ple plan to help you hit it straighter. First, we’ll fix your out-to-in swing path, then we’ll fix your open club­face at im­pact.

Start with two align­ment rods. Place one un­der your feet and par­al­lel to your tar­get line and one at a 45-de­gree an­gle be­hind the ball (above). Set up and swing to the top. Stop half­way down and imag­ine a line across your shoul­ders match­ing the an­gled rod on the ground. That’s what it feels like to stay closed with your body, which cre­ates an in­side path – the first step to­wards hit­ting a draw.


To make it eas­ier to keep your shoul­ders in that 45-de­gree an­gle on the down­swing, try this drill (top, left). Stick an align­ment rod ver­ti­cally in the ground op­po­site the in­step of your front foot. Fold your arms across your chest, and get into your ad­dress po­si­tion, set­ting your right shoul­der and hip lower than your left (Frame 1).

Make a full back­swing ro­ta­tion, then feel your shoul­ders stay turned be­hind the ball as your tail­bone leads the down­swing. No­tice my left hip has moved ahead of the shaft (3). Fi­nally, mimic the through-swing po­si­tion, post­ing onto your left leg, your right shoul­der turn­ing to the shaft (5).


Po­si­tion an align­ment rod on the ground next to your front foot, par­al­lel to the tar­get line. Place another rod at a 45-de­gree an­gle on the back­swing side. Swing back, then on the through-swing al­low your right hand to come off the club. With your shoul­ders stay­ing par­al­lel to the 45-de­gree rod, feel the back of your left hand turn­ing down through the im­pact area.

When the shaft is par­al­lel to the ground on the fol­lowthrough, the club­face should be per­pen­dic­u­lar to the rod next to your foot (left). This counter-clock­wise ro­ta­tion of the left arm en­sures that the face is turn­ing slightly closed to the swing path, the fi­nal step to hit­ting a draw.

Prac­tise mak­ing some swings with­out a ball and check­ing the club­face ro­ta­tion. Then hit shots try­ing to in­cor­po­rate these feel­ings. The com­bi­na­tion of proper lower-body tran­si­tion and match­ing club­face ro­ta­tion will turn your weak slice into a pow­er­ful draw in no time.




Dar­ren May is the di­rec­tor of in­struc­tion at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida. He teaches Camilo Vil­le­gas and Cameron Tringale, among other PGA Tour pros.



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