What if everything you’ve been told to think is wrong?
• most amateurs struggle to get the club swinging down into the ball on a path that lets them hit their drives straight or even draw them. It often stems from a lack of mobility in the shoulder and hip joints and the muscles of the mid-back, which prevents adequate rotation in the backswing. If you hit a lot of slices and pulls off the tee, there’s a way to set up that can easily fix your ball flight. It’s a cool hack. Address the ball with your left foot slightly flared towards the target. Now drop your right foot back 15 centimetres and flare it 45 degrees away from the ball, but make sure your shoulders stay parallel to your target line (above).This setup will allow you to create good rotation during the backswing, and swing the club more from inside the target line on the way down. In essence, you’re giving yourself a head start to a better swing path. Practice or play with this setup, and you’ll start seeing more powerful drives.
2 hybrids / woods
•• the mistake many make with these clubs is swinging down too sharply.A steep swing path will lead to poor contact and a low ball flight that negates the chief purpose of using a hybrid or wood, which is to hit a green from long distance.To shallow your swing path, focus on the right arm.As you swing down, the right elbow should drop below the left arm (above, right).When you do this, you’ll notice the right side of your body contracts, and the hybrid or fairway wood approaches the ball on a flatter angle in relation to the ground.You can rehearse this move by stopping your downswing when your left arm is roughly parallel to the turf.Take a look at where your right elbow is at that point. If it’s lower than the left arm, repeat that move when you swing.
••• it happens in the blink of an eye, but many good ballstrikers bow their left wrist slightly as they start down from the top of the swing. Note how my wrist is slightly convex (below, left).Try this bowing action if you want to bring an iron down powerfully into the ball and compress it.This will help correct an out-to-in (slicing) swing path and will get you hitting your iron shots from the centre of the clubface.
4 pitching clubs
•••• the most effective way to hit 30-, 40-, even 50-metre pitch shots is to make a mini draw swing.The club should track down to the ball along the target line or from slightly inside of it. It then should move back inside the target line quickly after impact. You’re not cutting across the ball like a traditonal open-face wedge shot.This is a mediumtrajectory pitch that makes it easier to control distance.To put the club on the correct path for this shot, focus on moving the handle of the club around your belt line on the backswing and through-swing as quickly as you can (above).Trace the path around your waist, and the clubhead will move through the impact zone and produce crisp contact.
5 chipping clubs
••••• your setup when chipping greatly influences your club’s path.To ensure solid contact and get the ball on target, address the ball with your feet, hips and shoulders aligned slightly left (open) to your target and your club soled five centimetres in front of the ball (below). Notice how your shoulders are level and your right hand is on top of the left thumb. Now lift your club and sole it behind the ball without changing anything else about your setup.When you swing, you’ll find that your wedge moves along the target line back and through, and the clubface stays square to your target.You’ll be surprised how much better your accuracy gets. Chip well, and you’re really on the right path to lower scores.
3 For power, bow the left wrist as you start your iron downswing.
1 Let your address position help you make a better backswing.
2 Shallowing your angle of attack is how you hit hybrids and woods high and far.
4 Trace your waist with the handle of the club to hit crisp pitch shots. 5 Your chipping will improve if you act like the ball is in front of its location before addressing it.