Poised to Strike?

Check your down­swing to find out

Golf Digest Middle East - - Play Your Best / Golf Made Simple By David Leadbet -

“Get your right el­bow in the slot near your right hip.”

GOLFERS fre­quently stop their back­swings to check the club. What you don’t see nearly as of­ten is some­one stop­ping half­way down to check if the club is in po­si­tion to hit a qual­ity shot.

Here I’m check­ing my driver’s shaft on the down­swing. Note how it’s an­gled—not too steep or shal­low. Lesser-skilled play­ers tend to swing down with the shaft more up­right, lead­ing to an out­side-in swing path and a pull or slice. Bet­ter play­ers err with the shaft too shal­low or flat at this check­point. That of­ten causes them to push or hook the shot.

The key for a good, re­peat­ing swing is to have the club mov­ing to­ward the ball on an an­gle or plane that closely matches the an­gle of the shaft at ad­dress. With a driver, that should be around 55 de­grees. With irons, it’s a lit­tle higher.

I rec­om­mend tak­ing the club back steeper than the ad­dress an­gle, and then shal­low­ing it on the way down. I find it’s eas­ier for most golfers to do that than try­ing to main­tain the same an­gle back and through.

Once you ver­ify you’re in a good spot com­ing down dur­ing a prac­tice swing, try to cre­ate a sim­i­lar look in your mind when you hit the shot. Get­ting the club down on the proper plane will im­prove your shot­mak­ing. It’s the ge­o­met­ri­cal—and eas­ier—way to play bet­ter golf.

— WITH RON KASPRISKE

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