How to “Lift Off” for better shot making

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, July 21st, 2018

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TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

I have an incredibly simple golf tip this week that will improve
your shot making skills and consistent contact with the ball. One of
the biggest issues golfers struggle with is the takeaway….how you
bring the club head back will determine what type of success you’re
going to have on the course.
This drill will help you become more proficient in the takeaway
technique putting the club on the right path to achieving your golfing
goals.
One sure fire way to sabotage your golf game is adding more
tension to the swing. Golfers already have enough stress and anxiety
when playing, regardless of the situation. No one likes to lose or
embarrass themselves, therefore taking care of important components,
like the takeaway, will prevent that from happening. So next time you
head out to practice, or play, try this drill….it can be a real game
changer if you put in the time.
First, as you set up over the ball, don’t ground your club.
Instead, let the club head hover slightly above the ball as
demonstrated by the golfer in the photograph.
Initially, this move will feel somewhat awkward. That’s because we
have conditioned ourselves to always have the club head lying behind
the ball touching the surface of the ground. The only time we don’t
ground the club is when we are in a hazard or a sand trap.
When the club head is on the ground, it’s real easy to accidently
apply to much pressure starting from the grip and transferring
downward towards the club head (because our hands are the only contact
we have with the club.) This results in dragging the club head back on
the takeaway, along the surface of the ground. Catching too much
grass will inhibit the natural flow of the golf swing. Some people do
this more dramatically than others, but either way it can be
destructive to your game. Having grass, sand or dirt nicking the club
during the backswing can not only throw off timing, it can also alter
the path of which the club travels. Usually, if the club head drags
the ground too much the club’s path will travel in a very steep or
upright position. This directional path will force the club to get too
far outside of the intended swing plane, pulling you off balance. It
will then be a crapshoot to see if you can re-route the club head back
in time prior to making contact with the ball. Personally, I don’t
like your chances as the odds and percentages are stacked against you.
One of the great benefits of allowing the club head to dangle
slightly off the ground is you can actually feel the transition of the
club going back without any disruption. That sensation helps you play
golf by feel instead of having a grocery list of random swing thoughts
that come and go.
If you put in the time practicing this drill you’ll marvel at how
well you can discern the subtle differences of the directional path
the club can travel. Everything about this particular drill is
designed to help you counteract the tendency of utilizing the hands
and wrists too much especially when getting antsy under pressure.
An exercise I use when teaching is to set up over the ball like
you are about to make a swing and close the eyes.
Next, I slowly take the club back for them as they remain in their
setup position. I then proceed to take the club too upright (outside)
on the takeaways and ask where they feel the club head is going. They
only can respond with three answers: Too much outside, too much inside
or square. Of course, to drive my point home, I take the club further
inside or outside than any golfer typically would to hammer home the
importance of knowing where the club head is. I promise, after two or
three times doing this I can’t fool them anymore.
The analogy I use with golfers is like the boxer who comes to the
corner after a round and is quite woozy after taking some big hits.
The boxer says to his trainer. “I see three guys out there.” The
trainer tells him.”Just hit the middle one.”
Once you know and feel the correct swing path, which is neither
too upright (steep) nor too flat (shallow), all you have to do is take
the middle road to success.
If the club path is being deflected off line because you apply
too much tension and misguided force in making your takeaway, then
it’s time to transform your outlook and try this tip.
All you have to do is lift the club head off the ground before
making the swing and you’ll be dialing up the launch codes for
success. This tip is guaranteed to give your game a much needed lift.
Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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