Tom’s Tip: Solving Two Issues at One Time

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2016

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TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

Recently, I worked with a young golfer that was relatively new
to the game. He had a lot of lateral motion in his swing which caused
him to lose balance. In addition, he would top a number of shots and
leave a lot of balls out to the right of the intended target. He was
also using a lot of excessive hand and wrist action particularly on
his initial takeaway which compounded the problems by spraying shots
all over the place.
I devised a drill which kills ‘two birds with one stone’ in rectifing
these swing issues.
Being a newcomer to the game I didn’t want the golfer to
establish poor fundamentals and develop bad habits in pursuit of
playing the game with his family and friends. In order to be
successful in any sport you must have a good solid foundation which
requires maintaining balance. Because this young golfer had a lot of
lateral movement, or what is commonly called ‘swaying’, durng the
backswing his legs were straightening up which causes movement out of
posture resulting in topping the ball.
In the photograph below I drew a box around the golfers feet. I
had him set up over the ball with his feet together. I wanted him to
keep a good amount of knee flex prior to his takeaway. Before this new
adjustment he was standing too upright over the ball while taking his
stance, with very little knee flex. This drill will force the golfer
to stay more bent over from the waist which will keep him from coming
up and out of his posture. The added bonus is he won’t be able to sway
off the ball to the degree he was doing before.
Next, because the golfer was too flippy with the hands. I asked
him to take his thumb and index finger off the club as highlighted
with the circle drawn around the hands. With this type of grip he
won’t have the luxury of getting wristy anymore which was wrecking
havoc on being able to hit solid shots with any degree of control. By
having the middle, ring and pinky fingers of his right hand and palm
pressed against his left hand grip he would be forced to take the club
away in a one-piece movement… not allowing his wrists to break down
as he was doing before. Initially, when he tried to make a few swings
he whiffed the ball. After awhile he started piecing things together
and surprised himself with some well struck shots that went directly
on line to the target.
It was hard for the golfer to believe he could hit the ball
farther, and with better control than he could with his normal swing.
Once he got more efficient and confident with the drill I
allowed with to start opening his stance a bit wider with each
subsequent shot. Also, I had him lay the right thumb and index finger
back on the grip that way he could gradually mesh together what he was
doing correctly in the drill as part of his normal swing.
Then I proceeded to placed a few balls in a row, having him hit
one shot with the new drill and then immediately, without hesitation,
go back to his normal swing. After a short period of time he got into
a nice rhythm and began to hit some good shots incorporating both the
new drill he learned and his modified new improved golf swing.
A lot of golfers battle these type of swing issues and this drill
will address those problems and help get you back on track. This is an
easy exercise you can do at the practice range or the privacy of your
backyard. It may feel awkward at first, but the benefits you’ll reap
are well worth the effort.
Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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