Tom’s Tip of the week: Toss The Ball
This week’s tip is perhaps one of the simplest, yet effective
ways to highlight the importance of how the arms work in the golf
swing. All you need for this exercise is a golf ball and a friend to
catch the ball. If you don’t have anybody on the receiving end that’s
fine as you can practice tossing the ball to a marked target either in
the house or backyard.
The golfer in the photo is working on how the right arm moves
through the impact area and slightly beyond. The top left photo is the
incorrect way and the bottom left photo is the correct way.
This player had a tendency to come up and out of his swing
losing shots thin and to the right of the intended target. I had him
place his left hand on top of the club and then make a backswing with
a golf ball placed in his right hand. Due to space limitations in this
column I only showcase the follow-through which is quite telling.
Next, I stood a few feet away from him with my hand raised out
as the target and I asked to toss me the ball. On the first attempt,
as seen in the top left photo, he came through the impact area and
began to release the ball in his right hand. He inadvertently let the
ball slip out and it went low and weakly to the right of the target.
I’ve drawn a circle around his hand and forearm. As you can see, his
palm and arm are facing up which means he was trying to guide the ball
instead of letting it go.
The bottom left photo is the correct motion. Take a close look
at how the right forearm has rotated over releasing the ball which is
now on track towards the target with authority and some zip. Compare
the bottom to the top photo and you can see some startling
In the photos on the right the golfer placed the golf ball in
his left hand this time. Taking his normal setup, with the ball in his
left hand, he made a backswing. I put out my raised hand as the
designated target and asked him to toss the golf ball. On his first
attempt, which is the top right photo, he tossed the ball but it came
out low again with no power behind the toss fluttering towards me. You
can see with the circle I’ve drawn around the left hand and arm that
he has inhibited the golf ball from releasing and going towards his
target. The back of his hand and forearm are facing downward towards
the ground. The result is a major power leakage effecting distance and
control, losing a majority of shots to the right of the target which
are commonly called slices or blocked shots.
Now take a close inspection of the bottom right photo. This time,
after learning the proper movement of how the left arm should work,
the golfer tossed the ball and hit his target dead on the spot with
some increased velocity behind it.
When you compare the top and bottom right sided photos the
comparisons are significant and will have an impact on your shot
making ability. Take a look at the circle drawn around the left hand
and arm. Just pretend you’re thumbing for a ride or going to shake
hands. This naturally allows the arm to rotate properly and in turn
easily releases the golf ball towards the target.
Because a majority of golfers slice the ball to the right this
is quite a common occurrence. Utilizing the ‘toss the ball’ drill can
be an eye opening experience. If you can’t toss the ball with either
hand towards an intended target with any degree of efficiency how do
you do it with a golf club in your hand. This drill is extremely
effective and a real game changer if you put a little time in
practicing it. After you get comfortable with it go ahead and grab a
club and practice making slow motion swings with just your left hand
and then alternate with your right. Gradually you’ll allow the ‘ball
tossing’ exercise to mesh with the actual golf club and train your
mind and body to make the correct movements resulting in the shots you
This is an excellent, easy and precise way to practice without
ever hitting a golf ball. Give it a try…you’ll see the difference!
Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com