Published: Tuesday, 26 February 2019 08:00
Slicers: Try to Hook It
Doing the opposite will fix that miss to the right
By Butch Harmon
Maybe you only sometimes hit that big slider to the right off the tee, or maybe you fear it every time you step up. Whatever the case, a slice happens when the clubface is open to the path of the swing at impact.
The move that typically leaves the face open is the back shoulder lurching toward the ball at the start of the downswing—a common problem when golfers swing hard. When the shoulder moves out, it pushes the club onto an out-to-in path, and the clubface will usually be open to that path when it reaches the ball. Fore right!
To break this ugly chain, I'm going to give you some hook-producing moves, which will quickly correct a slice.
First, close your feet, hips and shoulders to the target at address.
Second, swing the club back slightly to the inside as you turn your shoulders to the top.
Third, start the downswing by shifting your lower body toward the target, taking care to keep your right shoulder—for righties—back and in.
Finally, swing your arms and the club out and through the ball, letting your left elbow fold down and the upper part of your left arm stay close to your side. Your right arm will release over your left, squaring the face. It's the quickest way to fix a slice.
“Coming down, keep your right shoulder back and in.”
USE THE SPLIT-HANDS DRILL TO LEARN TO RELEASE
There are a lot of things slicers can do on the range to feel what it's like to square the clubface. My favorite is the split-hands drill. Set up normally with a driver, but separate your hands a few inches on the club. This grip will make your right arm feel long, which will help the left elbow fold against your side as you swing through. That folding action causes the right arm to rotate over the left through impact, which squares the face. At first, make slow practice swings to feel the right arm release. Then, hit balls with a three-quarter swing. I bet you'll see the ball start turning right to left.
Butch Harmon is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.
Published: Tuesday, 19 February 2019 11:38
Get better swing plane where it matters, near the ball
By Matthew Rudy
The same few words seem to pop up when describing Bryson DeChambeau's game: Unique, quirky, or even strange.
What isn't strange are the results. DeChambeau won his third career PGA Tour event at the Northern Trust, smashing the field by four shots with elite ball-striking using his single-length Cobra irons. DeChambeau hit 16 greens on Sunday on his way to his fourth round of 69 or lower at Ridgewood Country Club, and he made just six bogeys on the week.
The precision and consistency in DeChambeau's game comes in part from his determination to make every swing on the same plane—literally. "I've run his swing on my 3D analysis software, and Bryson is literally more planar than the swing robots they use to design clubs," says Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher Michael Jacobs. "Even if you wanted to try to do that yourself, I don't think the average player has the coordination. He really is unique."
But even with DeChambeau's idiosyncratic method, there are things you can take away and use to tweak your game. "What gets weekend players in trouble is pushing and pulling on the club with too much force that's perpendicular to the direction of the swing," says Jacobs, who is based at Rock Hill Golf & Country Club in Manorville, NY. "That forcing of the club makes the club respond 'out of plane," which requires you to make a compensating move to recover."
You don't need to try to get your swing on a consistent plane throughout, as long as you can produce more consistency through the "execution phase," says Jacobs—which is about hip high to hip high. "That's where swing plane really matters," he says. "Film your swing from down the line, with the camera on the ball line, and practice making swings where the club doesn't move very much off the plane line in that phase. That's going to come from a more neutral address position, where you aren't aligning your shoulders, hips and feet at different targets, and from more neutral body motions. Get that phase down and you're going to hit much more consistent shots."