Hitting it straight
October 19, 2004
The majority of golfers hit their bad shots to the right of the target. The good news is that it is not that difficult to straighten these shots up.
There are two major influences on the direction the ball flies, the path the club takes through impact and the angle of the club face at impact. If your shots fly to the right of the target on a regular basis there is no doubt that the club face is open (turned to the right) at impact.
There is any number of reasons for the face to be open at impact. It could be the grip or over rotation of the wrists on the back swing. A common reason for the face to be open through impact is that golfers often try to lift the ball by getting under it.
The fact is that the ball should not be lifted it should be driven forward allowing the loft angle on the club face to get the ball off the ground. No matter the reason for the face being open we must learn to square it through impact.
A great way to do this is to develop a feel for closing the face. In other words turning it to the left. An excellent drill to teach you to square the face through the ball is to first learn how to close it through impact. How will you know if you have done this? Simple, the ball will go to the left of the target.
Here is the drill. Take a lofted club, a nine iron or pitching wedge and hit short shots swinging the club through until it is parallel to the ground. To ensure that the face is closing through the ball, stop the club at belt high on the forward swing. At this point the face of the club should be facing down to the ground.
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After practice swinging like this and getting a feel for stopping when the club is level with the ground hit some balls. If the balls are not going to the left of the target you are not closing the face.
Keep practicing this short swing until every shot you hit goes to the left of the target. Once you have developed this feel and the ball goes to the left, simply start squaring the face by having it point straight up(vertical) when the club is at belt high and parallel to the ground. Master this drill and you will start hitting the ball straighter!
Terry Gingell is a PGA Class A Professional offering golf lessons at Eagle Valley and Genoa Lakes Golf Courses and can be reached at 690-7970.