Ball Flight Breakdown
Frustration. Anxiety. Disappointment. For many golfers these are some of the feelings that arise when learning the game. Although golf can seem complex, the reality is every player will improve immediately within a sound learning environment. It all starts with creating awareness of problem areas and then systematically making simple adjustments that lead to the greatest results in the elements of impact, speed and control.
Here are 3 checkpoints to consider when developing your game. Find out which one is the weakest link, and jumpstart your road to success.
MOVE IT FORWARD
The first step is to assess your ability to consistently advance the ball toward the target. Hitting a foot behind the ball, shanking, topping or worse are symptoms that require an impact fix. If this sounds like you, then your fastest way to improve is to learn how to hit the ball solidly, forward, in the air, every time!
Try this drill to clean up your impact. Line up 5 balls and use a 3/4 action to develop some consistency. Hold your finish and assess following check points:
1. Is your belt buckle higher than it was at address and pointing at the target?
2. Are your arms extended?
3. Is your weight is on your front foot?
We all want to haul off and smash the driver! The problems is, without solid contact swinging for the fences is usually counterproductive. Once you’re constantly in the air and forward, try these 3 tips to develop some speed:
1. Turn your hips freely in the backswing. Much like Sam Snead in his prime or Bubba Watson, let your trail hip turn and pull back behind you.
2. Jump up! Contrary to common advice, staying down through the shot is a misconception. The only thing going down at impact is the club head. Everything else including the hands, torso, hips, and handle are going up and around into the follow through.
3. Easy does it. Although you want to add a little steam, remember, the best way to hit the ball farther is to find the center of the club face!
SPLIT THE MIDDLE
You’re hitting it solid, hammering it a good distance, but have no control over direction or curvature. If this sounds like you, explore these 3 ideas to gain control over your ball flight.
1. Pick a shot. If you’re a golfer who likes to “work” the ball, simplify things in your next round by sticking with one shot shape on every swing. Narrowing your focus and having no doubt which way you want the ball to curve are good ways to eliminate big misses.
2. Understand the ball flight. The ball will primarily start where the club face is pointing at impact, and then curve away from the swing path based on center strike. Use this information to determine what adjustments are needed to adjust the shot shape to your liking.
3. Keep it clean. Many players struggle with inconsistencies in flight due to a lack of harmony between the arms and body during the swing. If this sounds like you, try hitting a few shots with a towel tucked under your arms to keep the connection and tighten your direction.
Figure out which element needs the most attention, impact, speed, or control, and you’ll quickly find more enjoyment on the course!
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