By Matthew Rudy
"By setting up a bit too close to the ball with the club on an upright angle, you swing the club off plane early and have to compensate for that all the way through," says Birnbaum, who is based at Alpine Country Club in Demarest, N.J. "The good news is that a lot of this can be fixed by changing your setup. Give yourself some space at address and improve your body angles by bending your knees and relaxing your shoulders. You'll feel your arms in a lower position at the top of the backswing, and a shorter, tighter swing will help you square up that clubface."
"I love this meticulous setup routine to make sure you're in the correct position at address," Birnbaum says. "I really like the overall simplicity of your swing, too. It just looks a bit incomplete to me at the top of the backswing. That's OK for middle or short irons, but not ideal for the longer clubs. If you get a little more wind-up to the top, your upper body will be more centered instead of leaning toward the target. Your timing and swing sequencing will be easier to repeat."
"You have a couple of important things to fix, but it's crucial to do them one at a time, not all at once," Birnbaum says. "The clubface is job one. Turn your right hand so it's in a weaker position more on top of the club, which will feel terrible at first. But stick with it until you're hitting some better shots. From there, try swinging the club so that your arms are more across your chest at the top of the backswing. You'll be addressing your two core issues -- clubface and swing plane -- and you should see immediate results."