The Big Key Everyone Forgets
Check your right hand for better ball-striking
One of the least understood elements of the swing is the position of the bottom hand (right hand for righties) in the backswing. If you're right-handed, you have tremendous feel in that hand -- not tapping into it makes no sense. Plus, getting your right hand working correctly is a major key to hitting longer, straighter shots.
Swing a club halfway back, and open your right hand on the grip. Your palm should be at a 45-degree angle to the ground, somewhat facing the sky (above). This forces your right elbow down, putting it in a powerful, hinged position. Assuming you have a neutral right-hand grip at address (the V formed by your forefinger and thumb pointing to your right shoulder), the 45-degree palm angle also means the clubface has stayed square to the swing path. From there, your chances of producing power and accuracy are good.
JIM MCLEAN, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, is based at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami.