GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

Fault Fixer: The Full Swing

1  of  6

Fault #1: The Push

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

All golfers, even the tour players, have faults in their swings. The key is adding the right move or position to offset the flaw you’re trying to overcome. Here, teacher Josh Zander will help you identify your biggest issues, understand what causes them, and then apply the right instruction. We start here with that big miss to the right—the push.

SWING THOUGHTS

A push comes from a swing path to the right of the target line with the face square to the path
To fix a push, make sure your clubface is perpendicular to your target line at address
If you tend to push, turn your hands more to the right on the club to help close the face
To shift your swing path more to the left, move your ball position more forward
To stop pushing the ball, turn your body toward the target sooner on the downswing

DRILLS

The Pizza Drill

  • In a bunker, use your club to draw half a pizza pie in the sand, with lines for slices.
  • Stand at the bottom of the pie, and set up with an iron at the midpoint. Make some swings.
  • If you push the ball, your club will tend to hit the sand in one of the back slices.
  • To fix this, focus on getting your divot to happen in one of the forward slices.
  • Eventually hit shots, placing a ball in one of the forward slices and swinging more to the left.
  • Feel like your sternum is pointing ahead of the ball at impact.
Fault #2: The Slice
2 Fault #2: The Slice
  • What causes the ball to curve right
  • How to take a slice-proof grip
  • Learning to square the face every time

Fault Fixer: The Full Swing

2  of  6

Fault #2: The Slice

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OVERVIEW

Among amateur golfers, no fault is more common than the slice—that big right turn the ball takes in midair. There are many things that can happen during the setup and swing to cause a slice. The trick is diagnosing what’s going on in your swing. In this video, teacher Josh Zander helps you break down your slice—and learn to fix it.

SWING THOUGHTS

A slice comes from the clubface being open to the swing path at impact
To fix a slice, make sure your clubface is square to the target line at address
To avoid a slice-causing weak grip, take your left-hand grip with the club off your left side
Avoid swinging too far left, which can cause a slice, by keeping your back to the target longer on the downswing
A good anti-slice feel is that your back foot is twisting to the right as you start down

DRILLS

Impact Marks

  • If you’re hitting a slice, you might be striking the ball off the heel of the clubface.
  • To find out where you’re making contact, spray some foot powder on the clubface and hit shots to see impact location.
  • Make adjustments based on those impact marks to get contact in the center of the face.
  • Check your impact before you start making any setup or swing changes.
Fault #3: The Pull
3 Fault #3: The Pull
  • What causes the ball to fly left
  • Ace the simplest test: ball position
  • Developing an in-to-out swing

Fault Fixer: The Full Swing

3  of  6

Fault #3: The Pull

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW

One of the most “satisfying” misses in golf is the pull because it feels solid—the clubface and swing path are matched up, just too far to the left. There is no glancing blow, like you find with many of the other impact faults. But the ball misses left, so it’s not a shot you want to hit. In this video, Josh Zander offers some instruction on how to get rid of the pull.

SWING THOUGHTS

A pull comes from a swing path to the left of the target line with the face square to the path
To fix a pull, make sure your clubface is perpendicular to your target line at address
If you tend to pull, turn your hands more to the left on the club to avoid closing the face
To shift your swing path more to the right, move your ball position farther back
A great swing thought to fix a pull is to try to hit the ball from the inside, swinging in to out

DRILLS

Alignment Check

  • Put an alignment stick on the ground to represent the target line, and set your feet parallel to the stick.
  • Next square your shoulders. If they’re open, you’ll tend to swing left and hit a pull.
  • From your setup, rest the club on your leg and without changing your shoulder position, extend your arms and connect your two index fingers, tip to tip. The line those fingers form shows your shoulder alignment. If it’s open, adjust your shoulders back to square.

Impact Drill

  • When practicing, learn to swing more from the inside by focusing on hitting the inside part of the ball.
  • Pick a single dimple, picture it colored or flashing, even as a bug you want squash at impact.
  • Look at that spot as you stand over the ball, and try to hit it with the clubface.
Fault #4: The Hook
4 Fault #4: The Hook
  • What causes the ball to curve left
  • How swinging left prevents going left
  • Control the face with a “throw release”

Fault Fixer: The Full Swing

4  of  6

Fault #4: The Hook

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Everyone wants to hit big, high draws that bound down the middle of the fairway, but what you don’t want is an uncontrollable hook, which curves way left of your target. Do that, and you’re turning a good player’s shot into a nightmare. In this video, teacher Josh Zander shows how to avoid the hook—and if you have it, how to fix it.

SWING THOUGHTS

A hook comes from the clubface being closed to the swing path at impact
To fix a hook, make sure your clubface is square to the target line at address
If you’re hooking the ball, check that your hands aren’t turned too far to the right on the club
To avoid a hook, your swing needs to go more left. Open your stance at address
Don’t roll your forearms through; swing through impact without the shaft rotating

DRILLS

Practice Going Left

  • Set up to a ball, and place your clubhead on the wrong side of the ball (the target side).
  • Practice swinging through with your clubhead going as far left as you can get it. Imagine there’s a wall to your left that you’re reaching for with your club.
  • From that far-left finish position, swing the club back down and, in one motion, into your normal backswing.
  • Swing down and through, again trying to go as far left as possible.

Water Bottle Drill

  • Place a water bottle (half full) just outside your ball at address.
  • Take a swing, and hit the ball. If you’re swinging too in to out, which often causes a hook, you’ll bump the water bottle.
  • Use the bottle as a visual aid to help you swing more to the left through impact.
  • Practice hitting shots without touching the water bottle.

Impact Marks

  • If you’re hitting a hook, you might be striking the ball off the toe of the clubface.
  • To find out where you’re making contact, spray some foot powder on the clubface and hit shots to see impact location.
  • Make adjustments based on those impact marks to get contact in the center of the face.
  • Check your impact before you start making any setup or swing changes.
Fault #5: The Thin Shot
5 Fault #5: The Thin Shot
  • What causes contact low on the clubface
  • Learning to turn back, not sway
  • Don’t overdo swinging in to out

Fault Fixer: The Full Swing

5  of  6

Fault #5: The Thin Shot

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Another one of the more frustrating mis-hits is thin contact, which happens when you catch the ball on the upswing and hit it low on the clubface. Typically, the ball flies low and not very far. The topped shot is an extreme case of thin contact where you strike the ball above its equator. Here, Josh Zander demonstrates how to avoid these embarrassing misses.

SWING THOUGHTS

A thin shot comes from the low point of the swing being behind the ball or too far in front of it —To avoid the thin shot, make sure your swing isn’t coming severely from the inside
Don’t sway away from the target as you take the club back; keep your lower body stable
To beat thin contact, lean the shaft toward the target at address
Turn your shoulders on a steeper angle and swing your arms more vertically to avoid thin hits

DRILLS

Posture Check

  • Hold a club horizontally across your chest, and place and alignment stick a couple of feet outside the ball.
  • As you turn back, point the club you’re holding at the alignment stick, and as you swing through, point it at the stick again.
  • Proper shoulder rotation will help you make solid contact.

Extend Your Arms

  • Place a small, soft ball or pillow between your arms.
  • Grip the club normally, and squeeze the ball lightly with your forearms.
  • Practice making half-swings back and through with the ball staying in place.
  • Feel full arm extension through the ball. If you bend your arms, the ball will fall out.
Fault #6: The Fat Shot
6 Fault #6: The Fat Shot
  • What causes ground-first contact
  • Groove a more around-the-body swing
  • One-arm swings for crisp impact

Fault Fixer: The Full Swing

6  of  6

Fault #6: The Fat Shot

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW

Although all misses are bad, perhaps none is more demoralizing than the chunk or fat shot, which feels terrible and can go nowhere, depending on how fat you get it. There are many things that can cause a fat shot, so the trick is identifying what you’re doing. In this video, Josh Zander shares his best instruction on what causes fat contact and how to stop it.

SWING THOUGHTS

A fat shot comes from the low point of the swing being behind the ball
If you’re hitting fat shots, practice making baseball swings to round out your swing shape
A closed clubface can cause fat contact. Check that your clubface is square at address and that your hands aren’t turned too far to the right
To avoid fat shots, make sure your spine doesn’t tilt toward the target on the backswing
Feel your right or left arm going more behind you to round out the swing and stop fat shots.

DRILLS

The Bookshelf Drill

  • Imagine there’s a bookshelf behind you, just below shoulder height.
  • From your setup, swing back your left hand only and reach for an imaginary book on the shelf. This will help you achieve a flatter plane during the backswing.
  • Hit balls with this image in mind, and strive for a more rounded feel to your backswing.

Fault Fixer: The Full Swing

Lesson
1 / 6
Fault #1: The Push
2 / 6
Fault #2: The Slice
3 / 6
Fault #3: The Pull
4 / 6
Fault #4: The Hook
5 / 6
Fault #5: The Thin Shot
6 / 6
Fault #6: The Fat Shot
Fault Fixer: The Full Swing INDEX
Fault #1: The Push
1/6
Fault #1: The Push
  • What causes the ball to fly right
  • The No. 1 setup key for straighter shots
  • A great visual to pre-set proper impact
  • What causes the ball to fly right
  • The No. 1 setup key for straighter shots
  • A great visual to pre-set proper impact
Fault #2: The Slice
2/6
Fault #2: The Slice
  • What causes the ball to curve right
  • How to take a slice-proof grip
  • Learning to square the face every time
  • What causes the ball to curve right
  • How to take a slice-proof grip
  • Learning to square the face every time
Fault #3: The Pull
3/6
Fault #3: The Pull
  • What causes the ball to fly left
  • Ace the simplest test: ball position
  • Developing an in-to-out swing
  • What causes the ball to fly left
  • Ace the simplest test: ball position
  • Developing an in-to-out swing
Fault #4: The Hook
4/6
Fault #4: The Hook
  • What causes the ball to curve left
  • How swinging left prevents going left
  • Control the face with a “throw release”
  • What causes the ball to curve left
  • How swinging left prevents going left
  • Control the face with a “throw release”
Fault #5: The Thin Shot
5/6
Fault #5: The Thin Shot
  • What causes contact low on the clubface
  • Learning to turn back, not sway
  • Don’t overdo swinging in to out
  • What causes contact low on the clubface
  • Learning to turn back, not sway
  • Don’t overdo swinging in to out
Fault #6: The Fat Shot
6/6
Fault #6: The Fat Shot
  • What causes ground-first contact
  • Groove a more around-the-body swing
  • One-arm swings for crisp impact
  • What causes ground-first contact
  • Groove a more around-the-body swing
  • One-arm swings for crisp impact