October 21, 2007
Learn lag in the rough
My childhood teacher, Ben Doyle, was once asked by a writer if my swing had too much lag. He countered, "Can you have too much love?"Amateurs suffer from releasing the club too soon in the downswing. At impact, the hands should be in front of the ball and the shaft should be leaning forward. One way to reinforce this feeling is to hit shots in the deep rough. As soon as the club contacts the grass, it will provide resistance while the hands and body continue turning. This is the impact feeling you want.
Load up on pitch shots
You might have heard the old golf cliché: "You don't hit the ball with the backswing."I disagree. Only when the club is properly loaded can we swing it more dynamically on the downswing and through impact to improve the strike.You can learn this by first mastering the pitch shot. Grab a wedge and load the swing by hinging your left wrist as you start the club back. Once the wrist is set, forget about it. You don't have to make it unhinge as you swing down. The swing's force will do that naturally, and you'll make better contact.NO: If you don't hinge your left wrist on the way back, you can't hit a pitch shot with any power.YES: The more you hinge your left wrist, the more power you store for the downswing.
I know a lot of golfers who hit it great on the range and then struggle on the course. One of the reasons is that on the range you get feedback from one shot and can immediately try it again with an adjustment. On the course, you don't have that luxury. So one way to remind yourself of what you're trying to achieve is to rehearse the proper impact position.During your next round, address the ball normally, but before you swing, get into the proper impact position (weight on the front foot, shaft leaning forward, head behind the ball). Once you do this, go back to address and then hit your shot, trying to get back to that same impact position.