10 Ways To Keep It In The Fairway

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10 Ways To Keep It In The Fairway

July 30, 2015

Photo By: Illustration by Paul Blow

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Eddie Berman

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: Dom Furore

Don't be afraid of the left sideAccording to Rick Smith, many golfers try too much to pull the ball left at impact, because they fear a slice. However, this is a cause of the errant shot since the clubface is being left more open. To fix this problem, Smith says to "focus on swinging the clubhead through the ball along the left-facing body lines you established at address. Avoid the temptation to swing the club farther to the left at the last second. Visualize the clubface turning down or closing through the hitting area."More: Why Did I Slice?, by Rick Smith

Photo By: Illustration by Paul Blow

Don't reach for the ballTom Watson believes that some players stand too far from the ball on the tee, resulting in tense shoulders and slicing the ball. To correct this, Watson advocates, "Get in your swing posture, and let your arms hang freely. Then bring your hands together. That's where you should grip every club in the bag. You want to be looking in at your hands, not directly down at them. The distance you stand from the ball will change automatically depending on the length of the club. The longer the club you're holding, the farther you'll stand from the ball."More: Don't Reach For The Ball, by Tom Watson

Photo By: Dom Furore

'Roll' and 'reach' through impactWhile a slice is bad enough on its own, that slice can get worse if you pull in your arms on the downswing. An easy fix, according to Erika Larkin, is to "roll" and "reach" as you swing through. "Let your forearms roll over to square the clubface and then reach your arms toward the target. You can get a feel for this full release by hitting some "bunt" shots with your driver. Tee up a ball and take your driver back until the shaft is parallel to the ground and the toe of the club points straight up."More: Fix Your Slice In Two Words, by Erika Larkin

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Leave your usual shot shapeThough it might make sense to curve a tee shot on a dogleg-left, for example, taking your usual shot will keep your ball in the fairway. According to Tom Watson, you can use the tee box to help with your natural shot. "If you slice or fade the ball, tee up on the far right side of the box, near the marker. If you hook the ball, tee up on the far left side. It's OK to stand outside the markers as long as your ball is between them. This teeing tactic gives you more room to curve the ball into play."More: Find More Fairways, by Tom Watson

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

Swing straight backA common belief is that to fix one's slice, you should swing in to out. David Leadbetter says that, rather than applying this on the backswing, it should be on the downswing. "In to out is a downswing thought, not a backswing thought. As you swing back, try to create some room for the club to move on an in-to-out path coming down. To do that, keep the club in front of your torso as long as you can going back."More: Slice No More, by David Leadbetter

Photo By: Dom Furore

Imagine you're hitting a baseballNow, this doesn't mean approach the ball like Derek Jeter, but just focus on moving your right elbow into the "slot" on the downswing. According to David Leadbetter, "Think of how you would swing a baseball bat at a pitch that comes in chest high. You instinctively know to drop the right elbow under the left. The same holds true for hitting a golf ball That's why focusing on your right elbow position is a great thought for slotting the club on the correct plane. This position will soon turn your slice into a draw."More: To Fix Your Slice, 'Slot' The Right Elbow, by David Leadbetter

Photo By: Dom Furore

Don't turn your shoulders past 90 degreesA quick tip toward fixing a slice is to keep you shoulders within 90 degrees on your swing. Hank Haney advocates this tip, saying that "on the downswing, the shoulders turn earlier and faster than the arms and club swing. To solve this issue, work on two swing thoughts. First, feel that you're keeping your back to the target at the top for an extra beat as you start your arms and hands down toward the ball. Second, make sure your shoulders don't turn more than 90 degrees past their starting position -- check them at the finish."More: Beat A Slice With Your Shoulders, by Hank Haney

Photo By: Dom Furore

Know how high to tee it upDepending on wind speed and direction, it is important to know how high or low to tee the ball to ensure a drive down the fairway. According to Sean Foley, "I tee it higher on calm days and whenever the fairways are soft. This helps me produce a higher trajectory and less backspin. Conversely, in some windy conditions teeing the ball lower might make sense to help keep it below the treeline. With the ball teed lower, you'll tend to hit slightly down on it and make contact lower on the clubface. When you do that, the ball flies lower and with more spin."More: How High To Tee It Up, by Sean Foley

Photo By: Eddie Berman

Rotate the clubface as you swingThough it may seem conventional to keep the clubface square through one's swing and impact, the clubface should swing on an arc, with the face rotating as it goes. According to Todd Anderson, "So when you think you're holding the face square, you're actually forcing it open. The clubhead should swing from the inside, out to the ball, then back to the inside, with the toe passing the heel. Best advice: Take a light grip, and feel like you maintain that pressure. Then just let your arms roll over naturally."More: Slice Fixes, by Todd Anderson

Photo By: Dom Furore

Choke down on the gripAccording to Rickie Fowler, a good way to hit a conservative tee ball is to choke down on the grip. "I always choke down on the grip a full two inches and narrow my stance so my feet are only slightly wider than my shoulders. I tee the ball lower and farther back, maybe three inches inside my left instep. This levels my shoulders more and helps me feel centered over the ball, like on an iron shot. One last thing I might check is that the shaft is basically straight up and down."More: My Keys To Great Driving, by Rickie Fowler

Photo By: Dom Furore

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