The 9 Most Frustrating Golf Shots

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The 9 Most Frustrating Golf Shots

June 08, 2015

Photo By: Joey Terrill

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Illustration by Golden Cosmos

Photo By: Illustration by Ben Wiseman

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

Photo By: Dom Furore

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

The Shank

A shank is not caused by an improper swing, but rather a result of failing to rotate the face of the club from open to closed on impact. At impact, your thumbs should be pointing right at the ball to avoid this common golf error. According to Dean Reinmuth, "The golfer who hits shanks doesn't allow the forearms to rotate the clubface toward the target. This means the face is open and the hosel makes contact with the ball. Correct this mistake by letting the clubface 'release' through impact."More: Fast Fixes For Every Fault: Shank, by Dean Reinmuth

Photo By: Joey Terrill

The Pop-Up Drive

In order to prevent those pesky, baseball-like pop-ups with your drives, stop swinging down so steeply on the ball. According to Jim Flick, "The cause of this problem is usually an overactive right hand, arm and shoulder on the downswing. A good solution is to practice hitting drivers on the range while releasing your right hand from the club just before impact. This drill trains the left arm to become the master arm, so it controls the speed and angle at which the clubhead swings into the ball."More: Fast Fixes For Every Fault: Pop-Up, by Jim Flick

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

The Topped Shot

Topping the ball is a frequent struggle for golfers, and it is all a result of rising out of your initial address posture during the downswing in an effort to lift the ball. According to Rick Smith, "set up with a clubshaft or stake behind you. When you start your downswing, stick your butt out and bump the shaft. This will keep your lower body and upper body in the posture you established at address, and you'll feel the clubhead moving downward and slightly from inside the target line."More: Fast Fixes For Every Shot: Topped Shots, by Rick Smith

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

The Double-Hit Chip

Few things are more frustrating in golf than a chip shot in which your club catches the ball again on the follow-through. This is easily preventable, as described by Rick Smith. "Think of the clubhead going down at impact and staying low, either remaining in the grass or coming up no more than a couple of feet. It's similar to the way you play a buried lie in the bunker, where there's little to no follow-through, and the clubhead stays in the sand."More: Why'd I Do That?, by Rick Smith

Photo By: Illustration by Golden Cosmos

The Snap Hook

According to Rick Smith, a snap-hooked drive into water comes from an adjustment that players usually make to their swing to avoid such an undesirable shot. "With water on the left, these players try to start the ball further right, but they instinctively fear going way right, so they spin the hips and shoulders left and release the club more. That sends the ball left. They need to trust their fade, maintain rhythm, and feel the lower body go toward the target, which drops the club on an inside path."More: Why'd I Do That?, by Rick Smith

Photo By: Illustration by Ben Wiseman

The Skulled Pitch Shot

In order to control one's pitch shot and not skull it, Butch Harmon advocates the need to swing down on the ball rather than up. "Start with 75 percent of your weight on your front foot and play the ball about middle in your stance. Now you're set up to catch it solid with a descending strike. To make sure you hit it down, get the club up in the backswing. Hinge your wrists abruptly, then pull through with your left hand. Keep your weight forward throughout the swing."More: Why You Skull Pitch Shots, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

The Toe Hit

This irritating mis-hit is easily preventable. According to Chuck Cook, "The most common cause hitting off the toe is releasing the club early, the wrists unhinging and the right arm straightening too soon on the downswing. The best way to improve your strikes is to practice hitting punch shots with a middle iron. The shorter backswing and firmer wrists will promote a hands-leading impact position with a straight left arm."More: Fast Fixes For Every Fault: Toe Hit, by Chuck Cook

Photo By: Stephen Szurlej

The Pull

The golfer with a pulled shot is making contact with outside part of the ball, a result of swinging over the top or straightening your wrists too soon. According to Todd Anderson, a quick fix to this includes getting "a feel for hitting the inside part of the ball by making practice swings with your right hand open on the grip. Focus on keeping the palm behind the shaft and pointing at the inside quadrant of the ball through impact. You'll keep the face square and start the ball on line."More: Fast Fixes For Every Fault: Pull, by Todd Anderson

Photo By: Dom Furore

The Push

A pushed shot is often the result of spinning the lower body open too quickly on the downswing. According to Butch Harmon, this causes the club to drop behind the body and approach the ball too much from the inside. "Make the opposite move: Don't use your lower body as much, and swing your arms past your chest through impact. First, set up in a closed stance, which makes it harder for your lower body to rotate open. Then, focus on letting your arms extend and release past you."More: Fast Fixes For Every Fault: Push, by Butch Harmon

Photo By: J.D. Cuban

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