Even good players lapse into bad habits that make it hard to consistently repeat their ball flight. Often the root cause is trying to over-control the shot. One common problem is increasing grip pressure on the downswing or trying to steer the club back to square at impact.
To beat these faults, tee up a ball just in front of middle in your stance and make some left-arm-only swings with a middle iron. Make a full backswing, and let your left elbow rotate through and fold on the way to a full finish.
Using this drill, if you yank the handle on the downswing, you'll hit a bad slice or even shank the ball. If you flip at it or try to lift it, you might miss completely. Ten minutes of left-arm-only swings to start your session can work wonders for your technique. You'll generate speed easily and restore some control.
ON THE COURSE
HOW TO VARY YOUR SHOT TRAJECTORY
You've certainly heard about changing your ball position to hit the ball higher or lower, but that's only part of the equation. Trajectory control comes mostly from body tilt and the timing of your release.
To hit a low shot, adjust your ball position slightly back--the width of a ball behind your normal spot--and concentrate on keeping your shoulders, hips and knees level through the swing (above, left). Also, hold your wrist hinge a little longer in the downswing.
For a high shot, move the ball slightly forward--one ball ahead of your normal position--and focus on keeping a slight backward tilt in your shoulders, hips and knees. You want your right side to be a touch lower than your left (above, right). Then release your wrists a little earlier for more loft and a higher flight.
Focusing on rhythm and tempo during a round can be more helpful than thinking about mechanics. Sam Snead liked whistling a slow waltz when he played. A caddie once told my dad to try chewing gum. The point is, find something you like that can help you stay calm and maintain rhythm.
--Dr. Bob Rotella