One of the most common swing flaws amateurs have is swinging the club down into the ball on a path that is too steep and cuts across the target line from out to in. This produces a myriad of bad shots including slices, pulls, toe hits, thins, etc. Golf instructor Trillium Rose says many amateurs are told that if they shallow their downswing path and get the club to move from in-to-out in relation to the target line, all these faults will go away. The advice isn’t bad, she says, if it’s not misinterpreted.
“Hitting a draw does mean that your club direction must come from the inside,” says Rose, an instructor at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md. “But all too often players focus on getting the club on this path by forcing the arms to steer it in that direction. When they do this, they end up making a weak, unreliable, armsy swing and even if the ball does draw, it goes nowhere.”
Instead of worrying about steering the club on the correct path, it’s better to get the body set during the transition in such a way that a good downswing is the unconscious result, she says. “The transition from backswing to downswing is really the last point when our brains can control the swing with any consistency. The downswing happens too fast to make adjustments. So it’s better to get the body set in transition so the club comes down on that in-to-out path almost automatically.”
How do you do that? Before the club starts down, make a lateral bump with your hip toward the target, she says. This shallows the path the club will take to the ball and also clears enough room for the arms to swing down on an in-to-out path without interference from the body.
“The key is to keep your head and upper torso back while the lower body shifts forward,” she says. “This creates the tilt in the body you see me demonstrating.”
There are many muscles involved in this lateral shift including the quadriceps (thighs), gluteals (butt) and the illiacus, psoas, and adductors (hips). One key muscle group that is often ignored, but plays a key role in this side-bending move is the obliques (sides of your stomach). If you want to hit a draw, you need to train your body to move in a way that it’s probably not accustomed to. So click on the video below to see me demonstrate two exercises you can do in the gym or before a round to acclimate your body to this downswing and help train to hit a draw.