June 13, 2007

Streamline your swing

A drill to reduce excessive movement

RIGHT-FOOT-BACK DRILL This stance encourages good rhythm, balance and the proper swing path. It also reduces body movement.

RIGHT-FOOT-BACK DRILL This stance encourages good rhythm, balance and the proper swing path. It also reduces body movement.

The golf swing is geared around the swinging of the arms and club combined with the rotation of the body. The right blend of these elements is essential, because an incorrect combination will result in problems. Here's a drill that can help. It's an exercise the talented South African player Trevor Immelman uses frequently. As you address the ball on the practice tee, drop your right foot back with the heel slightly off the ground, and try to get that foot as close to in line with your left foot as you can (above right). Then hit shots this way.

This stance does several things to improve your swing. First, it encourages your body to rotate back and through without swaying or sliding. Second, it promotes the arms and club to swing on a rounded arc, allowing the club to approach the ball on a shallow, inside path—eliminating the dreaded "over-the-top" move. Third, with this drill it's very hard to rush your swing so it encourages good tempo and balance. Finally, it will give you a great awareness of releasing the clubhead freely and squarely through impact. Give it a try.