Saturday Morning Tip: Fix your full swing with your short game
I've been following the teaching of Jason Guss ever since his mentor, Rick Smith, told me four years ago that Jason will be one of the game's next great instructors. I must say, I have to agree. Jason's thoughts are clear, simple and logical. I've also observed his golf swing first-hand: He's been one of our equipment testers for the last three Hot List sessions; he can really move it. Here are three of his simple tips that you can put into your game right now for this weekend, using the short game to fix your full swing. I bet they will help you, whether you're trying to Break 100, 90 or 80. Jason is based at the Otsego Club & Resort in Gaylord, Mich., where he recently opened his new academy. You can follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.
Breaking 100: Keep your eyes level to hit the ball solid
A similarity between the chipping setup and full-swing impact is eye alignment. In both cases, the eyes should be horizontal to the ground. If your left eye is higher than your right, it will encourage you to keep your weight on your back foot as you swing down, which will cause your swing arc to bottom out behind the ball, and you'll hit it fat or thin. Level eyes give you the best chance to put the bottom of the swing just ahead of the ball, resulting in solid impact.
*Editor's note: To check that your eyes are level with the ground, hold two golf balls, one under each eye and release them at the same moment. If they hit the ground (or floor) at slightly different times, you know your eyes are not level./RS
Breaking 90: Let your left arm lead
Here's a common problem I see a lot in my teaching: Letting the clubhead reach the ball before the left hand passes over the ball. Most tour pros do the opposite. In fact, the left arm and shaft should be in line with each other even past impact. This sequencing is easy to practice on pitches and other greenside shots, and then transfer to your full swing. *
*Editor's note: This weekend when you warm up on the range (you do take some extra time to warm up, don't you?), ** with your very first shots with a wedge **think of keeping the back of your left wrist ahead of the ball through impact. Then you'll find it's like to happen automatically with your full swing./RS
Breaking 80: Turn your body with the club
*The impulse to hit the ball--and not swing through it--makes a lot of amateurs move the club with their arms only. But just like on a pitch shot, the body motion propels the club through impact on a full swing. The hinge-and-hold pitching drill helps ingrain body motion and the hinging needed with any club. Grip a wedge about mid-shaft and make a backswing as if you're pitching (remember to hinge your wrists). Now swing down over the top of an imaginary ball. The object is to keep the butt end of the club from hitting your body. Do this by continuing your body motion while not unhinging your lead wrist. Keep your body moving!
*Editor's note: On the range this weekend, alternate this wedge drill with hitting five balls with a 6-iron. You'll soon feel the move Jason is talking about with your full swing./RS