Breaking 80April 30, 2013

Develop A Tight Coil Going Back

Better players are already good ball-strikers, but they often lose distance because of poor body action. Imagine that your body turns back in a 2-1 ratio from the top down. If your left shoulder turns 90 degrees, your left hip turns 45 and your left knee about 22½. This creates a tight coil down to your feet.

Here's a good drill. Place a large range bucket behind you and squeeze it lightly between your calves at address. Swing back, and feel your left calf slide along the rim of the bucket (above, left). Start down with your lower body, separating your left calf from the bucket. Your right leg should hold for a split second before your left pulls it forward (above, right). You'll maintain a good coil, and send energy down the shaft and to the clubhead.

Solid Contact

SOLID CONTACT

SYNC UP YOUR ARMS AND BODY

When good players try to rip a tee shot, they tend to thrust their hips toward the ball to start the downswing. This causes the right elbow to get stuck behind the body. Then the club approaches impact from too far inside, leading to mis-hits both left and right.

If this sounds familiar, make some swings with your right foot pulled back as shown above. This gets your right side out of the way and allows you to feel your right arm and shoulder move out toward the ball on the downswing. It prevents your right arm from getting stuck behind you. As you hit balls like this, gradually inch your right foot toward its normal position. You'll quickly learn to quiet your hips for longer, straighter tee shots.

STAT FACTS

The low-80s-shooter typically hits 10 chip or pitch shots a round and gets only two of them within five feet. So stop blaming your putter when you don't get up and down--and go to work on your chipping. --Peter Sanders / shotbyshot.com