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Hit it Straight!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hitting it straight!

To help my students with this concept, I use a baseball field as a visual to help them understand how they are swinging down the path towards the target. Most amateur golfers swing towards left field with the clubface open in relation to the path and this is why they slice the ball (ball moving from left to right during the flight of the ball). Players that hook the ball tend to swing towards right field with the clubface closed in relation to the path (ball is moving from right to left during the flight of the golf ball). To hit the ball straight we want the path to go right towards the pitcher and center field with the clubface square to the target line. Here are some ways to help you make changes based on your swing:



If you swing left of the target line and tend to slice the ball (divots go to the left of the target), we want you to swing more around your body on the backswing (flatter) to allow you to swing to the right more on your downswing. You can feel like the club doesn’t go above your shoulders on the backswing. Please see picture:


If you swing right of the target line on the downswing and tend to hook the ball, we want you to swing more upright as opposed to swinging more around your body (Keeping your hands away from your body). This will allow you to be able to swing more left on the downswing. Please see picture:



If your clubface is open in relation to your path and the ball moves from left to right, we need you to be able to square up the clubface at impact. A simple way for you to do that is to imagine a table in front of you (waist high) and milk is spilled all over the table. On the downswing we want you to feel like you are wiping it up with your right hand. See picture:


If your clubface is closed in relation to your path and the ball moves from right to left, we need you to be able to hold the face open more at impact. Again, with the baseball field image, imagine you were trying to hit the ball to right field. As you start your downswing, get the feeling the all of your weight is shifting to the left at impact and your hands are ahead of the ball as you make contact with the ball. Or feel like the heel of the club gets to the ball first. Please see picture:

As you practice these concepts, both path and clubface position, we want the path down the target line with a square clubface for a straight shot.  Make sure you pick out a specific target so you can see exactly what is happening during the flight of the ball.  Make adjustments based on how the ball is flying.  Make sure not to hit the same shot twice unless it is the shot that you desire.  So if your shot is to the right, feel like your backswing is more around your body and wipe the table.  If your shot is to the left, feel like your backswing is more upright and the heel arrives at the ball first.

Following these simple tips really help straighten out my students ball flights!

Great golfing,

Mike Kelly, PGA
Head Golf Professional

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