I see some of the same swing errors every day on the driving range. Even though every golfer is a unique individual, the swing faults are usually very common.
Here are some swing faults along with corrections and drills to help you alleviate these problems:
• Keeping your head down. You probably have had someone tell you to keep your head down during a golf swing. If you keep your head down, you will have improper posture over the ball.
Instead, you need to think “chin-up, eyes down.” You can’t take a proper shoulder turn if your head is truly down. Remember that shoulders must turn under your chin.
Fix and drill: Stand tall facing a mirror. Bow forward from the hips until you see a crease in your pants and have a slight flexion in your knees. Look into the mirror, keeping your chin up, and then let your eyes drop until you see the ball.
• Wristy takeaway. This happens quite often especially when chipping and pitching.
Fix: You need to use a one-piece takeaway, in which the shoulders, arms and club go back together in unison and the wrist does not bend.
Drill: Put a second ball about 12 inches behind the ball you are hitting and push the second ball away on your backswing.
• Sway. This is excessive lower body lateral movement on the backswing to the outside of the back foot.
Fix: You need to shift your weight to the inside of the back foot, keeping the back knee flexed.
Drill: Place a doorstop on the outside of the back foot. Shift your weight to the inside of the back leg, keeping your back foot on the doorstop. The door stop will help you feel if you are swaying.
• Casting or swinging over the top. This is a premature un-cocking of the wrist on the forward swing. The key to fixing this is to start the forward swing with your lower body.
Next, pull the arms down to the back hip and let the hands bring the shaft. The last thing to come into the hitting area is the clubhead.
Drill: Baseball swings. Start with feet together and swing the club to the top of the backswing. To initiate the forward swing, you will step toward the target, similar to a baseball swing, and then bring the arms and clubhead.
These are just a few of the swing faults that are common to most golfers. We will discuss others in future articles.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. firstname.lastname@example.org; golfdoctorjean.com