Curing common golf swing faults

Published 29/09/2009 08:00:00

Such is the fickle nature of golf that all players, including the best in the world, develop faults in their game from time to time. Part of the skill of becoming a good player is being aware of your problem shots or swing flaws so that you know how to deal with problems as and when they arise. Drills and practice exercises are particularly effective at grooving good habits and eliminateing damaging flaws from your game.


Keep feet together for better balance

Bobby Jones used to practice his footwork and balance by hitting shots with his feet together, starting with gentle mini-swings before progressing to half-swings.


Learn the fault-finding sequence

To search for a fault without proper regard for the sequence would be futile, for the obvious fault is most certainly created by a mistake at an earlier stage.

The sequence is this:

  • Grip
  • Blade
  • Ball Position
  • Stance
  • Posture 
  • Setup
  • Backswing
  • Downswing
  • Through swing
  • Follow-through


Turn left foot to right to beat a hook

"I admit my left foot is in a very unusual position because I point it one-half turn to the right," says Chi Chi Rodriguez in his book The Secrets of Power Golf.

"It appears that I am pigeon-toed when I do this. But understand my reasoning. Because of my very hard downswing, my left foot has to serve as a brace. It keeps me from losing my balance and actually falling.

"Without the iron left side, there would be nothing to arrest the turning of the hips, and subsequently I would get a hook."


Bent is better than straight left arm

Trying to keep the left arm straight can lead to too much tension in the arms and shoulders. We see players who try to keep the left arm rigid and try to force extension so much on the backswing that the arm reflexively relaxes and breaks down on the forward swing.

If you are going to err one way or the other, it's better that the left arm is slightly bent on the backswing than dead straight.


Accept your limitations

Knowing and accepting your limitations and faults is a key to improving your game for golfers of all levels, ages and abilities.


Take hands out of the stroke to beat yips

To rid yourself of the yips, keep things as simple as possible. Take your hands out of the stroke. Move only your arms and shoulders. It should almost feel as if you're in a plaster cast.


Take a square divot from the sand

Phil Rodgers has this advice in How to Play Lower Handicap Golf:

"In teaching the basic greenside sand shot, I have my students imagine the back of the ball sitting in the middle of an eight-inch square box.

"I ask them to clear that whole box out of the bunker. The clubhead enters the sand about four inches behind the ball and exits about two to three inches in front of it. The 'divot' is also the width of the box, because the sand explodes out to the sides as well as ahead.

"The more rectangular the divot, the worst the shot. It means you've cut the ball instead of blasting it."


The easier the swing, the better the strike

In A Swing for Life, Nick Faldo says:

"On my travels around the world, I don't see too many golfers who swing the club too slowly, but I see plenty who swing it too fast, and it kills them.

"My advice is to watch players such as Ernie Els and Fred Couples, slow swingers who hit the ball a mile, and learn from their example.

"The easier you swing the club, the better you'll strike the ball. Plus you will always have that little thrust in reserve when you need it."


Split hands to hole more short putts

Split-hand putting allows you to stroke the ball solidly in the right direction, even when you feel the pressure in your stomach. This extra control works for short putts, because distance is never really an issue. However we wouldn't recommend it on longer putts - anything over eight feet is too long.


Setup should help you with your chips

Most poor chippers use too much wrist and hand action. If you do this, you're basically scooping the shot which means you'll lose the correct angle at the back of your left wrist, hit up on the shot, and hang back on your right side.

All of these actions move the bottom of your swing back, away from the hole meaning you'll more than likely hit the ground behind the ball.


1.  I have been starting to learn playing golf recently. But my performance was really disappointing and I even began to doubt that I could never be able to play it until days ago a friend of mine recommended me this ebook “The Simple Golf Swing”, also called “Golf Swing Guru”. It is the best selling golf swing book authored by David Nevogt, who is a golf expert and a great golf teacher.

I have to say that this book is really helpful in solving your swing problems.

comment by Fit - 27/01/2010 17:25

Add your comment