Eliminate the left side

Published 22/09/2010 07:43:05

One problem with long hitters is that their power is usually accompanied by some wildness. Wildness means unpredictability. Standing on the tee, you're never sure where the ball is going to go. this leads to hesitation, a tentative swing, and more wildness. It's a vicious cycle.


Wouldn't it be better for your game (and your confidence) if you knew that there's no way you're going to hit it left? As if a giant wall is erected on the left edge of the fairway preventing any shot from going past it? Sure it would, especially if hazards lurk along the left side. You'd swing confidently, knowing the trouble won't come into play. And your shot pattern will be straight to a slight fade, which is more controllable. Here are a few adjustments to help you eliminate the left side of the golf course.


Weaken the Left Hand

Many power hitters adopt a strong left-hand grip. It feels powerful because it activates the left wrist and allows more hand action through the ball. But such a grip means you're constantly fighting a hook. So, you compensate by sliding your hips toward the target, moving our swing center ahead of the ball, and swinging out to the right. That strong left hand then must time the release perfectly to bring the ball back to the left and prevent a block. But the clubface often is either open or snapped shut, resulting in an errant drive.


Weaken the left-hand grip so you see 1-1/2 to 2 knuckles. Instantly, your body will make adjustments: The clubface won't be threatening to close, and instead of sliding your hips toward the target and swining out to the right, your hips will rotate through the ball, allowing you to bring the club down the line to impact. You'll find that you can't rely on your hands to square the clubface, instead releasing the club by rotating your hips and upper body counter-clockwise. Finish with your right arm running across your chest and your hands well past your left shoulder.


Lose the Offset

Look at your equipment. If you're like most amateurs, the clubs in your bag don't match what you're trying to accomplish. For example, many amateurs play with offset irons (the shaft is set ahead of the clubface) under the misconception that they're easier to hit. They're not necessarily easier to hit, but they are easier to hit left.


That fraction of an inch between shaft and clubface makes it easier to close the club coming through the ball. It's a "hook helper" that the strong hitter, looking to eliminate the left side of the golf course, would do well without.


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