1. Keep Your Hands Low Limiting the height of the follow through will effectively reduce the height of your shots. The lower the hands, the lower the ballflight. Moving the ball back in your stance or choosing a stronger club and trying to swing easy are other ways to accomplish the same thing, but they’re less reliable and more difficult to execute. Instead, keep your hands low in the finish (compare the two photos at right), and the trajectory of your shots will be lower.
2. Give Your Spine The Forearm Make sure you’re on-plane at the top of the swing to guarantee solid ballstriking and increased accuracy. Notice in the photo at left how my right forearm is parallel to my spine, my left wrist is flat and my elbows and arms form a tight triangle. These are indications that I’ve rotated my shoulders into the backswing perfectly.
3. Use Your Body For Power Every good golfer knows that power comes from the body, not the arms. To learn to power the club with your body instead of your arms and hands, put the club behind the ball at address, with your body in a dead-stop position. Without taking a backswing, try to drag the ball into the air. If you’re a player who uses his or her hands to control the club, you’ll probably struggle at first. However, you’ll quickly find that once you start moving the club with your body, you’ll begin to get the ball in the air more consistently. This helps you turn fully through the ball on the downswing.
Steal My One-Piece Takeaway
Stop slices and hooks by simply ‘pushing” the club straight back
The first two feet of my swing are critical. If I start the club back on plane, I won’t have to reroute it on the way down, so I can just rip it without fearing a mis-hit. Granted, my takeaway isn’t perfect. I occasionally yank the club too far inside [then come over the top in the downswing], or “lift” it up and out [which gets me “trapped” coming down]. But I can fix those flaws.
The Key: “Push” the club straight back. Picture a wall running parallel to your toe line and straight up through your hands [above]. As you start your swing, keep your hands and the clubhead on the wall.
Game Changer No. 3
Do a “Turn and Load” at the Top
I’m flexible enough to turn as far back as I want without discomfort. In fact, I often turn too much. I can rotate my shoulders past 90 degrees without thinking, which makes it difficult to get everything back to where it needs to be at impact. I’m not doing that as much this season.
The Key: I stop my swing when my left shoulder hits my chin. If that’s plenty of turn for me, then it’s plenty for you. If I stop my shoulder turn at 90 degrees while keeping my right knee flexed — which lets me load a lot of energy — there’s not a par 5 on earth I can’t reach in two. Your swing will feel tighter, not shorter — a great feeling to have.
Game Changer No. 4
Hit Irons with Your Left Knee
When I’m hitting driver, reaching a solid top position is my only goal. If I’m good at the top, all I have to do is unwind and the ball will go far. When the ball’s on the ground instead of teed up, however, there’s an extra step.
The Key: To hit solid irons, move down and forward from the top as you unwind, so that the bottom of your swing occurs slightly in front of the ball. It’s easy to do if you start your downswing by driving your left knee toward the target, then straighten it as you approach impact [above]. This gets your energy and swing power moving in the direction of the hit, so you leave nothing behind.
Game Changer No. 5
Wedge It Close with Your Body
If there’s one area of my game where the stats show obvious improvement, it’s my full wedges. Last year I ranked 153rd in proximity to the pin on shots from 125 to 150 yards. This year I’ve moved up 139 spots to No. 14! And I’m knocking shots from this range almost four feet closer to the hole.
The Key: Move your body and arms as a single unit. This turns your normal power swing into a control swing, and control is far more important than power from short range. Here’s a visual that’ll help: At address, your shoulders and arms form a triangle in front of your chest.
Your goal? Keep the triangle intact and in front of your chest from start to finish. It helps to swing with “dead arms” and use your torso, not your legs, as the engine of your swing.