The US Open was a spectacular display of golf perfection by the best golfers in the world. The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts was a ball strikers dilemma. Many of the fairways were setup like a snake going through grass and the rough was even worse than the deep rough plays the previous week at the Canadian Open. Only the best ball strikers survived.
I was surprised to see that most golfers who hit errant shots seemed to know that they were in trouble as soon as they hit the ball. Their swing either ended up with a one-handed grip on the club or they were struggling to keep their balance. They seemed to sense that their shot was in trouble from the get-go. They had either rushed their backswing or tried to add more power into their down-swing. They lost their balance!
Frustrating Miss-Hits Happen
Recreational golfers create a lot more miss-hits than the pros. That becomes a lot more evident when you play with golfers who shoot under 40 for 9 holes. Most of their drives are dead nuts on the center of their club face. Then, out-of-the-blue, they hit a duck hook or booming slice for no apparent reason. Of course, this happens more often for higher handicappers and their miss-hits get worse as they try to hit the greens in regulation.
If the pros and recreational golfers could just eliminate their adrenaline rush to avoid those miss-hits, golf would be easy. I must admit that Matt Fitzpatrick’s miracle bunker shot on the final hole of the 2022 US Open must have been filled with adrenaline.
Strategy to Avoid Miss-Hits
1/ Make a controlled practice swing exactly with the speed that you want to execute your shot.
2/ Your drives need more body rotation to generate more power, but your focus needs to be on a smooth accelerating swing through your ball and up your target line
3/ Limit the backswing for your iron shots with your straight leading arm at about the 10 o’clock position. Your power is primarily coming from the release of your lagging wrists through impact.
4/ A limited iron backswing also helps you avoid casting from the top and helps you control your swing direction up your target line.
5/ Include a flat wrist lag in your backswing and a full follow through to a balanced pose for your drives and fairway shots.
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Thought for the Day: A good golf partner is one who’s slightly worse than you.