There are lots of ways to create mishit shots, but you should learn the 3 basic tricks to eliminate at least 50% of YOUR mishits. If you are falling back when you swing or taking a divot before impact with the ball, your swing arc is bottoming out too early. Using the following “tricks” will help you learn the correct impact position to avoid mishits and should help you reform your swing.
Before you start to use these swing “tricks”, calm your mind and stop trying to knock the skin off your ball. Your last great shot or your last missed shot may be motivating you to swing harder. Get that out of your mind. Setup and make the exact practice swing that you plan to make before you hit your next shot. Learn from that swing by watching where you skim the ground or take any divot. Adjust your setup and make the practice swing that you want to execute.
Use the following “tricks” when you find that you are rushing your swing on a windy day, hitting from a bad lie in the rough or when you are planning to hit a miracle shot. A proper swing will allow you to transfer your weight to your leading foot during your transition and allow your swing-arc to bottom-out at the correct point for your driver, irons and wedges.
1/ Driver Trick: [Error to avoid: bottoming out under your ball and causing pop-ups]
Tee your ball up to about half the ball height above the top of our driver head. Impact should be on a 3-to-7-degree upswing. Setup with the ball off the heel of our leading foot and the face of your driver about 5 inches directly behind your ball (where you want to bottom-out your swing arc – just like Moe Norman). [Tilting your trailing shoulder down and moving your trailing foot back 2 inches off the target line during your setup will help you create the right swing arc.] Swing from the inside-and-up to launch your ball for more distance.
2/ Iron and Wedge Trick: [Error to avoid: swing arc bottoming-out before the ball.]
Your weight needs to be transferred to your leading foot before impact. Setup with a bent leading knee to keep 60% of your weight on your leading foot throughout the swing. Your ball is centered in your stance (narrower for your wedge shots), square the leading edge of your iron and point your shaft grip at your belt buckle. Control the distance of your shot with a full backswing (or limited for a wedge) keeping a straight leading arm. Let the weight of your club start your downswing (DON’T RUSH IT). Complete your follow-through directly up your target line.
3/ Bunker Trick: [Error to avoid: Burying your wedge and losing power to exit the trap.]
Bend your leading knee to keep 60% of your weight forward. Setup with a wide AND open stance (20 to 30 degrees open) with the ball centered between your feet. Open the face of your chosen wedge to ensure that the blade will bounce through the sand (NOT DIG IN). Control the distance of your shot with the loft of your club and with an equal amount of backswing and follow-through.
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