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Golf ó Swing Drills

There are dozens of sometimes clever, sometimes ridiculous tricks for improving your swing. We'll review some shortly. And hope they're viewed as clever, not ridiculous! But, first, some basics.

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STANCE AND BALL POSITION

Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart (unless you are Mr. Universe); slightly less for short irons, wider for long irons and wedges. Aim the club directly at the target and imagine a line between your position and it. That's the target line. Your body should be parallel to the target line, with the line of the shoulders perpendicular to the club face. Imagine you're standing on a ladder on the ground, with your feet on one side, the target line on the other. One rung connects you to the ball. If you're driving, you know you have the ball teed correctly if the top of it is slightly above the club's head. For a putt, since the common putter has a short, flat face, it should align along the ladder rung.

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WRISTS AND GRIP

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The grip should be firm, but not tense. You want control, not muscle. Your wrist position is essential to creating maximum impact at the proper angle. That does a lot more for distance than brute force. The most common mistake is to allow the lead wrist to collapse at impact. To firm up the wrists, take a club and raise it just using the wrist, keeping your arm at your side. Point the toe parallel to the ground and hold for five seconds. (Tough, isn't it!?) Repeat until your forearm feels used, but not sore. Switch arms and repeat. Take some swings with one hand/arm only. It's not a natural thing and doesn't improve your swing by itself; it's too different from a two-handed swing. But it helps develop control.

BODY

Take your normal address. (Address: the stance and position with respect to the ball before the swing.) Hold a club across your shoulders, then turn as if you were making a backswing. Get someone to watch you and verify that the club points four feet or more beyond the ball.

SWING DRILLS

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Remember that a swing is a kind of rotational movement. Key to that movement is to stay in the same plane on the downswing as you were in the backswing. Think of that plane as a round table top, tipped on edge and placed on the ball. The bottom half of the rim of that table is the arc your club should go through on the entire swing.

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Practice a backswing to downswing movement, but stop at the point of impact to verify that the clubface is along the rung of that ladder. If the clubface is open, you've rotated your right forearm too much. (For right-handed golfers.)

Place a half dozen tees in the ground a few inches apart along the rung of the ladder. Swing at one, then move forward to the next. With practice, you should be able to consistently clip the middle of a tee while staying in the swing plane.

RHYTHM AND BALANCE

That leads us to the last important elements: rhythm and balance. You can see it in person or on television ó the greats all have beautiful rhythm. That's key to a consistently good swing. But you can't have good rhythm without good balance and vice-versa.

The proper position and stance are static, balance is dynamic. Start with the static ó you can't do otherwise. But you need to retain good balance and rhythm through the entire swing.

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Don't rush your swing. With the spine tilted away from the target at address, your weight should be evenly distributed between your right and left feet. Then take a smooth pull back and an easy swing down.

As you practice a few swings have a friend gently push your shoulder blades, lower back, one shoulder in one direction then alternate. In every case, you should be solid and not about to fall over at any time. (We assume you've saved the drinking for AFTER the game!) Every portion of the swing should be smooth and on the backswing and the downswing you should feel like a well-oiled machine.



After writing all this matter on golf, we have undergone a sense of a gratification on its completion. If this information is utilized, we will feel even better.


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