The “inside” track to better golf shots

Efficient and highly effective downswing motions are those that begin from the ground up. The late Ben Hogan once said that the fastest and easiest way to ruin the perfect backswing is to begin the downswing with the hands and arms. It’s no coincidence that he was one of, if not the very best, at initiating the downward motion of his golf swing with his lower half. His combination of lateral movement and rotation allowed him to consistently deliver the club on plane with a tremendous amount of speed and power.

The following drill was made popular by US Open Champion Corey Pavin in the mid-nineties and it is outlined and illustrated here. Your ability to implement this drill into your practice routine and execute it properly will help you with the sequence of your downswing and forward motion to the target. The end result is the ability to generate more clubhead speed and avoid one of the game’s deadliest mistakes: the over the top “chop”.

This drill is best performed with a long iron or a utility club, so start by pulling one out of your bag. Set up and be sure to put yourself in an athletic ready setup condition. Now, anchor the shaft by placing the palm of your left hand on top of the butt end. Make sure the shaft is perpendicular to the ground by extending your left arm (for right-handed players) and position it opposite your right foot.

With your left arm locked in and extended, make a backswing and pause at the top making sure your make a full turn and shift your weight into your right side. It’s important to stay in your posture and not “stand up” out of your spine angle as you swing to the top.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Start the downswing, by bumping your left hip toward the target, while keeping your left hand on top of the club in a fixed position. This will allow you to drop your right arm to your right side and deliver the club from inside the target line. As you rotate your hips to the left, your right arm will swing under your left through the passage way that you established when your lower body “cleared”. The result: shots that start on the proper line and a higher quality of contact, which leads to improved distance control and a greater number of scoring opportunities.
By Matt Malario

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