Published: 06:00, 05 February 2021
Last week we spoke about the importance of having a solid start and consistent finish position. This week it’s all about the path that your club travels on as it approaches impact.
Chris Weston is Head PGA Professional at Sittingbourne & Milton Regis Golf Club and owner of the CW Golf Studio. During the course of this six-week programme, he will share with you some of his most popular drills and routines to benefit all golfers irrespective of their golf handicap or age.
The majority of golfers I work with have a tendency to hit a bit of a fade or slice where, for a right-hander, the ball bends viciously from left to right.
This happens when your swing path is travelling in one direction but the club face is looking the opposite way. This imparts the slice spin, which tends to be the destructive shot that many people experience.
I’m simplifying things and there can be a number of other contributing factors but from a purely descriptive point of view this is what happens.
If this is a shot you experience, then this classic Ben Hogan drill is one of the best practice exercises you can do and one that my students will be familiar with.
For this you will need either a set of drill sticks (very bendy sticks that you can purchase from any golf retailer) or a bit of plain old garden cane. The only thing you need to be aware of, if you use garden cane, is that if you hit the cane whilst swinging the club the chances are that it will break!
Ben Hogan used to imagine a pane of glass, which ran from the ball and cut through his throat. Then, as he swung the club, he focused on keeping the clubhead beneath it so as not to smash it.
If he succeeded then he knew that his swing was ‘on plane’ and from there it was just a case of controlling where the club face was looking.
For us, rather than a pane of glass (which if you got this drill wrong could prove costly and highly dangerous!) we use the drill sticks.
Place one stick along the ground pointing towards your intended target and the other jutting out of the ground pointing towards your shoulder line. The challenge then is to take a swing ensuring that the clubhead stays underneath the stick as it approaches the ball at impact.
If you hit the stick you know that your swing is ‘over the top’ with the most likely outcome being that annoying slice but if you miss it and don’t ‘smash the glass’ you will gain confidence that your swing is on the correct path.
From there all we need to do is make sure we are in control of the club face and can produce the shape of ball flight that we desire.