Published: 06:00, 12 February 2021
I often get asked which I prefer, a poor swing but great control of the club face or a perfect swing with no control of the club face. My answer is always the same.
The swing is important because it helps deliver a quality and consistency of strike but the club face ultimately decides where that golf ball is going to end up. As long as you can hit the ball consistently and cleanly out of the centre of the club, then the club face will look after the rest.
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.
One thing I always say though is that I can’t coach feelings. By that I mean that we can work on achieving certain movements and positions in the golf swing and creating different shapes of shot, but I couldn’t tell you what that draw or fade feels like.
If your hands aren’t ‘educated’ and you don’t know what it feels like to strike the ball with an open or closed club face then we will always struggle to control the ball flight. If we can’t draw or fade the ball then how can we expect to hit that straight shot that everybody is chasing?
Hopefully, after last week’s pane of glass session your swing path will be on the right track and for the purposes of today’s drill we are assuming that you now have the perfect swing!
When you next get the opportunity to hit balls try working on my Goldilocks principle to help you gain control of the club face and hit the shape of shot you desire.
Goldilocks wasn’t the nicest person, after all she broke into the Three Bears’ house, ate their porridge and slept in their beds but she did bring us the tools to hit that golf ball better.
Now, imagine their porridge. I always equate Daddy Bear’s hot porridge as a Hook, Mummy Bear’s cold porridge as a Slice and Baby Bear’s perfect porridge as Straight. We then hit three shots. Don’t worry about your swing path, just focus on the club face.
The first is too hot and the biggest hook you can hit. I always imagine a start/finish line cutting through the centre of the ball and a race between the toe and heel of the golf club. In order to hit that big hook, my hands have to make sure that the toe wins the race and gets back to the finish line before the heel. This results in a nice big hook.
The next is too cold and the biggest slice you can hit where, this time, the heel of the club wins the race and gets back to the finish line first.
The third and final shot is perfect where this time you let your hands work naturally as the club travels through impact. The plan here is that after you have tried to hit the biggest hook you can do, followed by the biggest slice, then your hands will begin to learn what is required to hit the ball straight or, at the very least, straighter!
So, next time you’re practising think about Goldilocks and learn what a straight shot feels like by trying to hit it too hot (hook), too cold (slice) and perfect (straight). If you can control ball flight you’re more than halfway there!
A balanced, consistent swing with good ‘static’ positions, a swing path that doesn’t shatter that pane of glass and club face control that Goldilocks would be proud of is almost guaranteed to hit more fairways and greens.
Next week: short game!
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