This tip is in response to something I saw at this week's Phoenix Open.
Actually, I have known about this for a few years, but I thought I should share
it with you upon seeing a lot of these pros doing it.
I am not about to suggest some untested, revolutionary, breakthrough,
space-age type of techniques. No way! It's what the best players in the world
do, and because it's what the best do, it just might work for you, too.
"Keep your hands inside the club head as you swing back to waist level".
This is an especially good thought for the open-clubface-at-impact slicer. Most of
these slicers create their open clubface because they roll the club wide-open
during the first three feet of the swing. As a result, the club usually gets
way behind them at the top, and from that position, it is very difficult to
square it up. There must be some wild, compensating move made coming down.
If you think "hands inside, club head outside", this will keep your clubface
square at waist high, and will also help put you in the proper shape at the
top of your swing. It will definitely prevent that clockwise, rolling-open action of your forearms and club,
which has led to many disastrous shots over the years.
I received this tip a few years back at a lesson I had with the renowned teacher, Rick Smith.
The lesson was almost completely rained out, but he did
give me this one tip. The image he suggested to help me achieve "hands inside,
club head outside" was to feel as though the butt end of my club
traveled right past my right thigh. There was still a gap between my leg and
the club, but the butt end momentarily pointed at my right thigh. This, in turn, would
keep everything "one-piece", as well as keeping my clubface square, and also improving my swing plane.
If you look at many of the great ball strikers in the game today, you can see how clearly
they do this. Both Nick's, Faldo and Price, are very noticeable with
this move. Faldo, once he gets to waist high, will plane off with his wrists, whereas
Price will do more so with his arms, but they both reach waist level in
practically the same fashion.
Or look at Hal Sutton. Maybe you saw him today on television. He was
getting a decent amount of coverage until he made triple bogey at 17. Perhaps you
took note of his nice hands-in, club head-out takeaway. There is no rolling open action
in that move. Hal also happens to be one of the premier ball strikers in the game today.
Another image you can use to achieve this is to think of the swing as two
circles, or two hoola-hoops. One would be on the outside where the ball and
club head are, and the other on the inside where your hands are. From
there, just swing the club on the outer circle, and your hands on the inner circle. It's that
simple. Don't get too aggressive and follow the circle all the way around.
Just do it to waist level and you?ll be fine.
So remember, "your hands are in, the club head is out...as a result, you
will be square throughout".
Columns ©1999 Joseph K. Sullivan and GolfLink Inc. All rights reserved.