Five Super Golf Swing Drills

By Brendan O'Brien

A solid, consistent golf swing is accomplished with practice and repetition. This practice comes in the form of hitting balls at a driving range, playing rounds and performing drills. The advantage to drills is that they don't take much time or require a driving range, golf course or room to hit golf balls.

Stance

The ladder drill can help if you are having trouble with your aim. To perform the drill, drop a ball in front of you and address it as if you are lining up to take a swing with a mid-iron so your feet are neither open nor closed to the target.

Drop the club at your feet so the shaft runs from foot to foot. Look down and examine where the club is pointing and make adjustments. Imagine the club making a line to out to the target. If that line is to the left of the target, during a real golf shot, your ball will end up to the left. If the club's line is to the right of the target, then your ball will fly to the right of the target.

To correct, aim slightly left or right of your starting point, depending on the direction of the error. For example, if the club line is pointing to the left, adjust your stance slightly to the right and repeat the drill.

Do this drill regularly and you will see a noticeable difference in how you address the ball.

Follow-through Drill

One of the keys to a solid golf swing is the release, in which the wrists become uncocked and turn at impact with the ball. If that does not occur correctly, the club head will strike the ball at an angle, resulting in a ball flight to the right or left.

To perform this drill, take a club and swing about half your typical speed. Stop when your arms make a L during the backswing and check where your wrists are. Swing through and release, turning your wrists through the ball and finish by creating the reverse L as you follow through.

Continue swinging in this manner, but increase the speed. You will become more cognizant of these two important points in the golf swing while noticing increased power.

If the desired ball flight is not occurring while you're doing this drill, adjust your grip and arm angle. These should be slight adjustments that the individual golfer will need to experiment with, because it depends somewhat on the strength of the grip and velocity of the swing.

During the adjustments, continue to do the drill and test different arm angles and grips. This will help the golfer understand the relationship between club head, wrist motion, arm angle and grip in his own swing.

Putting Drill

Putting is a huge part of the game of golf, but is probably one of the least-practiced skills in the game. While being able to read greens is an important element to being a good putter, the most critical part is understanding pace. To perform this drill, place three balls at 5-feet intervals away from the hole on the putting green. Attempt to hit each ball into the hole, concentrating only on the length of your putting stroke. Every putt, no matter the distance, should be struck with the same speed of the putter. The only element that changes is the length of the backstroke. Continue to vary distances while keeping the same pace, but altering the length of the backswing. The final step is to do this drill with several balls and various distances with your eyes closed. This will allow you to feel the clubhead move back and forth through the ball.

Counting Drill

Got a hook or slice that is killing your golf game? Try this drill on for size. Take a normal backswing. At the top of the backswing, stop. Count to 2 before proceeding back to the ball. This will decrease the speed of your lower body and help you think of your swing in sequential parts, exposing issues with your downswing and giving you the ability to see, feel and correct them.

This drill will help the golfer expose an inconsistent velocity issue with her swing and body. If the body is slightly ahead or behind the golf swing, then the ball will be sliced or hooked. This drill will break this timing issue by making the golfer's body move at the same time as the club.

Penny Drill

This simple but extremely effective drill will help a golfer get the ball off the ground quickly. Take a penny and place it on a practice mat. Hit a penny off a mat. Try to hit the penny off the mat with different clubs. See how high you can get it to fly. This will help you stop topping the ball. Now try to hit the penny when a ball is on top of it. This will continue to train you not to top the ball.

About The Author

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his 15-year career. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.

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