Hit More Greens In Regulation This Spring By Staying More Centered-

As the golf season quickly approaches the time has come to brush off the dust and rust on those irons and to get back into playing shape.  Think about what will make this year your best on the golf course. Is it more power? More accuracy? If you’re like most golfers you want the ball to fly like a rocket, and for the shot to feel great. With that in mind, a good goal for this year might encompass striking the ball more consistently to hit more greens in regulation.

One of the most important aspects of solid ball striking is to strike the ball first, and then take a divot. This is done by controlling the lowpoint of the golf swing. The lowpoint should be just ahead of the golf ball to ensure solid contact. How can you improve your lowpoint so that you hit the ball solid every time? Start by staying more centered in the backswing.  When looking at the driving range this year at the Wells Fargo Championship I saw every player on the range take a divot after the ball on their iron shots. The winner, Lucas Glover, was the best that week and provides a great example of staying centered in the backswing. Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and with his recent swing change Tiger Woods, are also prime examples of great players who have stayed centered in the backswing.

Shifting your weight dramatically to your right foot or swaying back away from the target with your upper body will make it almost impossible to control the low point of your swing. By shifting or swaying too much, the player is forced to hunt for the ball, as well as compensate by lunging back into the ball on the downswing. When shifting your weight by moving your upper body back and behind, the ball literally moves in your line of vision. As your upper body shifts back towards the target during your downswing, your eyes have to search to locate the ball. This moment of hunting will kill your hand-eye coordination and your consistency. Instead, focus on a pivot that will make the swing more effortless. The best players throughout time make a minimal move away from the golf ball as they rotate their shoulders in a circle around their center. The center of the shoulders should remain fixed throughout the swing to help the club bottom out in the same place every time. By not shifting your weight, and rotating your shoulders correctly, you will create a more centered backswing. As a result, you do not have to rely on timing, and will find the lowpoint in front of the golf ball more consistently.

Drill #1

To keep your body centered in the backswing, have a friend hold a shaft with the grip end an inch behind your right ear (for a right handed golfer). If you are swaying back in your backswing, you will feel the grip touch your ear. In the backswing allow your left shoulder to turn down more towards the ball, and underneath your chin so that your shoulders are rotating in a circle correctly. Another version of this drill is to find a door frame at home. Without a club, practice your backswing keeping the right side of your head against the door frame. This will not allow your body to sway back behind the ball.

Drill #2

Another great drill is too practice hitting the ground in the right spot. Draw a line in the ground or use your clubs to mark where you want to start your divot. Practice hitting the ground just ahead of where the golf ball would be, taking a divot ahead of the line. This will help you find the right lowpoint and you will start catching the ball on the downswing just like the tour pros you’ll see this year at the Wells Fargo Championship. This will result in more pure shots and more Greens in Regulation.

Enjoy the best golf season ever this year and I look forward to seeing everyone on the lesson tee. To schedule a lesson you can contact me at drew@marclapointegolf.com, visit http://www.andrewkiger.com, or call 919-449-4274.

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