Ironing Out Long Game Problems

Want to know the key to consistency? Correct your own swing flaws as soon as possible. It’s the best way of becoming a really competitive golfer and of achieving and maintaining a low golf handicap. Correcting swing flaws helps PGA Tour pros achieve such great consistency. They correct their flaws as soon as possible. Otherwise, they become ingrained.

Fortunately, there are different ways learning about the golf swing. They include reading golf tips in magazine and taking a golf lesson or two from your local pro. Both are good sources of information on correcting swing flaws. But ultimately, correcting a swing flaw comes down hitting balls on the practice range. That’s where a tried-and-true exercises help.

Eliminating Long Game Problems
Swing coaches use a variety of exercise to help golfers root out swing flaws in their long games. In fact, if you talk to five swing coaches, you’ll probably get five different exercises to correct long game problems. One thing these exercise all seem to share is that they all start short, and then go long. In other words, they help you eliminate the flaw first in your short clubs and then in your long clubs.

In fact, the best approach to correcting long game difficulties may just be hitting 40-yard wedges, stopping often to check the club’s position during the swing. For best results, use a pitching wedge to execute this drill, not a sand wedge. The sand wedge has too much loft, making it hard to see the spin on the ball—a critical component to this drill. A PW provides a better idea of the ball’s spin, making it easier to manipulate when hitting draws and fades.

Achieving A Square Clubface Throughout
Another critical component to this exercise is achieving a square clubface throughout the swing. A square clubface starts with the right grip. Too strong a grip, results in a closed clubface halfway back and at the top. That, in turn, results in a hook, if no adjustment is made on the downswing, or a slice, if your body over compensates by opening the clubface through impact. Using a weak grip also has its problems.

Use a neutral grip instead. It helps you keep the clubface square halfway back, at the top, and through impact. When hitting short wedges, check the clubface’s position halfway back in your backswing and at the top. Continue hitting short pitches and check these positions until you ingrain the feel of a square clubface. Then gradually move to a 9-iron, and then an 8-iron. Continue moving down the clubs.

Hitting Slices And Fades
If you want to practice fades, start again with 40-yard wedges, but open your stance to the target line by bringing your front foot away from the target line. This causes the clubface to come across the ball. If you want to practice draws, hit 40-yard pitches, but close your stance by bringing your front foot forward to the target line. This causes the clubface to put the right spin on the ball.

The benefit of hitting short wedges is that it lets you focus on your swing, not the distance the ball travels—a common distraction among golfers with long game problems. Too often golfers focus on how far their shots go instead of putting a good swing on the ball. Hitting short wedges eliminates this tendency.

It’s only a matter of time before you develop a swing flaw or two. So monitor your swing constantly. When you detect a flaw, fix it immediately—before it becomes ingrained. In addition, read golf tips in magazines and take golf lessons from a local pro to learn more about the golf swing. They both provide good information about it—information that can help you achieve consistency and keep your golf handicap in check.

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Author: Jack

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