peterkostis Twitter tip #5. Proper hand and arm action eliminates the right shots while proper foot and legwork eliminates the left shots. 1:02 PM Sep 16th from webWhy do I call this a little jewel? Because for me it sums up the whole rationale behind this blog―namely, that the tips you hear the big-name teachers giving on TV are usually tailored to the pros, not the weekend golfer.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a well-known teacher appear on a TV show and tell how the average golfer should focus on making sure their legs and hips drive the downswing. Then they give a drill that they say will help you straighten out your slice by getting the legs to do more work.
Unfortunately, classic swing teachers like Jim Flick or Manuel de la Torre don’t get as much TV time these days because they stress using the hands and arms. In many cases, they’re the teachers a weekend golfer needs most.
Take another look at the tip Peter Kostis tweeted. How does he say you get rid of your slice (right shots)? By using proper hand and arm action. Problems with hooks (left shots) are dealt with by learning proper foot and legwork.
Think about this for a moment and you’ll see the logic here. What generally causes a slice? You leave the face of the club open. Why do you leave it open? Nine times out of ten, you either:
- slide your hips forward too much, causing you to lean backward and push the ball with an open clubface (banana ball time!);
- turn your body so fast that your hands don’t have time to square the clubface before it reaches the ball; or
- turn your body so fast that you fling your hands and arms over the top and make an outside-in swing.
Some of you with big slices do need to learn how to use your legs. I know, because I had to learn the proper way to use mine during a swing; it was a major part of my problem. But it wasn’t a matter of using my legs too much; rather, I wasn’t using them at all! I was standing too straight (not enough knee flex) and I tended to spin my body and hips rather than turn them. No matter what you may think, spinning your body is not the same thing as using your legs!
That all changed when Carl taught me how to coil on the backswing; in fact, Carl never once told me that I needed to drive my legs! He got me to set up with more knee flex, then taught me to coil and suggested I try moving my legs as little as possible. That sounds a little silly until you realize that with a proper coil, it’s almost impossible not to use your legs properly.
That’s why I’ve spent so many posts trying to help you learn how to coil. For most weekend players, the key to proper leg action is a proper coil.
And those same weekend players can straighten out their slices by using their arms and hands better, and then just letting their legs move naturally as a result of their coil. Again, that’s one of the major concepts behind this blog: A low-maintenance swing allows a lot of things to happen naturally.
Whether you find yourself fighting a persistent slice or a hook, remember this Peter Kostis tip. It will help you identify the source of the problem more quickly. That way, you won’t waste your time trying to fix something that ain’t broke!