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Saturday, December 24, 2011

And Still Another Drill

This one will help you at the top of your backswing. Teaching pro Joe Thiel created this drill to teach you a proper elbow position.

Top of backswing positionNow some of you may not carry your hands this high at the top of your backswing. You may change direction with your hands somewhat lower -- maybe at ear level, maybe even at shoulder level. All of those are perfectly acceptable, and this drill will work with all of those. When you follow Joe's instructions, all you have to do is position your hand at your normal backswing height. Everything else will be correct, and you'll still learn a good position for your elbow.

The reason many of you get into trouble with your swing has nothing to do with your plane or spine tilt or any of those other "common faults" you often read about in golf magazines. You just get your arm in a bad position and you can't recover from it.

I went through a bad period when I couldn't hit a fairway to save my life. Most of my normal swings ended up as push-slices; if I really threw my hands at the ball, I hit a bad pull-hook. Ironically, if I only carried my hands to shoulder height, I could hit the ball as hard as I wanted and it would go dead at my target.

It drove me nuts because when I checked my positions in a mirror, they were absolutely textbook.

Do you know what the problem was? At the start of my downswing I moved my right elbow toward the ball. I ended up with my forearm leaning backward as I started down, and my wrists could never uncock in time to square the clubface. If I threw my hands at the ball, I didn't lean my arm backward but my right shoulder went way out over the target line. Once I realized what was happening, I was able to fix the problem quickly. Joe mentions a similar problem near the end of his instruction.

One thing I like about this drill is that you can't get in the position this drill teaches if you rotate your forearms on the backswing. (As you know, that's one of my big no-nos.) So this drill will also help you stop laying off the club at the top.

I've given you some good indoor drills this week, and they cover several different parts of your swing. Best of all, they won't cost you anything. Merry Christmas!

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