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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lower Your Score by Hitting It Shorter

Yes, it sounds wild. But today we're time-traveling back to the December 2015 issue of Golf Magazine where that very piece of advice was given!

It's in that issue's Private Lessons section for High Handicappers (which defined a high handicapper as someone who has "potential but must fix some fundamental swing flaws"). The section gives two steps geared toward getting your driver in the short grass more often, but I can see where these tips could help you with any club that you have trouble controlling.
  • Grip down on the club. The article says that most Tour pros use shafts that are an inch or so shorter than the shafts you get off the shelf at most golf shops. So they recommend that you grip down about two inches on your driver. The shorter shaft length makes it easier to control the club. (As an aside, the typical driver back in Bobby Jones's day was around 42" long, so this advice isn't as strange as it might sound.)
  • Make a shorter backswing. Again, this is about controlling the club better. The article recommends swinging your hands back to shoulder height and no longer. I can tell you from personal experience that this isn't an arbitrary length. I did a lot of experimenting years ago and discovered that you can make almost any kind of swing and get decent results if you don't swing past shoulder high. Why? Because this is the normal range of motion we make in most sports when swinging a bat or a racket, so it's the range in which we tend to have the best control of the club.
This probably won't surprise you, but I would recommend you practice these tips while using the L-to-L drill I recommend so often. The drill will ensure that you get a good wrist cock and, since this is the length swing that is natural to most people, you should get better distance than you might expect. Combined with improved accuracy, this could easily lower your score by a few strokes.

So much for our journey into the past. Welcome back to the present -- now go try it!

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