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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Brian Fitzgerald's Swing Path Drill (Video)

Australian PGA pro Brian Fitzgerald's drill isn't new but he's using it a bit differently than other instructors have.

Many instructors would want you to bounce the ball straight down the line toward the target. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, wants you to bounce the ball a bit to the right of that target line. (That's the drill for righties, of course. If you're a leftie, you'd want to bounce the ball a bit to the left of your target line to get the same result.) This is to encourage a bit of an in-to-out swing path.

I hope you're noticing that Fitzgerald is also working from a slightly different philosophy than other instructors. Think about how many instructors you've seen on GC who have preferred a 'swing to the left' motion -- or at least that's what their professional students are after, because they want to create a fade. The Fitzgerald approach is going to create a bit of a draw, as long as you square the clubface at impact.

In this situation, no one is right and no one is wrong. It's just that each is working from a different swing philosophy.

This is something that you have to be aware of anytime you're watching any instructor and considering whether or not to try to incorporate some of their teachings into your game. In this case you need to ask yourself what YOU want to accomplish with your swing.
  • Do you want most of your shots to be fades or slices? Then you would want a teacher who alters this drill to create an out-to-in swing.
  • Do you want most of your shots to be draws or hooks? Then you would want a teacher (like Fitzgerald) who uses this drill to create an in-to-out swing.
  • Do you want a neutral swing plane that swings parallel to your footline because you want to create draws and fades equally but through slightly different mechanics? That's the method Nicklaus used predominantly, and you would as well if you're patterning your swing after his.
I want you be aware of these minor differences in teaching methods because if you try to combine contradictory mechanics, you're only going to become more frustrated with your game. If you want to become a better golfer, you have to learn to recognize which teachers use similar methods (you can often combine their tips) and which teachers do not (because combining those tips will likely cause even more swing problems).

You can do that, folks. Just listen closely to what each instructor says. Most contradictions are obvious if you just pay attention.

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