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The Correct Path

By Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

In a good golf swing, the club shaft approaches the ball parallel to the target line when the hands are waist-high. Mistakes occur when the shaft approaches too severely from inside the target line, or too much from the outside. Good players tend to err on the inside track, with the butt end of the shaft pointing right of the target. High handicappers tend to approach from the outside, so the butt points left of the target. For each flaw, there is a compensating motion that develops over time. “Insiders” learn to flip their hands through impact to keep the ball from going right, while “outsiders” learn to hold on and “chicken wing” to keep the ball from going left. Neither compensation can be relied upon because excessive manipulation of the club cannot be done effectively over an entire round of golf. 

The best drill to cure path problems is the ‘drop drill.’ Pause at the top of the backswing, and then start your downswing with two simultaneous motions: Transfer your weight into your target hip while your hands drop straight down to hip height. At this point, stop and make sure your entire club shaft is between the target line and the toe line. Pose and memorize, then repeat until the move is part of your motor memory. 

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A tip for slicers: Don’t let your right shoulder move until the club has made its drop. 

A tip for hookers: Make sure your hips don’t lag behind the completion of the drop.

TJ Article # 170 Photo 1

In his prime, Lee Westwood was one of the best iron players in golf because, at this point in his swing, all he has to do is turn through the ball without using his hands. This makes his release very “quiet,” so he doesn’t have to manipulate the club. Remember: Manipulation is the road to perdition.

Now you can see the writing on Westwood’s shirt, proving that he’s kept his torso rotating. Note how the club shaft is parallel to the target line, just as it was in the previous photo. This is the symmetry of great golf.

If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.

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