Many players who attend our golf instruction sessions come because they’re too inconsistent to cut strokes from their golf handicaps. Inconsistency often comes from having a complex swing. Complex swings have too many moving parts, making it hard to repeat them. Maybe the problem is flipping the club when transitioning from the top or sliding forward during the swing. Whatever it is, it creates timing issues. When your timing is on, you play well. But when your timing is off, look out.
Among the first things we do in golf lessons with students that have complex swings is to simplify their swings. A simpler swing eliminates many timing issues and makes the swing easily repeatable. A repeatable swing improves ball control, increasing accuracy. Hitting accurate shots is critical if you’re going to break 80 and lower your golf handicap. Two key areas to focus on when developing a repeatable swing are your shoulder turn and your hip turn. If these are executed incorrectly, they can create major timing issues.
Key No. 1: Create a Steeper Turn
Many weekend golfers that lack a repeatable swing turn their shoulders on a level plane during the downswing. Turning your shoulders on a level plane creates a swing that’s too shallow coming into impact. As a result, their contact is “picky,” as we say in golf instruction sessions. Picky contact can lead to all kinds of mis-hits. This is especially true off turf. The key to solid contact is to make a slightly steeper shoulder turn, which enables you to come into the ball on a steeper swing plane.
To create a steeper swing, try limiting head movement during your swing. This enables you to stay centered over the ball as you swing back. Staying centered enables you to turn your front shoulder downward on a slightly steeper angle, improving contact. Another golf tip to create a steeper shoulder turn is to keep your front arm pinned against your chest. This helps you get your arms and body moving in sync. When your arms and body are in sync, you don’t have to realign anything on your downswing, eliminating timing issues.
Key No. 2: Clear Your Hips
Clearing your hips correctly during the downswing is second key to developing a repeatable swing. Many golfers that come to us for golf lessons turn their hips on a fairly steep angle to the ground during the downswing. This forces you to stick your rear end out to counterbalance your steep hip turn. A steeper hip turn leads to hitting the ball with all your weight on your toes, short-circuiting power. It also leads to thrusting your hips toward the ball, which drops the club too far inside and produces pushes and other mis-hits.
A golf tip to correct this is to think of turning your hips on a 45-degree angle left of the target as they turn through the swing. Your hips, especially the front one, needs to clear out of the way on the downswing, so you can drive your trailing side hard toward the target. A visual aide is to think of pushing your hips out to left field and then turning them behind you. This keeps the club coming in at a steep angle so you can pinch the ball off the ground.
Creating a slightly steeper shoulder turn and clearing your hips on the downswing are two keys to developing a repeatable swing. If you take golf lessons or research golf tips online or in a print magazine, you can find more. But start with these for now then add others later on. Developing a repeatable swing is the key to mastering consistency. Mastering consistency will helps you not only break 80 but also lower your golf handicap dramatically.