2. Develop a pre-shot routine
One of the biggest reasons for hitting bad shots is poor alignment, Sean Parees said.
“If your body is aiming one direction and you’re swinging at a target in another direction, you have to make some sort of compensation,” Parees said. “That means it is very difficult to swing the club properly.”
Parees said the best way to avoid that is to develop a pre-shot routine that will accomplish two things: Proper alignment and proper ball position.
• Here’s what to do:
Get behind the ball with your feet together and set your clubface down so it is facing an intermediate target. Then, as you look at your real target, take a small step with your left foot and slightly larger step with your right foot. This will ensure the ball is in the proper position in the left half of your stance, between the left heel and the center.
To practice this, take two clubs and, placing them on the ground, use one to represent the target line and the other to represent your body alignment. Place a third club perpendicular to your body alignment to represent your ball position. This will help you aim correctly.
3. Clubface Control
The single biggest thing that separates average players from good players, good players from great players, and great players from Tour-caliber players is clubface control, said Kevin Shields.
“Lesser players either open the clubface too much on the backswing or keep it the same amount of open for too long in the downswing,” Shields said. “That requiries the player to frantically try to “flip” the club square at the ball.”
• Here’s what to do, according to Shields:
Assume a standard grip and try to “twist” your bottom, or right, hand so it faces away from you in the backswing, and keep it facing away the whole swing, as if you are wiping your palm across a table in the impact area.
Many people don’t realize that what is considered by modern instruction to be “square” at the top is actually 90 degrees open. The clubface needs that much rotation to be square at the ball.
Some of that rotation comes from turning your body, but most comes from your hands and arms. Learn to turn the face toward the ball sooner in the downswing.