Exploring all the angles

If there was a definition on how to play the game of golf what would it be? Can you get the ball into the air and have it go somewhat straight?

Let’s stop getting so technical and break down golf to its simplest form.

Before high-speed cameras, instruction methods that don’t work, advancements in equipment, biomechanics and instructor ego’s, there were the first golfers who found a way to make a little ball get into the air and have it go somewhat straight with a stick.

Oh how times have changed!

Has the information highway made golf easier to learn? Sweep away the skepticism and glue your eyeballs to this page, here come two invaluable instruction nuggets that will help resurrect anyone’s golf game.

Most golfers don’t know what the correct angle of attack feels like. This means the angle of the club head moving towards the ground. Many players simply swing too high or too low. This results in contact that makes the ball either rocket off the clubface low, or the ball is launched all of four feet due to a giant divot.

To cure this erratic pattern you must learn to swing the correct height.

DRILL 1: Take your normal address position and swing back and through as you normally would. Did the club hit the ground? If you said no, then we found the culprit. Although we are not looking for a mammoth divot, we also don’t want the club head to sweep the grass, this will still cause thin contact and a low shot. The club head should take a little dirt causing the bottom of the club to slightly bounce off the ground rather than digging into the turf. This would be the perfect angle of attack.

Now let’s attack the subject of hitting the ball straight. Again, I will go back to the premise of feel. Few players understand that the clubface is controlled by the forearms and not the trunk (core, chest, shoulders). Overuse of the trunk leads to over-rotation and a swing that follows an outside-to-in swing path.

DRILL 2: Take your address position but hold the club out in front of you where the club head is approximately chest height. Use your forearms to rotate the club head to the left (for a right-handed golfer). Watch the club head move back and forth with the movement of your forearms. You are now in control! But you don’t know how much to rotate the clubface when hitting golf balls. If you can’t stop hitting shots left to right, it’s because you’re trying to feel the forearm rotation at impact.

Exaggerate the feeling of rotating your forearms more and sooner than you think you need to. If you start to hit the ball too much right to left then start feeling less rotation of the forearms.

So use your brain to read this article but use your body to master the feel of these drills. I promise you will achieve the goal of comfortably getting the ball into the air while you watch it fly towards your target without getting bogged down by swing mechanics.

Kris Brown is the Director of Instruction at Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles.

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