By JORDAN KING THOMAS
Hydration is one of a golfer’s best friends that can keep them in the game longer. However, two water bottles can improve more than just your hydration! There are a few simple drills that can improve your ball striking while you stay hydrated.
The first aspect of how we can improve your golf game with water bottles is the club path. Whether you are trying to shape the ball from right to left or if you are trying to shape the ball from left to right you can do both if you have two water bottles. If you would like to see the ball move from right to left (for a right-handed golfer) here is the drill for you. To create this training station, we would want to put the first water bottle two inches back and one inch above the back outside quadrant of the golf ball. The second water bottle will go two inches in front and one inch inside of the front inside quadrant of the golf ball (photo 1). The goal in this drill is to avoid the water bottles and swing the club from inside to out effectively swinging the clubhead from 7 o’clock to 1 o’clock as you are coming into impact. This will produce the proper club path for a draw with a square club face (for a right-handed golfer).
Now if you are a player that likes to see the ball go from left to right, we simply want to place the trail water bottle two inches behind and one inch below the back inside quadrant of the golf ball and the second water bottle will go two inches in front and one inch above the front outside quadrant of the golf ball (photo 2). This will create an outside to inside club path (for the right-handed golfer). Here you will be swinging the clubhead from 5 o’clock to 11 o’clock and you’ll see the ball start left of the intended target line and then curve back to the right, with a square clubface at impact.
ANGLE OF ATTACK
Lots of golfers think that they need to help the ball up with their irons and subsequently it will produce improper ball striking. It is with a driver that we want to see an upward angle of attack and we want to see a downward angle of attack with our irons.
Hitting down on the ball with our irons is the best way to achieve compression and proper ball striking. There are several ways to do this but one of the best that I’ve found is to place a small water bottle 2-3ft behind the intended ball to hit (photo 3). As we go back, we want to make sure that we miss the water bottle. As we are coming down into the delivery position just before impact, we want to hold our lag or radial deviation while we are turning our hip and torso through impact. Avoiding the water bottle will help ensure that the clubhead is making a downward strike into the ball. Remember that the bottom point of the downswing with an iron is 2-4 inches in front of the ball.
Hitting up on the ball with a driver is a great way to ensure the best ball striking and the most distance. With a proper setup and this drill, you will be able to see the ball soaring through the sky. In terms of setup, we want to see your lead shoulder higher than your trail shoulder. This will create the correct spine tilt, that helps with the clubhead ascending into the golf ball at the moment of impact. The next part of the process is placing a water bottle 12-15 inches in front of the intended teed ball to hit (photo 4). The sheer effect of missing the water bottle in front of the teed ball will create an upward angle of attack producing the desired contact and more distance.
These are all great drills for you to improve your ball striking and club path with these simple keys to focus on and all the while staying hydrated. Put proper intent into your practice and you will see more out of the time that you put into your golf game.
At the end of the day practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.
Jordan King Thomas
Palos Verders , CA
Rick Smith Golf Academy