Many golfers with inconsistent ball striking is usually the result of too much movement and the wrong movement during the swing. I call it ’coming out of posture’ which throws off your timing and clubface impact angle and follow-through. Inconsistent contact and misses are usually due to getting stuck at impact.
A common error is when you forget to turn your weight to your forward side right before impact. Instead, the body lifts up as the shoulders get more shrugged. This means that the club shaft comes in too steep and you try to correct the angle with either pulling up (hitting it thin) or releasing the club at impact a bit earlier (hitting is fat/behind the ball).
When your backswing goes straight back and up, you will likely have trouble striking the ball with the clubface at the right angle, resulting in a less than ideal shot.
Many faulty swings are caused by this so we need to learn how to shallow out and flatten the club on the way down so you don’t get stuck and force you to correct your club angle at impact. Here are a few things I have done to help my students over my career.
Weaken Your Top Hand Grip
If you have a strong grip, it is common to lift your club early in your takeaway. When this happens too early, you raise the clubhead and make the shaft more vertical/steep. This will limit your body turn and will make it harder to load into your trail side and lead your downswing with your lower body.
Try loosening up that top-hand grip and feel the clubhead more in your lower hand. You will feel the weight of the clubhead more so you’re able to let it go around your body quicker rather than picking up the club.
Another way to weaken that grip is to slightly lift your grip/hands when you set up to the ball. This takes pressure away from the top of the club from your palms and will flatten out the angle in that top wrist.
Be Patient at Takeaway
Patience is so important in golf from the way we play the game, how we learn it, to the way we swing the club right from the start. When we take the club back from our setup position, we need to make sure the clubhead leads the way. In order to do this, we need to let the clubhead lead our shoulders and then our torso in a way that it stays in the front of our body instead or behind it.
We want to keep our hips and lower body still a split second at takeaway. The clubhead has to travel a lot farther around your body so allow it to get a head start. This creates a path for your hips and legs to do the same so we can allow the shaft to be more diagonal rather than vertical.
Point the Club More at the Ball
When you want to know if you are in the right position during your backswing, check where your butt end of your grip is pointing at when your hands go past your hip. You want the club pointing closer to the ball than your feet. If you are having trouble doing this, there is a good chance your top hand grip is too strong.
Keep Weight in the Middle of Your Trail Foot
If you don’t know where you are storing your weight in the back swing, odds are that it’s on the outside of your foot or on the heel. Try feeling the weight more in the middle or ball of your foot instead. You can use that as a backstop and also a way to start your lower body to lead your downswing.
Feel Your Leg Drive
If you start focusing more on where you are storing your weight, let’s take advantage of it by using your lower body to lead your downswing instead of using your hands. The legs are big muscles so it will take some time to drive and transfer the weight to the forward side so don’t rush the process. Try driving the legs forward, don’t just twist the hips.
I hope this post gives you some options on shallowing out and flattening your golf swing. Coming in with a clubface that is too steep is difficult to correct at the last second, so ensure you don’t lift your club too early. My tips above will help you do just that. I know there’s a lot to focus on in a golf swing so just pick out a couple that you can remember if you find your impact angle consistently off.