Three keys to solid strikes (II)
By Kim Jeong-kyoo
Despite a fierce gale, Lee and Kim, my playing partners, seemed happy exerting a concerted effort to play their best. Often they hit almost perfect shots but nobody was safe from the strong wind. Though I've been playing golf for more than 30 years, it was the first time in my life that I was battling against such a ferocious wind that never stopped howling, not even for a moment during the entire round.
For on-plane swing, stand over ball in upright posture
Lee, a sympathetic man who has such a genuine passion for golf, is a typical player who has an ingrained habit to swing back on a relatively steep plane, allowing the club to work slightly to the outside of the ball-target line.
His only problem in need of solution is the occasional bent posture that does not match his upright swing. A bent posture is a no-no for players like him who make a steep, upright swing.
In actual fact, when he neglects to take an erect posture or when he stands in a bent posture, his body angle alters during the swing, which robs him of the chance to make solid shots. He is left with no option but to come over the top, with the result being pulls to the left or slices.
All he has to do to hit the ball solidly is to stay vigilant, lest the reason for the less-than-solid strikes should slip his mind: standing over the ball in a bent posture. After all, he is prone to swing the club back to the outside of the ball-target line and the improper posture exacerbates the situation.
If this sounds familiar to you, stand over the ball in a more upright posture as if you were walking on the fairway. That address position alleviates the situation or can even fix your swing problem ― taking the club away from the ball to the outside of the ball-target line ― once and for all.
After realizing the necessity of the erect posture, Lee said half-jokingly, “It's a real cinch to hit the ball flush as long as I stand upright. My shot off the tee is more accurate than my putting, isn't it?” And he was not kidding. Despite the fierce gale, he was hitting the ball long with accuracy.
One word about the right elbow position at the top of the backswing that will further ensure solid strikes: picture yourself as a waiter carrying a tray of dishes.
Amateur golfers tend to allow their right elbow to move too far away from the body at the top of the backswing so that the elbow is pointing behind them, in the position of a baseball player in a batting stance. This right elbow position at the top brings about pulls and slices. It's important to be clear about that the right elbow pointing behind the body at the top fits only players who go for a bent posture.
To keep your right elbow in, stand closer to the ball with it relaxed, close to the body and pointing downward toward the right hip bone. Then, visualize yourself as a waiter carrying a tray of dishes. You will have to keep your right forearm in a more vertical position not to tip the tray. That helps keep your right elbow in, deterring the cutting-across motion on the downswing. You will immediately start hitting solid, straight shots, eliminating nasty pulls and pull-slices.
That will also prevent you from swinging the club to the outside on the backswing.