Drills are used to improve specific areas of your technique; they can be used for full swing technique, pitching, chipping, bunker play and putting. There are hundreds of drills you can use; you just have to use the drills that you can relate to, to give you the correct feeling and correct positions.
Over the next few months, we will demonstrate some of the drills that we use at Sapphire Coast Golf School to help our students improve their technique.
Problem: Poor Posture & Set Up
If you have poor posture, it is hard to maintain a repetitive swing and good balance. You need a consistent routine to help you set up correctly. Watch your favorite players on TV; their swings might vary but they will all have a consistent setup routine.
Many players have had tips from friends about setting up, like “sit on the bar stool” or “stick your backside out”. We find that people who “sit on the bar stool” are more likely to become too vertical with too much knee bend. As for the “stick your backside out”; this can cause a tilt in your pelvis and a bad arch in your spine, locking your vertebrae together. These ‘tips’ have been around for years and can be dangerous as they can cause injuries to your body.
Fix: Posture Drill
Here is a routine to help you achieve the correct posture:
- Stand up tall with your feet together, holding the club in front of you.
- Bend forward from your hips about 30 degrees; allow your arms to hang down in front of you, your hands should be hanging underneath your mouth.
- Allow your head to sit in its natural position.
- Take a sideways step with each foot so that your feet are shoulder-width apart. If you are female, quite often your hips are wider than your shoulders; if so have your feet hip-width apart. This will help with your balance, giving you a stable base for your swing.
- When you move your feet apart, this is where you need to have a slight knee bend and feel the weight distributed towards the balls of your feet. This helps with balance and the transfer of your weight during your swing.
- Once you are in position, tilt your spine slightly away from your target. Be very careful you don’t move your weight onto your back foot. You should start your swing with slightly more weight on your front foot.
- Keep moving either with a waggle of the club or moving your feet in your shoes, or very slightly moving on the spot. Be careful not to change your aim whilst doing this. This movement or waggle is important as it releases tension in your hands and body.
Club down your back drill
Use this drill to check your posture:
- With a club in your hands stand up tall and dangle the club down your back, in line with your spine.
- Hold the grip end of the club against the back of your head and the club head against your tailbone.
- Tilt forward to look at the ball without the club coming away from your spine, allow your head to sit in its natural position; you should be able to fit 2 or 3 fingers between your club and your head.
Problem: Poor shoulder turn
Many players make the mistake of turning down towards the ball instead of across. An incorrect shoulder turn makes it impossible to make consistent contact with the ball.
Fix: Shoulder Turn Drill
- Without a club take your set up and place your arms across your chest.
- Keeping your knees bent, try and turn your left (or front) shoulder towards your right (or back) toe.
- If you aren’t that flexible, just turn as far as you feel comfortable, some turn is better than none at all.
Problem: Inconsistent swing plane
As you start your backswing and your upper body starts to rotate back, your wrists need to hinge, (cock or bend — whichever term you have been taught it just means adding movement to the wrists to allows you to lever the club and keep the club on the correct swing plane). If you have an incorrect start to your back swing, you will be making compensations throughout your swing– making it difficult to consistently square up the clubface at impact.
Fix: Square Club Face Drill
This is our favorite drill; it has helped so many of our students when they leave us to go and practise by themselves. It gives you a visual guide to where the club should be positioned early in the backswing.
- Using a mid-to-short iron, pick a target on the range.
- Place a club along your toe line to help you aim.
- Start your swing and stop when your hands are level with the outside of your right (or back) thigh.
- If you are on the correct path the club shaft should be parallel to your toe line, with the clubface facing out in front of you.
Feet Together Drill
To practise the path of the back swing, use the feet together drill.
- Using a 9-Iron, stand with your feet together and knees slightly flexed. Hit some half shots. If you get a good ball flight with this drill you will know you have the club on plane.
Problem: Strangulation of the Club
We all know what it feels like to strangle the golf club with your arms and shoulders so tensely that you can hardly take the club away. As stated earlier, this can cause tension and thus hinder the effectiveness of your swing.
Fix: Grip pressure Drill
When you are set up over the ball and you can see your knuckles turning white, try this tip.
- Squeeze the club as tight as you can, then relax and give it a waggle.
- This is a good release of tension.
Image Gallery of Drills