Golf is challenging because many factors can affect your game. Your swing’s success depends not only on your technique, but also the clubs you use situationally. There are fourteen clubs from which a golfer can choose including drivers, irons, wedges, or putters. Each comes with its own challenges that a golfer must master. Additionally, the surrounding environment can affect the final outcome. The weather, the course, and the lay of the land all affect your shot and have the potential to ruin your day.
Faced with these challenges, it is not surprising that golfers make many of the same mistakes. Here are five of the most common mistakes with some simple solutions to correct them.
The Golf Slice
The golf slice, a shot that curves from left to right out of the target, is extremely common. A slice occurs when players that have weak grips have an open clubface swing with an outside to inside swing path on the downswing, producing the slice ball flight.
The best way to fix a golf slice is to strengthen the golf grip, having at least 2 knuckles showing on the left hand. Next, swing the golf club with a square face. This will ensure that the club travels more on an inside to outside downswing path and produce a straighter ball flight.
The Topped Golf Shot
The topped golf shot is a shot where the top of the golf ball is hit, producing little air time. As a result, the ball normally trickles forward without any distance. This shot occurs when golfers get up out of their stance on the downswing, getting further away from the golf ball which makes it difficult to make solid contact.
The best way to fix this mistake is to practice hitting golf shots with your butt up against a chair or wall, which helps your butt remain pushed back. It’s also beneficial to work on maintaining the distance your chest is from the ball at set up and holding it all the way through impact.
The Fat Golf Shot
The fat golf shot is when the golfer hits the ground behind the golf ball, which results in a large divot before they even make contact. This occurs because the golfer doesn’t transfer their weight correctly in the downswing and leaves the weight all on the rear side.
The best way to fix this is to practice keeping your feet together when practicing, which encourages the shift of the weight from the rear to the front side. Stand with your feet close together and make golf swings ensuring you bottom out at the same position on the grass. This drill ensures a consistent ball first then turf golf shot.
Poor alignment is a very common golf swing issue and the reason many golfers struggle for consistency and improvement. Most golfers aim too far right and left of their targets resulting in many shots that fall of the mark of the intended target.
Practice aligning your feet and shoulders correctly on the golf driving range first. Place a club or alignment stick along both the line of your feet and the line of the target. The feet should be parallel to the target and the golf club should be pointing directly at the target. Once you become comfortable with this it is a great way to align yourself during a round. Pick a close intermediate target around three feet away and set up your alignment parallel to that target.
Taking the golf club inside too quickly at the start of the swing is a common issue among players. The arms and hands roll and the clubhead gets pulled inside which then creates issues in the rest of the swing.
Place a tee in the butt end of the grip and practice making swings while having the brush near the rear thigh. This ensures the clubhead will work back in the takeaway much better with the clubhead outside the line of the hands. This gets the golf swing on a better plane right from the start.
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For more in-depth analyses of various areas of your game, head over to The Art of Simple Golf.