The driver’s OK, your wedge isn’t : Swing flaws let you hit only one; here’s how to hit both – Brief Article
Here’s a vital question: Which is easier for you to hit really well–a driver from the tee, or a wedge off a tight fairway lie? Unless you’re a really solid player, odds are it’s going to be one or the other–but definitely not both. Don’t worry, though. It’s not your fault. It’s your swing. Every average player’s natural swing has flaws. Some flaws will let you hit the driver well but not the wedge; some flaws are OK for wedge shots but disaster with the driver. The solution, obviously, is to develop a swing that works with either club. Here’s how to do it.
Setup: Tilted away OK, but centered is better
If you set up with your head way behind the ball (large photo), you’ll probably do OK–but not great–with the driver. You’ll get a nice sweeping motion and good extension. Try that with a wedge and you’ll be picking dirt out of your teeth. You’re going to reverse pivot on the backswing and then hit it fat at worst, or short and right at best. To cure your setup flaws, think of positioning the ball somewhere between your left ear and shoulder (insets). You’ll make consistent contact from that position with any club in the bag.
Plane: Steep OK for wedge, not driver
If you make decent contact with your wedge but hit pop-ups and slices with your driver, chances are your swing plane is too steep. The short clubs encourage a more up-and-down swing, but if you overdo it, you can’t hit a driver solidly. Check your swing plane by noting where the butt of the shaft points when your hands get shoulder high (near inset). If a swing is on plane, the grip points at the target line. If it points inside that line, you’re too steep (far inset). To flatten out your swing, hit some drivers with the ball teed up on top of a golf pencil (above). The extra height will accentuate steep-swing problems, so you’ll learn to make a flatter downswing and a more sweeping motion at impact. Think of swinging the club more around your body rather than up and down.
Path: One cure for all ills
An inside-out swing path is fine for a driver but can lead to skulled wedge shots (far inset). An outside-in swing path is not terrible for wedges, but produces weak slices or nasty pulls with a driver (near inset). Get the proper path by lining up three balls a clubhead-width outside the ball you’re playing. If your swing’s too inside-out, you’ll hit the last ball on the follow-through; too outside-in and you’ll hit the first ball before the clubhead gets to impact. Do it right and you’ll only hit the ball in front of your club at address. Be sure the divot starts–and is longer and deeper–on the target side of the ball.
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