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Hip to be Square

04/30/2009 05:00PM, Published by Super Admin, Categories: In Print




Playing consistent golf is the main goal every golfer is trying to achieve. In order to accomplish this goal, there are a couple of things that are imperative. First, a golfer needs to return the clubface square to the intended target at impact. Secondly, it’s critical that the path of the club head at impact make a direct line towards the target. It sounds quite simple, square clubface moving down the target line at impact, but for most golfers this rarely occurs.

For a consistent game, you must first be able to get the club into a good position on the backswing. Assuming that your golf grip is correct – the back of your left hand and the palm of your right hand are facing your target and the club head is square to your intended target line – you’re ready to begin your back swing. This is where most players get into trouble. Right handed players have the tendency to begin their backswing by pulling the club away from the ball with their strong side (right hand). In doing so, they generally allow the toe of the golf club to close, meaning the toe is facing down or parallel to the ground when the shaft is parallel to the ground going back. This closed position will de-loft the club and close the clubface. It will also be impossible to recover.

The proper backswing begins with the left hand pushing the club head back away from the ball and allowing the toe of the club head to fan open and point up to the sky when the shaft is parallel to the ground. Although it may feel as though the club face is opening, it is actually square to your intended plane. Now that you have taken the club back properly: Toe up. Simply cock your left wrist until you feel your left thumb under the shaft and the club shaft is parallel to the ground. In simple terms, on your backswing the leading edge of the club head and clubface should swing open like a gate.

To mimic the great golf players, always swing the toe of the club up by pushing with your left hand, left arm and left shoulder, to the top of your back swing; square up the club face at impact on the downswing. These two simple factors create the ultimate golf shot – long and straight. Using your left side to create your backswing will help create better upper body rotation and create a wider arc. As the left side pulls the club back through the ball on the downswing, the right hand must now return the club head back to square at impact. This maneuver requires much practice. If the clubface is slightly open you will miss to the right and if you over rotate and close the face your miss will be to the left.

To create a better club head path at impact, it is crucial that the alignment of your upper body be parallel to the target line, not only at the address position but also at impact. Remember that the alignment of your upper body is more critical to club head path than simply where you aim your feet. To create a better club head path, try practicing with a club on the ground, parallel to your target line. This will visually help you to square up to your target with your clubface, shoulders, forearms, hips and feet.

Eric Pohl is a PGA Life Member and Head Golf Professional and General Manager at Bass Lake Golf Course. He can be reached at 530-677-4653, or visit their web site at basslakegolfcourse.com.

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