Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ball Focus: Inside-Left

I wrote about this briefly and anecdotally in another blog post, but I decided it needed a post of its own; it's that important. At least for me. I don't begrudge the many teachers out there who think the ball should appear blurry or the focus should be only on the target. But if you're focused on the target and then launch the ball into the woods 45 yards to the right of the target, focusing on the target does you little good.

We know that lagging the shoulders behind the hips is important to swing inside-out (the so-called X Factor). And we also know that the head should stay behind the ball through impact (or not move past its initial position created at setup for the woods and driver). We know, too, that the ball should start to the right and curve left to REALLY hit a draw (i.e., not a pull hook or straight hook).

I believe that focusing on the inside-edge or inside-left quadrant of the ball throughout the swing will assist in achieving all of these goals. First, it telegraphs to the body that you want to hit the ball on that spot, which encourages an inside-out swing. This means that one MUST keep the back to the target longer to avoid coming over-the-top by hitting the outside-right quadrant of the ball.

Second, focusing on that spot will tell the body to keep the head (and therefore upper body) from swaying ahead of the ball on the downswing. Keeping the head back allows the arms to come through, make impact, and then pull the golfer up to a nice, balanced finish. Get the feel that once you get over the right leg in the backswing that the head stays there while the lower body weight shifts to the left. Understand, however, that keeping the head back can cause the club face to close earlier.

Wherever your eyes are looking, your hands and the clubhead will want to go. If your eyes are looking at the back of the ball at address, then you are probably trying to square the clubface to the back of the ball at impact. Address and impact are two very different alignments in golf. Focus your eyes on the inside quadrant of the ball at address and your hands will strive to reach your new focal point. By making this small change, you will be well on your way to improving your downswing and obtaining much more manageable misses.

[From Classic Swing Golf School]

Other golfers need to focus on the ball. If this is you, try to hit the inside edge of the ball at impact.

A good thought for you might be to keep your back to your target and swing your arms down to the inside. Just try to avoid starting your down with your shoulders and upper body as this will throw the club down on a steep and outside path.

[From Golf World: Better shots through inside path | ScrippsNews]

When your head moves forward during the downswing, your whole swing plane moves ahead. That means you will tend to lose the ball to the right or leave the clubface open through impact.

One day, Lee Trevino was playing with the amateur golfer. Trevino gave only one advice to this golfer. He told him to keep his head back.

This amateur golfer was hitting a strong draw on that day.

[From Impact Position: Keep Your Head Back | Golf Tips & Lessons]

[Bobby] Jones was quoted: "Stay behind the ball is a splendid maxim. Should your head ever get ahead of the ball, at any point in the swing, a poor shot will no doubt result."

In Harvey Penick's, The Little Red Book, published in 1992, page 75 is entitled "Stay Behind the Ball" "All great golfers move their head slightly backward before and during impact, but never forward. A golfer must stay behind the ball. I mean set up with your head behind the ball and keep your head behind the ball. If you move your head forward during your downswing or through impact, you will hit a wee, ugly shot, probably a pulled slice."

[From Keep Your Head Back and Behind the Ball Through Impact! Six Top Golf Pros Agree]

Leaning back through impact can cause the face to shut quickly. For a power draw, Brett [Wetterich] releases the club straight down the line with the toe up.

[From Swing sequence: Brett Wetterich: 'hit it from the inside | Golf Digest | Find Articles]


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