If the tips and swing thoughts that you rely on have past their sell-by date, then perhaps it’s time to try something new? Over the following pages, let me share with you some of the ideas that I have found successful among my students – in several cases simply a change of emphasis on a certain element of technique that helps you to marry mind and body and play a more intuitive game of golf. Any questions, fire them over. You can post them to me at my academy website www.scottcranfield.com
Right foot back technique helps you shallow your swing for better ball striking
For some, the right-foot-back technique you see illustrated across these
pages might only ever be a drill to get a better feel going on the practice
ground, but for many what I am proposing could well form the basis of a permanent
new technique. Experience has shown me that this ‘fresh’ approach
really can turn a player with an average/poor short game into an accomplished
wedge player, beaming with confidence.
In essence this technique will allow you to strike your shots consistently
and directly at the target every time. You will have an improved delivery
plane and path, thus using the ‘bounce’ of the wedge correctly to create a
sweet and consistent strike pattern. The technique works by creating a single
pivot axis (essentially around your left hip, leading side), and in so doing it
helps you to eliminate the inconsistencies often caused by employing the 2-
pivot axis that characterises a full swing when you are looking for distance
(i.e. rotating around the axis of the right hip in loading up the backswing
before unwinding around the left hip in the downswing.)
Drawing the right foot back effectively helps
you to ‘get out of your own way’, allowing
the arms and the club to swing more around
the body; in contrast, players who exaggerate
the open stance so often prescribed to
play these shots can find themselves stuck
as the right arm fails to fold away and the
hands lift the club up, as you see above
Remember, these shots are about accuracy, not distance. By its very
nature, this technique will limit the speed you generate and how far you are
able to hit your scoring clubs. So it’s up to you to go out and measure your
landing distances with all of your lofted wedges. Swing the club only at a
speed you can comfortably control – don’t compromise your balance.
Lets get to it. Adjust your stance so your right foot is drawn back while at
the same time keeping your shoulders and chest parallel with the target line.
Your weight will be supported over your left foot, and you should feel stable
against the ground under your foot.
In this stance your right hip should feel back and a little lower (you might
say softer), which immediately creates that little pivot in the mid section, the
result being that you get the club approaching the ball on a much more manageable,
shallow plane. In just a few minutes’ you will begin to hear that wonderful
sound of the clubhead ‘bruising’ the turf as you get the bounce working
– a recipe for sweet striking in this critical scoring range.
Check that the alignment
of your chest and
shoulders is parallel
with the target line,
while the right foot is
drawn back until the
toe of the left shoe is
roughly level with the
heel of the right. With
the majority of your
weight supported on
the left side, you are
then looking for the
sensation of rotating
about a fixed axis
point – essentially the
dotted line we have
added here running
vertically through the
left hip down into the
middle of the left foot
With this technique your right arm will easily fold in the backswing, which
helps the club swing more around (and in harmony with) the body action.
This is especially important for those of you who display a tendency to lift the
arms in the backswing (inset above), which is a common problem for golfers
who exaggerate the open stance that is typically prescribed to play shots
from inside Gap wedge distance.
One final tip: as a drill cut a tennis ball in half and use the two halves as
pressure pads. Placing your left foot down on them will reinforce the idea of
remaining grounded on the left side, helping you to create that single axis
through your left side, which is the key focus in your new pitching technique.
There is no dramatic weight shift here – its all about repeating a swing that
will enable you to control impact, flight and spin to the flag.
GET OUT OF
YOUR OWN WAY!
drill pre-empts the
soft rotation of the
right hip in the
the arms and the
body to work
together and, as a
out your delivery
into the back of the
ball – bingo!
(Left) With the right foot drawn
back, you will feel that the
right hip is lower, softer,
making it easier to rotate.
As long as you can remain
stable on the left foot, the
left arm and torso will
work nicely together
(Right) ‘Bruise the turf’: you will
quickly recognise the sound
of a well-struck pitch shot as
you shallow the delivery of
the club and utilise the
bounce through impact
Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine
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