Tom’s Featured Tip:

For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties …. well, you know what to do!

Both of the tips for this newsletter came as a result of a conversation I had with Chris Carroll, a student of mine that plays on the US Players Tour. He competed June 30th at the Lorton Open, held at the Laurel Hill GC in Lorton Virginia. He shot 72 – 1 over – and cashed, was four off the leader. He caught a bad break and carded a double bogey on a 300 yd. par 4, when he lost a ball in high heather just right of the green after an errant 3 wood tee shot.

On his way home from the tournament we talked on the phone about some iron shots that went right of their target (he’s a lefty, he overcooked his natural draw), and the pressures of professional tournament golf – when your sponsors are following you around and taking PR photos.

I know his swing, and when he mentioned that he was missing greens to the right (he’s a lefty) I had a pretty good idea about what was happening.

He thought he was flipping the club, but actually he has been using too much horizontal hinging in his release. That’s different from a flip.

How The Wrists Work Through Impact
Horizontal Hinge (feels like a full roll) works well with neutral grip and power strike, produces the lowest trajectory.

Angled Hinge (feels like no roll), the clubhead stays square to the swingpath, works best with stronger grip, fights rotation, produces a normal trajectory.

Vertical Hinge (feels like a reverse roll), most “lie dependent” hinging motion, produces the highest trajectory and softest landing, works well with finesse swing.
I recalled from some video that Chris has a pretty strong crossover through impact with his driver swing. Crossover is horizontal hinging, where the toe of the club passes the heel through impact, as if you rolled the face.

After more discussion, Chris felt that the crossover was happening with his irons, not a flip. I gave him these drills to reinforce a neural pathway for an angled hinging action through impact.
Make one handed 7 iron swings with each hand, 3/4 length, watching the clubhead all the way back and through, insuring that the clubhead stays square to the swingpath and that the left wrist stays cupped and that the right wrist stays flat (he’s a lefty).

Two club drill – grip a 6 iron in the right hand and a 7 iron in the left (for a lefty), hold the clubs about two inches apart and make 3/4 length slow motion swings maintaining perfect wrist positions with an angled hinge through impact, while maintaining the two inch spacing between the clubs. It’s tougher than it sounds, try it.
I’m absolutely certain that these drills will cure the overcooked draw miss to the right – for a lefty.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,