Keep in mind that during the address position you should be able to draw a straight line which flows from the top of your head pretty much to the center of your feet position. That “centered” position should be in place when contact with the ball is made.
The word has always been “don’t move your head during the swing!” Actually, more often than not, the head along with the rest of the body move slightly to the rear (behind the ball) during the back-swing. The key here is to be back into the exact address position when final contact is made.
As you take the club back there is a slight movement off plane but as your right knee and right hip drive forward it should bring you back to your original address position. You should NOT make a direct effort to accomplish this move . . . . it should happen naturally.
photo credit: danperry.com To cure a slice you must first straighten your address position. Just standing up to the ball haphazardly won't do, you must be square to the target line, with your shoulders and feet in parallel alignment. The purpose is to promote a more correct path with your backswing. When attempting to strike the ball, the clubhead must start on a course to the right of the target line which encourages an inside path of attack on impact.
You must feel as if you are rotating your arms through impact in order to promote an aggressive release of the club. A slice is when the clubface is open and traveling from outside to inside the target line. The club must be square when contact is made.
photo credit: pnoeric Is your set-up consistently the same during address? There are certain fundamentals you must follow in order to assume the correct address position. Try using the following checklist before each shot:
1) Are you standing square to the target? - your feet, knees, hips and shoulders must be parallel to the target line. 2) Are you gripping the club properly? - your grip should be in a neutral position, whereas, the Vs between your thumbs and first fingers should point at each of your shoulders. 3) Is your clubhead square to the target? – your clubhead should be perfectly square to the target when placed behind the ball. 4) Are you assuming the correct posture? – bend at the waist and keep your back in a relatively straight position.
photo credit: Lisa Sanderson If your body angles are not correct when you are addressing the ball, the likelihood of making a good swing is quite remote. The following is a very simple method to get into the proper address position:
1) Take your normal grip and hold the club in the air in the front of you (at about the eleven o'clock position) and set your feet about shoulder width apart. 2) Let the club remain in the air while you lock your knees and bend forward from your hips. 3) Hold your position and drop the club down in front of you. 4) Flex your knees and tilt your torso slightly away from the target.
Keep all of your muscles engaged but maintain a relaxed posture.
Developing the proper feel for any given club is very elusive for most players but being able to do so, enables you to hit crisper shots in the center of the clubface. It's also extremely important in judging how hard to hit any golf shot, especially those shots where a full swing is not required.
A Helpful Test: Grip your 5-iron firmly and wobble it in front of you. You will tend to feel just the shaft. Now grip it very loosely and repeat the wobble. Now you can actually feel the clubhead at the end of the shaft. Lesson: maintain a very relaxed grip on the club.
photo credit: bradleypjohnson In weightlifting, the muscles have to be taught to lift well. It works in reverse for golf, during the address the muscles have to be extremely relaxed to swing well. There are two good ways to relax: clear your mind and maintain a relaxed grip on the club. Too much grip pressure makes your arms tense.
On the backswing, be sure to stay behind the ball while sweeping the club back to assure a wide swing arc. Raise your chin to allow a full shoulder turn and bring the club back as far as you comfortably can. Start the downswing by turning your hips and knees towards the target first. Pull the club down with your lead arm. Concentrate on a full follow-through.
photo credit: Claus Rebler The ball position that is correct for you may not be correct for me. The guideline is that the ball should be played in line with your lead armpit which approximates the lowest part of your swing arc. This creates perfect clubface position at impact.
Check Your Low Point: take a few swings with your 5 iron without a ball. Wherever your divots begin is the low point of your swing.
For amateurs, with mid and short irons, try playing the ball further back in your stance (1-3 inches behind the lead armpit). This will assure that your club will hit the ball first prior to contacting the ground. Keep hands ahead of the ball at address. With practice, you can determine the correct ball position for your swing.
photo credit: USACE Europe District Without a club, stand straight up and flex your knees as if you were preparing to sit down. Bend slightly at the waist but keep your back straight and your head up. Lowering your head causes your body to move forward.
Once comfortable, let your arms hang down naturally and bring your hands together. They should be 6-8 inches in front of your thighs. Repeat this process with a club.
A common problem with amateurs is that they reach for the ball. Reaching seems to convey a feeling of power but it actually decreases your ability to generate clubhead speed (power). Remember, once in the proper set-up, the sole of your club should be resting flat on the ground. This is a sign that your clubs are fitted properly.
photo credit: nsaplayer One of the biggest faults of amateur golfers is when they stretch their arms during the address position. Their arms are held away from their body in an effort to reach for the ball. Holding the arms away from the body tends to make the golfer chop at the ball thus creating an outside-in swing path, a slice. Some players feel that reaching for the ball makes their swing more powerful, the opposite is true. Reaching creates a loss of power.
After taking your stance, set your arms last. Allow the arms to hang loosely from the shoulders with the right elbow bending naturally. If your arms are positioned correctly, there should be a six to eight inch gap between your hands and thighs.
photo credit: pdbreen Good posture is one of the most important elements of the golf swing. Swinging correctly is the result of good posture. The body should flex at two main points: the hips and the knees.
Many players make the mistake of bending at the waist rather than the hips, doing so will restrict a good body-turn going back. If your hips are bent too far it forces your shoulders to turn unnaturally which will lead to a steep swing and a slice. A good way to check if your bent over too far is if the toe of the club is off the ground at address.
Knee flex should be enough to feel your body weight on the balls of your feet.