Do you keep pulling your shots to the left or right? Do you get frustrated because those 3 foot putts seem too hard to make? Fear no more, for this article can help!
This post will show you what may be causing your bad habits, and how to correct them. If you follow the instruction listed in this blog post, then you should see an improvement in both your short game and putting. Let's start with why these shots are going the way they are going.
What is causing you to pull shots ?
There are a few things that could be causing you to pull shots.
It's true, improper grip may be the reason why you pull shots. This is because if your lie angle is too steep or too shallow, it will force you to twist your body in order to address the ball properly. If you turn left when addressing a right handed golfer, then obviously it will pull! The problem lies with how you position your hands on the club. In order to make sure you don't pull shots, place your fingers so that they rest in between the first and second knuckles of your left hand, and make it a point not to have any gaps between them.
2. Stance and alignment
If you do not stand with a straight spine, then you will begin to twist your body in order to address the ball, this is called an open shoulder, and it's something that needs to be avoided. Now if you stand straight (and squared up), then you should have a perfect lie angle, and thus the face of your club will line up perfectly parallel with your target (assuming you are aiming straight at the target, not just at the hole).
3. Other factors
If you have recently changed your equipment or a part of it (your irons for example), then that could also be causing this problem. Or maybe there's something else off in your swing, like the tempo is too fast, or you are over-rotating, or you're not rotating enough. Or it could be your posture when you swing, or your grip pressure on the club head.
How to fix the problem:
1. Fix what's in your hands!
As stated above, make sure that you have a good grip on the club. That means having your fingers placed properly between the 1st and 2nd knuckles of the left hand, and also making sure there are no gaps between them. Make sure you're setting up with little to no curve in your back, and also make sure that your right hand is positioned on top of the club as to help you keep an open shoulder.
2. Make a proper takeaway
A proper takeaway is very important to your swing, as it sets the tone for the rest of the swing. It's very easy to correct this problem if you have an open shoulder, just keep that right elbow close to your side after setting up. You should be generating a lot of lag in your motion before you release into the swing, this is how you are supposed to take the club back. Pay close attention to your hands during the takeaway! They give out a lot of clues about what's going on in the rest of your swing.
3. Swing properly
To start with, make sure you're not over rotating in your backswing or downswing . If you are, then try to stop moving your hips and shoulders as much, instead keep them still and allow only the arms to rotate. It is also important that you not start the downswing with excessive body movement or hip rotation, but instead let the hands do most of the work. You should be releasing into impact by simply unhinging your wrists, not by moving the hips. Make sure you are releasing before impact, and that your hips are moving back as well for more power and aim.
4. Fix your tempo
Fixing the tempo in your swing is necessary if you are trying to fix a pulled shot. This is something that may be attributed to poor posture, so be sure to square up your shoulders before and during the swing as well as on the follow through return. Try not to rush or dawdle during any part of the golf swing!
5. Lie angle
The lie angle that you are laying against might not be right either, so make sure to check that out. If it's too steep or shallow and you try to address the ball correctly then there will be a weird force on your body, causing a pulled shot.
6. Equipment and other factors
You may have changed something in your swing, like if you haven't played for a while maybe and now you're using longer than before. Or maybe your hands are sore from holding the club incorrectly (like gripping too tight) or you're having trouble with the balance of the club head in your hand). Check to make sure that your irons
Tips for improving short game and putting:
- Don't be afraid to get low on the ball, practice addressing it from different lie angles and you will see that having a lower stance gives you better control over the shot. Be sure however to keep your club head aligned above the target line though. It is also helpful if you can get some practice in with chipping and pitching from the fringe, and this is something you can do at home by practicing with a pitching wedge.
- Have proper posture when chipping; try to have an upright spine position without curving the back excessively, and make sure your hands are directly above the ball during take away. It's okay if there is a little bit of curve in your back during the backswing, just make sure there isn't excessive movement of the hips and shoulders.
- Make a practice routine to help you learn how to properly putt . Find good surfaces for practicing on and try rolling balls from different distances so that you learn how to read breaks correctly. Try putting with a wedge as well as a putter, so that you can get used to the different distances and implements.
- Practice your putting on the same surfaces you play on (just don't use real balls!) when possible, so that you can get a feel for what it feels like to putt on those greens before going out there for real. Make sure to putt with the same putting stroke that you use when playing, and try to avoid changing your tempo.
What should I do to fix my pulling?
Take a slower backswing, then accelerate into your downswing.
If you have an over-the-top swing, try slowing it down and concentrating on keeping the clubface square at impact. Just make sure that the club is still traveling towards the ball through impact; over under is actually okay as long as the club face stays square.
There are short game drills too, and you can practice those at home at the same time as working on your putting.
Also remember that it takes time to fix a pulling shot, so be patient with yourself! It's very frustrating being unable to make solid contact, so be sure to give it time and enjoy learning the game.
What is the difference between a slice and a pull?
This is debatable, but I think that if you are hitting behind the ball (pull) then it will tend to spin more left; therefore, it's called a 'slice'. If you are hitting in front of the ball however, as with a pulled shot, then the spin won't be as strong.
A pulled golf shot is a mishit, but it doesn't always mean you are doing something wrong on purpose; improper technique and alignment will cause the ball to fly off to the side.
Use these tips to discover how to correct your pulling shot so that you can spend time on the course relaxing instead of worrying about taking practice swings!