Throw The Cones
It's amazing what a little vocalization can do. Again, when golfers go for more distance, they try to swing harder at the very beginning of the forwardswing. This leads to overacceleration of the club too early, and maximum clubhead speed isn't attained at the right spot, which is through impact. Even if you manage to square the face to the ball, and get your body in the right position, if your max speed is before the ball and not after, you're not getting the maximum power out of your swing.
If you watch the best swings in the world, the followthrough, especially with a longer club, takes much less time than the downswing. Learn how to wait on the club until it's about halfway down on the downswing before really trying to let it loose. You can also practice with a driver, holding the clubhead end. Then, swing the shaft until you start hearing the whoosh of the shaft later in the downswing. Many golfers make chipping and pitching much more difficult because they worry too much about what the ball might do as it rolls to the hole.
This becomes a distraction that clutters the mind and results in poor contact and a general lack of distance control. Select a chipping location, visualize the shot and where you would need to land the ball, then go place your hoop where the landing area is.
Then give yourself 10 balls to accomplish the following tasks: Get one ball to land in the hoop and get one ball to come to rest within three advanced to 10 beginner feet of the hole, depending on your skill level. The goal would be to finish the task in as few balls as possible, while learning how your chips and pitches roll or check up. Some golfers put a little more backspin on their shots, and some hit it lower and play for more roll.
The key in using the hoop is to not only get in the habit of not aiming directly at the hole, but also see how your shots react once they do hit the ground. Do this, and your distance and direction will improve tremendously with your chips and pitch shots. Too much tension in hands and arms leads to flipping at the ball instead of creating a solid chipping stroke.
When this happens, you see a lot of flubbed, fat and thin chips. A great way to loosen the tension in the hands is to try the club-toss drill. Grab a couple wedges and make room to toss each wedge a few yards ahead of you. As you make a chipping motion, allow the club to come loose through impact. Do this about 10 to 15 times. Then, add a ball to the motion. If your club gets tossed dramatically to the left, then you're using too much tension and trying to hit at the ball or scoop it.
If the club starts to go fairly straight, then you're starting to feel what it's like to have Tour professional hands and control around the greens. If you struggle with hitting chips the right distance, it's probably because your eyes and your golf swing don't see and feel the same thing. Also, you're likely hitting at the ball again, instead of letting your body and club swing through the ball and toward the target. To alleviate this problem, practice chipping with your eyes on the target instead of the ball.
Before trying with the ball, do about 10 to 15 practice strokes with your eyes on your target and allow the club to naturally brush the grass. See if you notice that your legs and torso begin to shift weight and rotate with the motion of the club. Then set up to a ball and practice without your eyes on the ball—keep them on the target. In a short time, you'll get a better feeling and visual for not only making the right swing length, but also hitting through the ball, not at it.
Ask any great putter, and he'll tell you that speed is the most critical variable when it comes to putting. Your speed can change the way the ball breaks, so if you don't have the right speed, your directional control will suffer, too. So, here's what I like to do to help improve my students' speed control. In this exercise, simply find a fairly flat and straight putt on the putting green. Start at about 10 feet from the hole and put a towel or glove in the cup.
Putt with your eyes closed and, before you open your eyes to see where the ball went, see how accurately you can guess where the ball ended up relative to the hole—or even if you made it!
As you practice this and get more accurate at your guesses, you'll be developing the essential skills for great distance control—a better sense of the target and feel for your stroke. Once you head out onto the course, use this exercise during your round to make more putts! It's not uncommon to want to look up and see what happens to the ball after you stroke a putt. Even the best players in the world sometimes do this. Only thing is, when you think too much about where the ball goes after you stroke it, you'll probably come out of position and make an awkward, off-line stroke.
If this sounds like you, do the "Back! Challenge yourself to get your voice right on the points of the transition, impact and all the way to when the putter stops. If you can keep your focus until the putter stops moving, then the ball will already be in the hole. This is probably the most common mistake of all when it comes to the follow through for the average amateur player. Not only is this mistake going to cost you power, but you will also have a hard time striking the ball cleanly on a consistent basis.
For most players, this problem starts when the club transitions from backswing to downswing. The moment that the club changes direction is crucial, and getting it wrong at this point will mean you have basically no chance of saving the swing later on.
Ideally, you want your lower body to be initiating the movement toward the target, with the club following along as it gets pulled into position by your arms and your torso. Unfortunately, many golfers make the mistake of starting the downswing with the arms and hands, putting everything out of sequence and leaving you with a weak hit down toward the ball.
This is generally the case for players who wind up stuck on their right foot during the follow through. A swing like this is usually lacking power, and often results in a slice. The other big mistake that is made in the follow through is a lack of balance — with your weight falling either to the right or left as your swing is coming to a stop. Most of the time this is caused simply by trying to swing too hard.
Your ability to hold your balance should determine how hard you are willing to swing the club. If the speed of your rotation is causing you to lose balance at your finish position, try slowing down slightly until you regain control of your balance. Over-swinging is another common amateur mistake, and it can lead to poor accuracy, inconsistent ball striking, and even lost distance. Any distance you might gain by swinging as hard as you possibly can will likely be lost when you hit the ball out off the toe or in toward the heel.
Focus on hitting the sweet spot of the club face time after time if you really want to maximize the distance you achieve. Most likely you already have a pretty good idea of what kind of condition your follow through is in. However, it is still a good idea to take a look at the details of your follow through to spot any signs of trouble and look for ways to improve the finish position — and the rest of your swing as a result.
Just like any other part of your swing, video is the best way to analyze your follow through position. Taking a couple quick videos of your swing will go a long way toward helping you make improvements. Fortunately, most people have quick access to a video recording device because most cell phones today have them built-in.
Ask a friend to come with you to the driving range to record a few swings so you can watch them back later. You want to get video from two specific angles —. The beauty of modern technology is that you should be able to review these swings right there on the range after you record them. That way, you can see what problems might be taking place in the swing, and get straight to work on finding a solution.
Try to use the video review on a periodic basis to see improvements from any changes you have made, and also to see if any new problems have cropped up. Using drills is the best way to cure problems in your golf swing, and that is certainly true of the follow though. The golf swing follow through drills contained in this section are designed to help fix the most common mistakes made by amateur golfers.
The first drill to work on is basically a reverse swing. To start, use a middle iron and stand in a position where you have room to make a full swing. Instead of taking your regular address position before a shot, start by posing in a balanced follow through position. You should have the majority of your weight on your left foot, your right foot should be balanced on its toe, and your belt buckle should be pointing toward your imaginary target.
Imagine that you are posing for the cover of a magazine and trying to strike the perfect look of a balanced golfer in their finish position. You are trying to make your normal golf swing, except in reverse and in slow motion. Over the course of a few seconds, you should be able to move backward through the whole swing until you are all the way back to a regular stance.
Once you have completed a repetition of this drill, start over and do a few more. The idea here is that you will learn how your balance works throughout the swing by doing it in reverse. You are used to feeling your swing going forward, and it is hard to make changes since you are so comfortable with how it works at this point. The second of three golf swing follow through drills that you can use to improve your finish position might have you feeling a little silly on the driving range — but it works.
The set up for this drill is simple: You want to do everything just like you regularly would, from picking a target and going through your pre-shot routine to making a good swing and holding a balanced finish. However, when you do get to your finish position and the club stops moving, you are going to make one extra move — bend your knees slightly and then straighten them up again. The idea behind this drill is that you will be able to feel any slight imbalance in your weight distribution when you bend your needs.
If, for example, you have too much weight stuck on your right foot, that feeling will be exaggerated when you try to do this quick squat. The last drill for you to work on will really test the quality of your swing mechanics and your balance. This is not something that you should do on the golf course, because it makes it difficult to make solid contact.