This post is part of a series of discussions where I tackle a lot of common swing issues. However, instead of providing common fixes that you've probably seen elsewhere, I will be providing a more accurate way to think about how to obtain the correct feels of the swing. This series is catered to help more of an intermediate to advanced player who has somewhat of a functioning swing. These articles will assume you know some swing vocabulary. Please also check out my earlier posts in the swing fixes category.
Today we will be discussing an uncommon swing fix to help you get a sense of hitting the golf ball more in the center of the face or even toward the heel if you are a player who keeps hitting it on the toe.
How it's different: The most common fix that you find online to cure toe shots will deal with early extension or something having to do with the follow through. This tip shows you something you need to look in your actual backswing that may be hindering your center strikes instead of purely looking at the downswing.
The most common tip you will find online on how to fix a toe shot will describe something you will have to do on your downswing. A toe shot is most often the result of the shaft coming through too steep. There can be a lot of reasons why that happens but the most common issue talked about by coaches is the dreaded "Goat Hump" or "Early Extension." While working on these things can definitely help, here is another way to look at how you can create more depth in the impact area leading to more strikes on the sweetspot.
Remember that early extension is resultant of a player who tries to create speed at the ball too early in the downswing. In an attempt to create maximum club speed, they jump up at impact. Remember in the correct kinematic sequence of the golf swing, your pressure is transferred to you lead leg a lot earlier in the downswing before any sort of jumping happens. In the process of starting the downswing the front and side bend angles of you body need to start getting deeper. In order to do that you must feel like you want to do that at the top of the swing.
In order for you to want to get deeper in the downswing we are going to start with the backswing. Take your regular setup and grip. then let go of your trail hand entirely and let it hang right there under your shoulder. As you keep you lead arm relatively straight on the club, let your trail hand swing back into grip and hinge the club back on plane (what you feel is toward your trail ear). If you are doing this correctly you will feel a lot less shoulder movement and more motion in the wrists and hands. It should feel like a sort of exaggerated waggle, however there must be minimal shoulder movement. Now here is the key: when you attempt to swing your club father back, do not try to bend you trail elbow as much, try to swing feeling like you almost have your arms more straight. This will force you to use more shoulders and put more tension on you arms and shoulders. Your grip end of the club should feel a lot farther from you and closer to the ground as you do this. Start off by taking some pitch type shots an progress more into a fuller shot?
Are you surprised that you're not hitting the club more center? Well you shouldn't be because that's what happens when you swing the club a lot more correctly!