A couple of weeks ago I asked you all to email me golf questions. I will share the most common question and will respond to the others individually. I think it was a worthwhile experiment. However, you shouldn't be surprised that the most common question was how to stop hitting big banana slices.
In previous articles I mentioned that slices and pulls are really the same swing. The only difference is the face is closed at impact for a pull and open for a slice.
First, let's make sure we all understand what's happening. When you slice the ball or pull the ball, you're swinging across the ball with an outside-to-in swing path. I think most people do understand this, but can't stop doing it.
Next, let's determine why you're swinging across the ball. I suspect that since the backswing is initiated by the upper body and it should be, your natural tendency is to do the same for the down swing. Therein lies the problem. You are starting the down swing with the upper body. I believe this is why the golf swing is so difficult to master. You must transition (smoothly) from an upper body backswing to a lower body motion that allows the upper body, arms, hands, and club to follow the unwinding lower body. However, this lower body motion must allow the club to follow the same path back to the ball, from which it started.
If you're serious about this, go to the store and buy glow in the dark tape. Find a place to swing and lay down two strips of tape about 5 feet long, just like a set of train tracks. One is for your target line and the other is for your feet. Put a piece of that tape on the top of your driver in the center of the club. You also want to place a piece of tape over the target line, to form a + sign where the ball would normally be in your stance. Shut off the lights and swing. You will see the path you are swinging on. However, you may not see what the face of the club is doing. Ideally the club should go back along the target line momentarily as it moves to the inside and to the top of the swing. On the way down it should do exactly the same thing but in reverse. After impact, the club should move back to the inside and to the completion of the swing. I hope this is helpful.
Mulligan's Corner: If you haven't played Turnbull Bay Golf Club you should check it out. They didn't over seed over the winter, so they are green and immaculate. Plus, they have a special for the month of May. For $20, tax included, you get 18 holes with a cart. For 9 holes it's only $13.50. Call Turnbull for a tee time at (386) 427-8727.
Sal Martignetti is an independent golf instructor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (603) 986-3376. His free e-book is available at elusivegolfswing.weebly.com.