Striking the ground before the ball is a problem faced by many left handed golfers and is normally caused by an early extension of the wrists during the down swing.
It occurs when the angle built up during the back swing between the wrists and club shaft unhinge early in the down swing. This reduces the angle between the wrists and shaft. Unfortunately, this usually leads to the club shaft extending too early and bottoming the club out of its natural arc before the ball, smashing into the ground.
To improve ball striking, left handed golfers should try to maintain the angle between the wrists and club shaft for as long as possible during the down swing. The wrists should only unhinge just before impact as the arms straighten and then extend through the ball.
There are a few drill players can use to help maintain the angle of the wrists and club shaft during the down swing.
1. At the top of the swing, you should see a 90 degree angle created between the right arm and club shaft. This angle is necessary for good ball striking. If this angle is not achievable, practice cocking or hinging the wrists earlier in the back swing.
2. Players need to pause at the top of swing before slowly bringing the club down. Players need to stop where the hips have rotated slightly and the arms have dropped.
3. At this position, the right arm will be pointing at the ground and the club shaft will be parallel to the ground.
4. Hold this position. The angle between the right wrist and club shaft should be 90 degrees. After holding for a moment, return to the top of the back swing.
5. Swing through at full speed trying to hit the same position just practiced. This should help you get the feeling of maintaining the angle between the shaft, wrists and arms.
1. The swoosh drill is an advancement of the pump drill with a couple of extra twists.
2. Rather than using a club, use an alignment stick or garden cane to swing. As long as it is sufficiently long, thin and heavy enough to make a ‘swoosh’ sound as it travels through the air.
3. Taking a set up position, repeat the pump drill with the stick. When swinging through you will hear the swoosh.
4. Try to get the swoosh sound emanating from after where the ball would be positioned.
5. This will show you have maintained the wrist angle all the way through the down swing and only straightened the stick and arms after impact.
These two drills will allow left handed golfers to better understand how to maintain the angle between the wrists and club shaft during the down swing.