In a player’s quest to improve accuracy they must first understand the relationship between the club face and swing path through impact and how best to create the optimal conditions for a straight shot.
At impact, for a perfectly straight shot to occur, the club face needs to be square to the ball to target line with the club traveling along an inside-to-square-to-inside swing path. However, before achieving a correct club face position at impact, players must first ensure their set up is correct both with the club face and body.
1. From behind the ball, lock on to the target and draw a line back from the target to the ball. This line represents the ball-to-target-line.
2. Just in front of the ball, pick something which sits on the ball-to-target line. On the course this could be something small like a different shade of grass or divot.
3. After the ball-to-target line has been identified, move into the set up position and aim the club face at the intermediate target. This means at address the club face is aiming at target.
4. After the club face is aligned correctly, the toes, knees, hips and shoulders should be then set at right angles to the club face and ball-to-target line.
It’s important the set up is correct as misalignment at address means the club face will need to be manipulated throughout the swing to get the ball started on line. After the set up has been negotiated, you can start thinking about how to achieve the correct inside-to-square-to-inside swing path for a straight shot. There are a number of drills which can be practiced to help achieve a better and more consistent swing path.
1. To groove the inside-to-square-to-inside swing path, place a line of tee-pegs or a small box just outside the ball.
2. By hitting balls with the tee-pegs or box on the outside it’s easier to groove a more consistent inside-to-square-to-inside swing path.
As the club face follows the correct swing path, it rotates and aims square at the target at impact. However, the club face needs to continue to rotate and release through impact. This ensures the club face does not remain open and send the ball right off the target (for right handed golfers). Half way through the through swing, players should ensure the club face has rotated and the toe of the club is pointing up at the sky.