Video Series

Video Transcript

A really big skill that I’d like you to be able to develop to help you improve and to help you practice better and more efficiently, is to understand and diagnose what happens to each shot you hit. I see a lot of golfers on the driving range and they are practicing and they are practicing and they are trying to work on that technique, but they are getting very little feedback from what the ball actually did, why did the golf ball go over there? What did you do to cause that to happen? If the ball is going in to one consistent direction, you can then change your swing. If the golf ball is going into all sorts of different inconsistent random directions, you need to alter your swing to make it more consistent, to make it better. And as a golf coach, if I can see what the golf ball is doing, I can immediately work out what somebody is doing within that swing to make the golf ball do that.

Couple of big faults that we would see from most beginners when they are playing the game, set into the golf ball nicely, making a swing but only hitting the top of the golf ball and the golf ball would run out very low across the floor. It might even sort of bounce off the matt and skip up into the air but it wouldn’t go no distance at all, and if it lands in long grass, it would stop very quickly, and that’s the shot that we would call a top or a thin, where the golf club hits the ball above the equator. The ball will generally go straight down into the floor. So if that’s the fault that you are having at the moment you are topping or thinning the ball, try and make a conscious effort to hit down a little bit lower to hit below the equator of the golf ball.

The opposites of the top or the thin, is the fat or the heavy shot. Now a fat shot, heavy shot is a word we used to describe, when the club actually hits too low when you hit ground first. If you are doing this on the golf course and you are playing off grass, you probably see a big divot and the divot would come from before the golf ball in this area here. The golf ball again it wouldn’t go very far. It might go up in the air but it wouldn’t go very far at all, it would go very short of its normal distance and that would be a fat shot, possibly caused by leaning back and certainly by hitting the ground too low. So just be careful about maintaining your height if you are hitting lots of fat shots.

Couple of other issues you might hit the toe of the golf club, a toe of the golf club over on this section. The toe would be a shot that would then shoot violently offline to the side. It would sound a bit funny, feel a bit funny, might even try and twist the golf club out of your fingers. If you are toeing it, we would question whether you are at the right distance away from the golf ball or not. The variation of the toe would be the heel, so not this side but hitting this side or the shank of the golf club. And people that shank the golf ball generally again would hit it violently to that side, so ironically the toe and the heel make the golf ball go exactly the same way and some people get confused about them.

The difference with the shank is the sound. It would sound a bit different. It would sound almost like a double click because the ball would hit the shank and then often hits the face as well and if that kind of double click that shoots the ball offline. If you’re getting a long way away from the club face you might even hit this side of the heel, which would actually make the golf ball go violently to my left as I’m hitting it, so I would hit and go over the top of the golf ball. From this angle, I would hit on that part of the club and it would just go straight back here behind me. If I am hitting the toe or the shank it will push out on that side. So just be careful whereabouts on the club face you’re actually striking the golf ball from and then if you are striking it in an inconsistent position, you could maybe have a look at the distance that you are setting up to the golf ball to make sure it’s in the right position.

The other thing is if you are hitting the ball quite nicely and it’s going up into the air but it’s not going straight, generally that would be caused by the direction that the club face is aiming when it hits the golf ball. So if the club face is pointing to the right, the golf ball would generally get projected down the right hand side. Likewise, the club face pointing left, it would get projected down the left hand side. If that was happening consistently you would have to check is it in the right position to start with, did I line it up correctly, did I aim it correctly, did I grip it correctly and am I returning the golf club back down to a square position as I hit the golf ball?

So if you can understand how to diagnose your ball flight or how you can diagnose your good and your bad shots, hopefully that will help you improve nicely.