A Handy Drill to Promote Rotational Action in Your Swing

It is always helpful to have golf drills available when you are trying to work on a specific piece of your swing.

Drills are great because they can help to isolate what you are trying to work on during a practice session. Without a drill in mind, you may just wander aimlessly, hitting shot after shot and wondering why you really aren’t getting any better. To avoid that outcome, we have included a drill in this section which you can use to promote rotational action in your swing and avoid the dreaded lateral slide.

This is a simple drill, and it doesn’t require any special equipment aside from what should already be in your golf bag. Once you are at the driving range, follow the steps below to complete the drill.

  • For this drill, you are going to need a club to swing, along with a few golf balls to hit. You can technically perform the drill with any of the full swing clubs in your bag, but we would recommend using something like a seven iron. As you get more and more comfortable with the drill, you may decide to try it with longer clubs, as well.
  • Despite the fact that you are holding a seven iron, you should not be planning to hit these shots any kind of significant distance. Rather, you are only going to be sending the ball a short distance down the range. Therefore, pick out a target which is close to your hitting position. Something in the range of 50 – 60 yards will be good for most players.
  • To get ready for the first shot, you are going to take the stance that you would normally use for a seven-iron shot. There will be nothing unusual about your setup for this swing – take your normal stance, make sure you are lined up properly with the target you have selected, and get ready to swing.
  • It is when the swing begins that you are going to deviate from your usual plan. Rather than making a normal swing all the way up to the top of the backswing and down through the ball, you are going to make a swing which uses body rotation alone – and nothing else – to create power. That means you are going to take your arms, wrists, and hands out of the action. Sure, your hands will still be performing the duty of holding onto the club, but they aren’t going to take any action which would add speed to the swing. The best way to think about what you are doing with this drill is to think about your putting stroke. You shouldn’t use your hands or wrists actively in your putting stroke, and you are going for the same effect here.
  • In order to actually send the ball down the range, you will need to do a good job of turning your shoulders away from the target and then turning back toward the target aggressively with both your upper and lower body. Even without using your hands, you should still be able to strike clean shots after just a bit of practice. You are never going to get the kind of distance with these shots that you get with your normal swing, but that’s okay. The idea here is simply to learn how to rotate your body rather than sliding in order to move the club through the hitting area.

It is a good idea to add this drill to your regular practice routine. Hitting a few shots in this manner at the start of each practice session is a nice way to get yourself on track for the rest of the shots you will be hitting. The hands and wrists do have an important role to play in the swing, of course, but they can’t play that role successfully until the rotation of your body is living up to its potential. Build your swing on great rotation and then add pieces as necessary to succeed over the long run.