How To Fix - Laid Off At The Top Of The Swing - Senior Golf Tip 1

    Check the position of the golf club at the top of the backswing for more control and consistency with this tip.

    At the very end of the backswing movement in a golf swing, the golf club can usually be seen to be in one of three positions. For right handed players, it can be ‘on line’ which means that it is pointing directly at the target. It can be ‘across the line’ where it points to the right of the target. Or it can be ‘laid off’ where it points to the left of the target. These are all reversed for left handed players.

    A ‘laid off’ position at the top of the backswing is a very ‘weak’ position for the golf club to be in. It means that the golf club is out of control and very insecure in the hands as the wrists have not hinged effectively through the backswing. At this point, the left wrist (for right hander’s) is bowed over and almost on top of the golf club with the thumb positioned to the side of the club rather than underneath it where it can support the club's weight. In this position, the club can move around too freely meaning a lack of consistency as it is difficult to control the golf club so that it is in the same position for every swing. Aside from the club being insecure at the end of the backswing, accuracy also suffers as the club face is difficult to control during the downswing. This is because of the position of the left wrist. The left wrist controls the face of the golf club which directs where the ball will go and so the wrist needs to be recovered from it's poor position at the end of the backswing to a stronger and straighter position by the time the club head reaches the ball.

    To get the club online in a more secure position at the end of the backswing begins with the first movement of the golf club away from the ball – the takeaway. Place an object (tee, marker or ball) on the floor directly in line with the target and approximately two feet behind the ball that is being hit. Practice taking the golf club away from the ball out over the object on the floor until it gets to hip height. Only use the turning motion of the shoulders for this movement and not the arms or hands. At the halfway point of the backswing, hinge the wrists to 90 degrees in an upward direction as the rest of the turn is completed. The golf club should travel towards the sky, straight over the shoulders to point at the target at the top of the backswing.

    At the end of the backswing, check the position of the front wrist (left for right handed golfers and right for left handed golfers). If the wrist has hinged correctly, the back of the hand should be flat, directly in line with the outside of the forearm. This is a very powerful, strong position of the wrist which supports the weight of the golf club and indicates that the golf club face is in a 'square' position (pointing at the target). From here, it is possible to control the downward swing of the golf club consistently into the golf ball and hit great shots straighter and more often.

    This exercise will get the club on line at the top which will help you to hit more consistent shots at the bottom.