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Topping? Chunking? Even Whiffing?
No Problem. There’s an Easy Solution
By: Maria Palozola, Class A LPGA Professional
When you address the golf ball where is your clubhead? It’s on the ground right? It’s sitting right behind the golf ball. Why then is it so hard to return the clubhead to where it started and hit the ball squarely on the face consistently? Like Tommy Armour once said “Golf is an awkward set of bodily contortions designed to produce a graceful result.” So true for many, but I want to simplify this for you so it’s actually not awkward at all.
Think of the center of your chest as your swing’s center point. When you set up it is a predetermined distance from the golf ball. If your swing center doesn’t move closer to or further from the golf ball your clubhead will easily return to where it started. The solution thus lies in maintaining the same posture you established at address.
One of the most common swing faults is what we call early extension of the spine or a pelvic push. As the pelvis moves in towards the ball and target the spine raises as a reaction. It’s basically when a player stands up during the downswing (it can certainly start on the backswing too) and finds their swing center now further from the ball than it was at address. The result is commonly a topped shot, thin shot or even a whiff. Some players will actually get the opposite result; a fat shot. As they feel themselves stand up, they then throw the clubhead down into the ground to make up for the difference.
The solution is easy. Maintain the same posture you established at address. This is commonly referred to across the links as “staying down”. My suggestion is to keep your right cheek (for right handers) facing the ground as you watch your ball fly and keep your rear end sticking out.
You can see in the pictures below how on the left my pelvis has pushed forward and come in from where it started causing me to raise up. The photo on the rights shows clearly that I’m maintaining the same posture I had at address. Notice the differences in my spine tilt, rear end, shoulder angle and head position.
Maintain your posture and you won’t only gain consistency; you’ll maximize your distance as you learn how to rotate properly through the shot.
Golf Digest labeled Maria as a Top 10 Teacher in the state of Illinois (2007-2008), as voted by her peers. In addition, her peers voted Maria as the Top Teacher in the Midwest (2008, 2011 & 2013). Golf Magazine listed her as a Top Teacher in the Midwest (2005-2008).
Maria is a Certified Golf Fitness Professional, Certified Golf Psych Professional and a three-time Certified Professional Club fitter. To learn more from Maria go to http://www.stlouisgolflessons.om or http://www.mygolfinstructor.com