Caution: there is a lot of information in this post, enough to easily get overwhelmed. This article is simply a list of lots of different, common golf swing flaws and their correlating solutions.
It is more so a list of swing thoughts or feelings that you can incorporate in your golf swing that will help you overcome your main problem. There are lots of solutions mentioned for each flaw, but it is only so that you can have lots of possibilities to pick ONE AT A TIME that makes the most sense to you.
Don’t keep multiple swing thoughts in your head at once. Stick with one for a week and see how you like it. If it doesn’t improve your swing in the way that you were hopping, consider trying a different one.
Note: Sorry to disappoint about this entire article not being about Trump’s golf swing. I’d love to but I can’t get near enough pictures to make it possible.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions!
Golf Tips for Swings That are Too Long (Overswinging)
When it comes to having a golf swing that is too long, the solution is to exaggerate a shorter swing significantly. You may “feel” like you are doing a much shorter swing. But in reality, you might have only shorted it half an inch. “Feel like you make a 3/4 backswing” is common advice. Often times though, that isn’t enough to make a change.
My advice to you is to find out exactly what the problem is in your swing. Here are a few reasons that you might make a swing that is too long, and a few corresponding solutions to solve the swing flaw.
1) Your wrists hinge too much or break down at the top of the swing.
- Hinge your wrists sooner if they collapse too much as the top.
- Keep your wrists more firm if they collapse too much at the top.
2) Your arms keep moving long after your shoulder turn is complete (very disconnected swing)
- Do what feels like a half or even 1/4 backswing with a full follow through.
- Once your shoulders stop turning, start your downswing
- Once your lead shoulder is over your trail foot, your backswing is done.
3) Your trail arm (right arm for righties) bends too much
- Keep your trail arm straighter. Don’t let it bend past 90 degrees.
- Try to keep your hands as far away from your head as possible.
- Try to keep your hands lower and allow your loose wrists and shoulders to do more of the work
4) Your shoulder turn and hip turn are excessive (no benefit for a bigger turn)
- Keep your lead foot down if it comes up in your backswing (which would be fine if your swing wasn’t too long)
- Try to just make an L with your lead arm and the club and then start the downswing.
- Your shoulder turn is complete when your lead shoulder is under your chin. Any more is too much.
- Restrict the hips just slightly if they turn too much.
- If you completely move off of the ball in your swing, see below for fixing a swing with too much sway
The Best Golf Tips to Fix a Slice
Slicing is the most common problem among amateurs, and for good reason. The body naturally wants to hit the golf ball, and coming from the inside doesn’t come naturally for most. Most golfers, once they reach the top of the backswing, want to immediately attack the ball, instead of dropping the club and coming from an inside path.
If you have been struggling with slices for years, it won’t be easy to make the change. You’ll have to exaggerate many of these swing changes for months at a time for them to become permanent in your swing.
The general rule, though: to top slicing, you need to do everything to start hooking the ball.
With a slice, you are coming from the outside of the ball and you have an open club face. To hook the ball, you need to learn to come from the inside and close the face through impact.
Here is how to fix each of those, so that you can stop slicing and start learning how to hit draws and even hooks.
How to come from the inside:
- try to hit the inside quadrant of the golf ball
- swing to right field
- keep your shoulders turned behind you longer in downswing
- Keep the club behind you longer in the downswing
- Once you reach the top of the backswing, drop everything directly downward toward the ground (your hands, your arms, the club head, etc) before finishing your downswing
- When you reach the downswing, think “down, and around”
- To start the downswing, pull your lead elbow directly down, and allow it to pull the club and your hands down with it
- Exaggerate a very steep/upright backswing and a shallow/flat downswing as many times as you can (this makes room for you to drop everything at the top)
- Make a path where, if you don’t come from the inside, you hit a some type of item in the way (make two paths of golf balls that require you to swing to the right to avoid them)
- Make divots point to the right of your target
- Practice hitting shots where you aim to the right: try to come from the inside and draw the ball back to the left.
How to close the club face through impact (no more open club face):
- strengthen your grip (rotate your hands clockwise on the grip for righties)
- move your hands so that you can see 3-4 knuckles on the top hand
- hit shots with your feet aiming right: try to rotate your forearms through the shot to turn the ball over
- Let your right hand come over your left after you make contact
- Be loose with your grip – it encourages the hands to turn over naturally
NOTE: pick one of these swing thoughts that stands out to you. Pick the one that makes sense in your head and go to the range as soon as you can. Don’t let all of these swing thoughts clutter your brain, just find ONE that caused a lightbulb to turn on in your brain.
Take a few days of hitting balls with that swing thought. If it doesn’t help the problem, find and try another one for a week. Exaggerate as much as you need to. You are not done with this until you can hit hooks as often as you want.
Golf Swing Thoughts to Fix a Hook
This section will be an exact opposite of the section on how to stop slicing.
If you are hitting hooks, where the ball starts pretty straight and moves hard to the left , that means that your club face is closed to your path and your swing path is too far in-to-out or from the inside. This is a much less common problem. Typically, only better golfers have this swing flaw, as it is difficult to come from the inside too much for an amateur.
To stop hitting hooks, the best thing you can do is to learn and practice hitting slices. The more repetitions, the better. You don’t even have to make full swings. Just take a short swing, cut across the ball with an open club face, and watch the ball start a little left and cut to the right.
If you need more help, here are my best tips to come more from the outside and hit the ball with a more open club face.
How to attack the ball more from the outside:
- Swing more to the left after impact
- Try to hit the outside quarter of the ball
- Keep the club more in front of you in the downswing
- Don’t let your hands and the club drop as much to start the downswing
- Swing to left field
- Make 2 trails using golf balls that requires you to go through the trails to make a more out-to-in swing and avoid the balls
How to hit the ball with a more open club face:
- Weaken your grip by turning your hands counterclockwise on the grip (for righties)
- Only make 1 or 2 knuckles visible on your lead hand at address
- Open your stance (aim more left for righties) and learn to cut across the ball and make it curve to the right
- Don’t allow your hands to turn over as much through impact
- Keep your lead wrist looking at the target through impact longer
- keep your trail wrist bent more at impact
Simple Golf Tips to Fix a Push or Missing Right
If you are consistently hitting pushes, you are probably just coming into the ball with an open club face, or your alignment is simply off and you didn’t realize it.
85% of the reason a ball starts in a direction is due to club face at impact. The other 15% is due to swing path. Therefore, 85% of the reason you are pushing is because your club face is open at impact.
Here are a tips that might help you stop pushing by closing the club face at impact:
- Make your grip stronger (rotate your hands to the right for right handed golfers)
- Allow yourself to see 3-4 knuckles on your lead hand when you set up to a shot.
- Rotate your forearms through the shot to shut the club face.
- Feel as if your right hand comes over your left hand after hitting the ball
- Loosen your grip to allow your hands to turn over without even thinking about it
- Use an alignment stick on the range to make sure you aren’t simply aiming too far right (easy to do)
- Set up to shots naturally and then put an alignment stick down on your feet to check how straight you are aiming.
Golf Swing Fix for Hitting Pulls or Missing Left
If you are hitting pulls, your are starting the ball left and it is staying left. Based on the last section, 85% of the reason that you are missing left is because your club is closed at impact. We are going to just focus on this problem, as the other 15% due to club path obviously has much less weight here.
These are my best swing thoughts and feelings that you can incorporate into your training to stop this problem:
- Weaken your frip
- Only be able to see 1 or 2 knuckles on your left hand at address
- Think about pushing your trail elbow to the target quickly in the downswing. This will cause the club face to stay more open.
- Feel your forearms rotate less at impact to keep the face open
- Double check that you aren’t just aiming left at address. It can be difficult to check at times.
- Set up to shots without thinking and then drop an alignment stick along your footline to see where you are ACTUALLY aiming.
Fixing an Across the Line Swing
If your swing gets across the line at the top (club points too far to the right for right handers), you need to get the club pointed more down the line.
The exaggerated fix would be to lay the club off a little. I would suggest the following tips to lay the club off and get into a better position at the top.
- Try to point the logo on your glove more upward at the top of the swing. With an across the line swing, your glove/hand is pointing directly in front of your body.
- Keep your trail elbow lower and more connected to your body. If your trail elbow trails too much, it’s easy to go across the line.
- Try to keep your right elbow lower than your left elbow
- After the takeaway, rotate your forearms clockwise more in the backswing.
- After the takeaway, try to get your left elbow to point more in front of your body as opposed to down in the backswing.
- Try to point the club as far behind you as possible at the top.
Fixing a Laid Off Golf Swing
Fixing a laid off golf swing, where the club points too far to the left at the top of the backswing, is the exact opposite of fixing an across the line swing.
You need to find a way to get the club pointing more to the right at the top. The way to do that would be to have less forearm rotation in the backswing.
Here are some swing thoughts that will help:
- Keep the logo of your glove pointing out in front of you more, as opposed to pointing to the sky.
- Keep your left elbow pointing more down, as opposed to pointing in front of you.
- Keep your left/lead shoulder down more. Turn it under the chin, not in line with the chin.
- Resist your forearms from rotating clockwise so much in the backswing.
- Keep your right elbow above your left elbow
- Allow your right elbow to come away from your body a little
Again, try to just find one swing thought, and give it a few weeks of practice to see how it works. Pick the one that makes the most sense in your head or the one that you think will solve your main problem of rotating the forearms too much. Don’t clutter your brain with too many swing thoughts!
How to Stop Casting the Club At the Top
If you struggle with casting the club at the top, instead of holding the lag and reaching a good impact position, there are lots of good swing thoughts that will work for you. As long as it makes you hold the angle from the top longer, it works and keep going with it. Fixing this problem will increase your club head speed and lead to longer ball flights.
In short, what you are doing is “swinging” from the very top of the swing. What you need to do though is swing at the BOTTOM of the swing, you know, where the ball is. Grab a club and swing it with no ball there. Where do you here the “swoosh”? Early on in the downswing or at the end? You want it to be at the very end or even after the ball.
Here are some swing thoughts and feelings that you can try to incorporate into your swing to stop casting:
- do slow motion practice swings where the club shaft actually hits you in the trail shoulder on the downswing. Feel how loose your wrists need to be to make this happen?
- Do what I call the “pump drill”, where you get to the top of the backswing, pump out a few half downswings where you keep the angle of your wrists firm, and then finally hit the ball with this feeling in mind
- practice making the swoosh sound AFTER you hit the ball to exaggerate it
- try to exaggerate how much lag you can come into impact with
- try to make larger divots, where the club head is coming into contact behind the grip
- try to make contact with the ball with your hands ahead of the clubhead
- put a tee a few inches behind your golf ball, make sure you come into contact with the ball and avoid the tee (to make sure you are hitting down on the ball)
How to Stop Coming Over the Top
If your golf swing comes way over the top, you will hit big pulls and slices. A good indicator is that your divots will be very large and/or pointing way left of the target.
To stop coming over the top, you need to learn to shallow your downswing, because right now, your downswing is WAY too steep.
Here are my favorite tips and swing thoughts to shallow out the downswing.
- steepen your backswing so that you can leave room for a shallow downswing
- at the top of the backswing, get the feeling of pointing the logo on your glove to the sky. This will shallow the downswing plane.
- hit the inside quarter of the golf ball, closer to you
- swing to right field as opposed to center or left field
- keep your torso behind you for a longer period of time in the downswing
- keep your golf club behind you longer in the downswing, as opposed to in front of your body
- at the top of the backswing, drop your hands, your arms, and the club head directly downward toward the ground
- when you start the downswing, try to make the club go “directly down and then around”
- to start the downswing, pull your lead elbow directly down, and allow it to pull the club and your hands down with it
- exaggerate an upright backswing and a shallow downswing as many times as you can
- try to make your divots go to the right of your intended target
- instead of aiming to the left and hitting slices, practice aiming to the right and coming from the inside to hit draws.
- learn to purposely hook the ball as much as possible before anything else
Stop Swaying in Your Golf Swing
If you sway in your golf swing, you have to sway back in the downswing to make decent contact with the ball. This is nearly impossible to time on a consistent basis.
Nothing is wrong with a small shift to the back foot and then shifting the weight to the front foot in the follow through, but too much and you’ll lose consistency.
The fix for this is to have a more centered golf swing where your head and your body stay where they are throughout the swing, and you simply pivot or rotate around the spine.
So, if you find your head or your body sways too far in your backswing, I’ve listed some swing thoughts and feelings for you to tinker with:
- Keep your head exactly where it is (or even feel like it moves forward to your target an inch) in the backswing
- Keep more weight on your left foot than you normally do in your backswing
- Try to keep your chin in the same spot in your backswing
- Have your weight distribution more 50:50 (left:right) at the top of the swing. You might have to “feel” as if you have more weight on the left side.
- Stay looking at the front of the golf ball, the side facing the target
- Make sure your lead shoulder is rotating DOWN and then around in the takeaway. When your shoulder turn is too flat, it can cause your upper body and torso to sway to the right.
- Feel that your lead shoulder rotated far UNDER the chin. A steeper shoulder turn like this can cause you to be more centered.
- Even hit some balls where the lead shoulder doesn’t touch the chin because it is so low – just make sure you still have a complete shoulder turn (if your body allows)
How to Fix a Cluttered Brain with Golf Swing Mantras
If you are like me, you often clutter your brain with lots of different swing thoughts. I used to think of the golf swing as a lot of moving parts that needed to occur in exactly the right way at exactly the right time. However, now I know that the more you can simplify your golf swing, the better. I love the use of small phrases or “golf swing mantras” that I can use when I fall off track or when my brain hurts a little.
These are a few of my favorite ones below:
- “turn and hinge” – just turn the shoulders and hinge the club and your backswing is good to go
- “rotate and come in low”- reminds me to turn my shoulders completely, and then I drop the club to shallow the plane and come in shallower than my backswing
- “hands before the club-” reminds me to come into contact with my hands in front of the club with irons and wedges. I rehearse a small exaggerated impact position when I am working on this
- “steep and then shallow”- I’m a big proponent of the feel of a steep backswing and then a slightly shallow downswing
- “aim left, swing right, walk straight” – made famous by Lee Trevino. I think that if you are going to aim a certain way, it better be left. That way, you can come from the inside and hit nice fades. It makes way more sense to me than aiming to the right and then having to come over the top or drawing the ball more.
I advise everyone to come up with a couple of golf swing mantras that counteract your natural tendencies. You can always fall back on them when you need them.
Golf Swing Tips to Stop Flipping The Club At Impact
Impact is by far the most important position in the swing. Every thing before that only matters because it CAN help lead to a good impact position.
Flipping at impact simply means that, instead of keeping your lead wrist in front of the clubhead, you flip the clubhead and try to “help” the ball up.
Flipping typically results in a lot of “fat” shots, where you hit the ground before the actual ball. It can also lead to a considerable loss of distance all around.
Hitting the ball in the air is a weird thing. Because, to make the ball go up, you have to hit DOWN on it. This collapses the ball into the dirt and forces it up using the loft of the club. Leave the loft of the club to help the ball up, don’t do it yourself.
Below are some of my favorite swing thoughts to help get a perfect impact position and not try to help the ball up by flipping the wrists and the club at the bottom.
- Put a credit card in the top of the glove near the logo. Try to keep the card from bending at impact by keeping the front wrist firm and in front of the ball. Hit chips and knockdowns like this.
- Practice hitting lots of full knockdown shots, where you take a good divot and keep the ball low by having such a solid impact position.
- Hit golf balls with a small item behind the ball – avoid the item by making sure you hit the ball with a descending blow (use the rope on the range if they have one- super motivating to not embarrass yourself by hitting the rope and )
- Focus an inch in front of the golf ball (towards the target more) to make sure you are hitting the golf ball and THEN taking a divot
- Think about keeping your trail wrist bent more at impact (the flatter your trail wrist is, the more your are flipping at impact). Try it out for yourself with an imaginary club.
How to Quit Topping the Golf Ball
If you are topping the golf ball, your swing arc is simply a little too high. Therefore, you are making contact with only the top of the ball, which causes it to go into the ground and then roll a short distance. Lots of great ball strikers have a small downward movement in their downswing, where they generate a lot of power by using their lower body.
My point: Don’t be afraid of “dipping” in the downswing, because right now your club is simply too high compared to the ball at the bottom of your swing. There is also a chance that your clubs simply are too short for you.
Here are my best tips for lowering your swing arc and making solid contact:
- adjust your posture – you might be standing too tall and need to bend over a little more from the hips or knees.
- stay down throughout the swing – many beginners feel more powerful by standing up in the backswing, but that means you’ll have to dip a lot to hit the ball cleanly (plus, it doesn’t make you more powerful)
- stay down in the downswing especially – don’t swing so hard that your entire body comes up before you hit the ball (only lift up once you have made contact)
- try to keep your head as steady as possible in your backswing and downswing – don’t move it up or sideways
- make sure your clubs are not too short
- many people “early extend” by standing up and pushing your pelvis toward the ball – keep your butt more behind you in the downswing
- simply swing lower and practice hitting a small tee off the top of the ground
- practice taking divots or at least brushing the grass when you swing
- Make sure your feet aren’t too close together.
- Temporarily, practice with the golf ball further back in your stance. This will force you to get and stay down in your shots.
- Permanently, move the ball somewhere closer to the middle of your stance. Too far forward or back and it can be easy to top of the ball on the upswing or downswing.
How to Stop Hitting Fat Golf Shots
If you struggle with hitting fat golf shots, then you know how frustrating it can be. Standing over a shot with water in front of the green can be terrifying because you know that if you hit the ground before the ball, you will probably end up short and in the water.
To never deal with fat shots again, you have to practice making contact with the ball first and then the ground.
Here are my best tips to start making better contact and stop “fatting” golf balls:
- focus on the front of the golf ball, the side closer to the target.
- Don’t be afraid to even focus on an inch in front of the golf ball
- Make sure the ball is not way too far forward in your stance
- Make your swing “swoosh” near the ball, not at the top of the swing.
- Try to make focus on making contact with the ball with your wrists in front of the club.
- Temporarily, practice hitting shots with the ball in the very front of your stance. This will cause you to hold the lag more and hit the ball first.Then, when you go back to hitting with a normal ball position, you will have a much easier time.
- MOST EFFECTIVE: hit balls with a small object (like a tee or rope) right behind the ball so that you have to miss the object to hit the golf ball with a downward strike.
- Make sure you are shifting your weight to your front foot in the downswing.
- At the end of your swing, the majority of your weight should on your front foot.
- Make sure your feet are not too far apart.
- If you are swaying in the backswing, you aren’t swaying enough to get back to the ball consistently. Scroll up and find out how to stop swaying.