[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 31 - Date 09/19/12


- Tom's Featured Tip: Hitting a Draw
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Swingpath Drill
- Lesson Comments: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC

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For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from
a right handed perspective; lefties .... well, you know what to do :-)

Tom's Featured Tip - Hitting a Draw

I constantly receive questions about hitting a draw, so I'll address it in this issue.

More specifically, I'll explain briefly on what aspects of the golf swing
cause the ball to curve.  If you are interested in "hands on" learning, this topic
is very well covered in my Ball Striking Lesson

There are several different ways to curve the golf ball, but they are
predicated by having your hands and wrists in the correct positions at impact.
This means that your left wrist should be flat or slightly bowed, and that
your right wrist should be cupped - bent back slightly towards your right forearm.

If one wrist position is correct at impact, the other wrist will also be correct.

Most players need to practice either keeping their left wrist flat or their
right wrist cupped through impact.  Pick one thought and see which works
best for you, but know that these positions are imperative for good ball striking.

To find out which thought you need to plant in your brain, try this drill with
each hand separately: place the club on the ground and drag it on the
ground for three inches past the bottom of your swing arc.  If it tends to flip
forward with one hand more than the other as you reach the end of the three
inches past impact point, that's the wrist you need to work on for positional
integrity through impact. 

For most right handed players, it's the right wrist position.

Simply repeating this "drag through" drill and holding the position correctly
is a great corrective drill.


Weather conditions notwithstanding, golf balls curve in flight relative to
clubface position, swingpath and aimline.

Here is how to hit a draw relative to clubface position, swingpath, and
aimline presuming that the swing is on plane.  One caveat here - off plane
swings - too steep or too flat, change the dynamics at impact.  As a result, the
amount of curvature - or even the direction of curvature could change with an
erroneous swing plane.

If you understand the concept explained below, you will be leap years ahead
of most of the golfing population in understanding why the ball curves.

It's also very important to understand that the initial direction that a ball starts is
caused by the direction that the clubface is pointing.



- To hit a gentle draw, set up in a square stance, which we will define as as
parallel left to your aimline, with each foot slightly open. 
- Position the ball slightly behind the bottom point of your swing, which will
naturally produce a slightly inside to outside swingpath because you will strike
the ball slightly prior to the full outward extension of your swing. 
- Align your clubface square to your aimline
- Swing normally and hold your body angles in relation to the ground and
you will hit a gentle draw.
- To hit a stronger draw, swing more inside out and open the clubface more
at address.
- There is a ratio involved in getting the ball to draw only back to your aimline
and not beyond it (overdrawing).  For example, if you swing inside out at a 4
degree horizontal outward angle, and if your clubface is closed 2 degrees to your
swingpath, the draw will be just right.  Note that setting up with a clubface square
to your aimline, then swinging inside out produces a clubface that is effectively
closed to your swingpath.
- Do not try to close the clubface during impact, a natural release works best
with this gentle draw.

You can fine tune angles on a simulator, which will give you precise degrees
of swingpath and clubface angles at impact, and you can also get a real good feel
on the range by observing your ball flight..



Some players have a hard time feeling an inside to outside swing path into
the ball from a square stance, so here's another option.

- Set up with a closed stance to the ball, your rear foot should be withdrawn
from parallel to the aimline to about an inch away, and slightly open.
- Your front foot should be square to the aimline.
- Position the ball slightly behind the bottom point of your swing
- Align your clubface square to your aimline, which will look closed to your
body line.
- Swing along your body lines, which will produce an inside to outside path in
relation to your aimline with a closed clubface, and hold your body angles
in relation to the ground.
- Do not try to close the clubface during impact.


- Set up with a square stance, which we will define as parallel left to your
aimline, with each foot slightly open. 
- Position the ball slightly behind the bottom point of your swing, which will
naturally produce a slightly inside to outside swingpath because you will strike
the ball slightly prior to the full outward extension of your swing. 
- Align your clubface square to your aimline
- Swing normally, but at impact, close the clubface intentionally with hand
rotation, maintaining your impact wrist angles.
- Hold your body angles in relation to the ground.
- Make sure that you execute an inside to outside swingpath with this technique
or the ball will either start straight and curve left, or start left and curve left.
- It's also IMPERATIVE that you retain the integrity of your wrist positions
at impact or your swing results will be unpredictable.

In golf there's more than one way to skin a cat, so concentrate on what works best for you.

Enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip - Swingpath Drill

This is a great drill for developing an inside to outside swing path, as well as for
developing more dynamic core power. 

It can also help you cure a slice and develop a draw.

I teach my students to have a mental image of swinging from inside to
down the target line.  Attack from the inside then swing through at the target. 

This thought process actually produces either a slight inside to outside swing
path or an inside to at the target swing path, which both work with my way
of teaching.

Here's an easy drill I developed to help you get that feeling into your brain.

Simply get into golf posture holding a 4 lb exercise ball, and imagine that your
target is a golf hole with a flag in it ten yards away. Then execute a golf swing and
release the ball so that it flies just right of your target.   This motion will groove an
acceptable swingpath for your baseline swing if you like hitting a draw.

You can do this drill alone by tossing the ball into the side of a building, or even
better - with like minded partner who will get the same benefit on the return throw.

You could substitute an impact bag for a medicine ball, use a volleyball, or even
a smaller ball of some sort, but a small weighted medicine type ball will also give your
core muscles some dynamic exercise.

About twenty reps per session will be sufficient, two or three times per week.

Try this and watch your ball curvature change, especially if you've been slicing the ball.

You may even lose a little waistline, which is not a bad thing for most of us :-)

Enjoy your golf,


Golf Lessons

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link with info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels
, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or at ttucker@rochester.rr.com
for more information.

Rates: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/lessonrates.html

Testimonials: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html


Batavia Country Club
- http://www.bataviacc.com The best greens in WNY, and
BCC is now offering great deals on 2013 memberships which include play for the
remainder of this year. Contact them for more information (585) 343-7600
Chestnut Hill CC - http://www.chestnuthillcc.com Low greens fees, great course!


All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Email: ttucker@rochester.rr.com

Success Loves Preparation
~ Anonymous