The Thirty-A Review September 2020

t u r f t a l k

Four Refresher Keys to Solid Ball Striking b y To m F i t z p a t r i c k

I t’s always a good idea every so often to take a refreshed look at your golf technique. Pros are always game for a refresher. Even golf courses get refreshed, like Camp Creek Golf Club which just completed its extensive turf and sand renovation. So how about a refreshed swing for a refreshed golf course with these proven tips: Start your backswing with a wide takeaway for the first two feet. The grip should point at your right thigh initially. That’s a great start towards getting a wide and constant arc. Then ‘Feel the Stretch’ to the top. Drill (photo 1): Split your hands an inch apart on the grip. Keep the grip pointed at you with the right arm high. This will get you started on a wide arc. Complete your backswing by letting your left shoulder work under your chin. In doing so your back should then actually be facing the target, with your arms extended away from the target. Don’t allow your hands to drift behind your head. Drill (photo 2): Raise your left heel off the ground to encourage a full body turn. Start the downswing with a great key from Nick Faldo. Move the left shoulder away from your chin and towards your left toes as the arms drop. For those of you who slice the ball: the left arm feels quite high relative to the right arm on the downswing. Drill (photo3): Place a ball under your left front foot. Start your downswing by pushing it into the ground.

At impact feel your left arm and the club straighten into a line with the back of the left wrist facing the target. It’s an awesome feel if you can sense at impact that ‘YOUR LEFT HAND PULLS WHILE YOUR RIGHT HAND PUSHES’. Notice how the lead leg has straightened. That’s a big part of impact. Drill (photo 4): At address, set up with the club opposite your right toe. Try to maintain that hands- ahead relationship as you swing into impact. And that’s it—four relatively easy checkpoints to try on the range: • Wide start with grip pointed at right thigh the first two feet • Stretch arms wide to the top with your back to the target • Left shoulder moves towards the front foot • Left arm and club form a line and pull against a firm left leg

1. Long hitting Matt demonstrates the split hands drill to create a wide arc.

Tom Fitzpatrick is a David Leadbetter certified instructor and an active realtor with Scenic Sotheby’s Intl Realty. Contact him at (850) 225- 4674 or

Tom Fitzpatrick

2. With the left heel lifted up, you can turn your back to the target and stretch the arms outward.

4. Start the swing from opposite your right foot. Create that same feel at impact where the grip leads the clubface at impact.

3. Start the down- swing by pushing into a golf ball placed under your left toes.

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