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Breaking 100: A better preswing position will result in good swings
Created on 4/4/2001 12:00:00 AM

Breaking 100: The Fundamentals 

So many shots are missed before you swing. Get set up for success by improving your posture, grip and alignment. You don't need Tiger Woods' talent to make those changes, and if you can get into a

better preswing position, you'll have a much better chance of producing a good swing.

Bow your left wrist with this anti-scoop drill
One of the biggest mistakes I see comes from students' trying to help the ball into the air. They cup the left wrist at impact in a scooping move. The result is usually a thin or fat shot. With a plastic water bottle that has a squirt top, get into your impact position and spray some water. If you're scooping your left wrist, you'll shoot water in front of the ball. Get in good impact position, with the left wrist bowed, and you'll spray water right down on the ball. The bowed left wrist helps you hit the ball first, then the turf. The loft on the club and spin on the ball will get it airborne.

Once you cross the 'decision line,' focus
The most important part of my pre-shot routine comes before I even step up to the ball. From behind, as in the photo above, I visualize and feel what I need to do, then make a decision about how I'm going to do it--what club, what kind of swing. Once I cross the "decision line," I don't worry about club selection or swing mechanics. I step in, make one waggle, look at my target, then fire away.

Aim with your brain
Play to your predominant ball flight. If you slice, tee it up on the right side of the tee box and aim down the left side of the fairway. Even a slight fade will still be in the short grass.

Accentuate the positive
Never say to yourself, "Don't hit it right," or "Don't hit it left." Your mind catches on "right" or "left," and guess where the ball goes? Focus on a positive goal before you swing.

Helpful hazards
Don't be intimidated by rough, water or out-of-bounds. They help you define the right place to hit your ball. Pick a spot between them and let it fly.



Golf Digest April 2001


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