It’s all about staying connected and using your body to execute your shot, not your hands and arms.
Staying connected is the ability to keep your lower body, torso, arms and golf club working through the ball in the proper sequence. How do we stay connected? That’s the ongoing question.
The way I get my students to try and accomplish this is by having them keep the club working out in front of them. This all starts with pitch shots, which are a shortened version of the full swing. Yes, I said it; there isn’t any difference between hitting a 20-yard pitch shot or a 300-yard drive, when thinking about how the club should travel through the impact zone.
One of the best training aids I have come across is the Impact Ball. The Impact Ball forces players to squeeze their elbows together, which in turn allows for a better shoulder turn while keeping the club in front of them. This device also prevents the club from running on at the top (too long) of the backswing. It helps create a wider arc on the takeaway and downswing, which in turn allows for the body to properly rotate back through the ball toward the target.
When the elbows stay together through the ball, the player will get the proper extension down the target line keeping the clubface squarer longer through the hitting area. This will lead to better misses or, in other words, keeping the ball in play. I am a true believer that the proper connection is all in the elbows.
Try this tip and watch how much more consistent your ball striking becomes. Remember, start with short pitch shots and then advance on to the full swing.
Matt Kilgariff is an instructor at the Butch Harmon School of Golf and was named 2010 PGA Southern Nevada Chapter Teacher of the Year. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 702-581-7142