Instructional Information

XI. Instructional Information

Note: All directions in this section are referenced for right-handed players. Us lefties will have to reverse them.

1. What causes a hook/slice?

For the most part, a hook or a slice is caused by the clubface being opened or closed upon contact. Most people also tend to agree that an inside-to-out swing plane causes a hook, and an outside-to-in swing plane causes a slice.

2. How do I cure a hook/slice?

The list of faults and problems that can cause you to have an incorrect club face angle or club path that lead to hooks and slices is almost endless. Because it's very difficult to tell which particular fault(s) causes your hook or slice, it's best to see your local PGA or LPGA teaching professional for an assessment and lesson.

For those of you that just can't or won't see a professional, here are a few swing faults that can promote a hook or a slice:

Outside-in path
Inside-out path
Incomplete hand release
Too much/early hand release
'Coming over the top'
'Casting from the top'
Collapsed left wrist
Bowed left wrist
Swing too upright
Swing too flat
Not enough legs
Too much/early legs
Ball too far back in stance
Ball too far forward in stance

3. What causes thin shots?

A thin shot is one where the leading edge of the clubface hits too high on the ball. This is also called a “bladed shot”. It results in a low, flat shot trajectory and the ball commonly rolls a long distance. Many faults can cause a thin shot. Here are some of the most common:

Ball too far forward in stance
Ball too far back in stance
Looking at target before impact
Incorrect ball address
Crocodile arms or Chicken wings
Standing too far from the ball
No hip turn
'Coming out of the shot'
Standing up during the shot

4. What causes fat shots?

A fat shot is one where the leading edge of the clubface strikes the ground before contacting the ball. This results in a large, deep divot hole and a high, short shot, usually straight with minimal roll. Again, many swing flaws can cause fat shots. Here are some of the most common:

Standing too close to the ball
Excessive hip turn
Incorrect ball address
Bending at the hips
Failure to maintain spine angle
Improper weight shift

5. How do I cure thin/fat shots?

As with hooks and slices, there are many different faults and swing flaws that can cause thin and fat shots. It is strongly recommended that you see your local PGA or LPGA teaching professional to assist you with this problem. These problems are sufficiently complex that I will not attempt to provide any solutions here.


6. How do I make the ball back up?

First, you need to know that backing the ball up may look cool, but for most amateurs the result will be much worst than if the ball had simply stopped or released forward. This is because the majority of amateurs do not use enough club to reach their target. So if the ball does back-up, it will often back-up off the green, or at least farther from the hole.

A ball backs-up or stops on the green because of backspin. Backspin is generated by a proper swing and hitting down on the ball. The greater the loft of the club, the more backspin that will be generated when the ball is struck. Making the ball back-up or stop from the rough or when the grass is wet is very difficult, even for professional players. Also, the green must be moderately soft so that the ball does not skid when it hits. A soft cover, high spin ball will also help, although better players can spin hard, distance type balls also.

But remember, for backspin to be of any value at all, your shot must fly at least to the hole. Anything short of the hole will simply make you look silly when your ball lands of the front edge of the green and then spins back off. The best solution is to know how far you really hit each club and then spin the ball just enough to cause it to stop when it hits the green.

This FAQ is Copyright 1999-2002 by Daniel J. Driscoll, all rights reserved. Product and company names used in this document may be trademarked or copyrighted by the respective owners. This document may be replicated in whole or in part, without alteration. All replications must include this copyright notice.

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