Amen Corner: Try Making Good Club Contact One Hand at a Time

  • Courtesy photograph

    Courtesy photograph

  • Courtesy photograph
Peter Harris

Peter Harris

Last week, we talked about the importance of keeping the right hand bent and left hand flat through impact while using body rotation to release the club.

It was a juicy article and all, but what good is that information without some drills to learn this behavior and help us develop the motor pattern? Here are three drills to give you the proper feel of impact that are best used while practicing chipping.

Set up like you normally would for a chip shot with a narrow stance and your weight on your lead leg throughout the entire shot. Grab an alignment rod, a stick or even a shaft from a broken golf club and stick it in the end of the grip of a club. The rod will extend the club underneath your arm.

As you hit normal chip shots, the shaft shouldn’t touch your body as you swing through the ball and rotate.

If the shaft flips and touches your body, your trail wrist becomes flat and lead wrist bent through impact, likely resulting in thin or fat shots.

Drilling each hand separately is great training to improve this motor pattern. To train the left hand or lead wrist to prevent scooping, chip with the club in your left hand only.

As you lightly swing the club, feel the grip handle of the club moving forward toward the target. The club head should not pass your hands at any point during the swing.

To train the right hand or trail wrist from releasing too early, try chipping with the right hand only. As your hand changes direction from the backswing to downswing, feel your wrist hinge slightly more and then hold that angle until the ball is in the air. As your body rotates after impact, you can then feel the release.

If you’re having trouble with this drill, toss a ball with your right hand only, focusing on keeping your palm facing the ground for as long as possible thru the impact zone. The ball should come out low and hit the ground immediately.

Drills are important! They give you feel and help improve your motor patterns.

Give these drills a try, and you will begin to feel the beauty of solid impact.

Peter Harris is director of golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon.