Tee for Two to an Inside Swing Path

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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Have you ever noticed how many golfers swing the club across the golf ball and pull hook or severely slice the ball into the wild blue yonder? The over the top shot is probably the most frustrating golf shot in the game of golf. The more you try to swing properly the worse your over the top move becomes. There are a few important things to remember about the swing path that must occur to have the ball go toward your target. The club must travel on a natural inside arc on the backswing and on the downswing travel back to the ball on that path, then briefly straight down the line and then back to the inside arc for the finish of the swing. As I have talked about in previous issues, the sequence of motion or “tempo” of the swing must occur in the proper order, too. That being on the take away the club, hand and arms begin the swing. The torso turns next and then the hips turn only slightly to complete the backswing. The forward swing is just the opposite of this in the same order.  However, most golfers lead the downswing with their upper body then the lower body tries to catch up; causing the over the top move. Additionally, the “over the top move” is a result of the golf club being pulled back on too much of an inside path.

Try the following swing drill to increase your opportunity to swing on the proper path back and through to better golf shots: (For this tip, we are using a six iron.)

  Place a tee on the ground one golf ball width inside your intended target line and approximately 18 to 20 inches behind the ball. This will create the proper line for the backswing path. Clip the tee on the backswing. This will create excellent extension in the backswing to get your body set behind the ball with your head over your back leg and 85% of your weight behind the ball, as well. The feeling you should have is that your weight is braced on the inside of that knee. You do not want to “rock out” onto the outside edge of your back foot. It will be very difficult to return back to the ball on the proper path.

  Next place another tee on the ground about 4 inches ahead of your backswing path tee. This tee will also be on the inside of your target line by one ball width. At this point, it is imperative that the lower body begin to push and rotate through first, initiating the downswing. If the lower body rotates through first, the upper body will follow. This is evident by watching every Tour player on television each week. With the lower body rotating through on the downswing, you will bring the club down over the forward tee on the ground. This will result in a better return on the “inside the swing path” move back to the ball and allow your lead arm to keep control of the club through impact. Next, the club will continue “down the line,” arms extending straight toward the target and then finally turning back to the inside and finish the swing with your body facing the target. While learning this drill, be prepared to hit a few bad shots as you develop this swing path from topping the ball to pushing the ball to even hitting the ground first.

  This drill can be used with any club. If using your driver, place the backswing path tee approximately 30 inches behind the ball. The downswing tee will still be 4 inches ahead of the ball.

Remember: Use two tees to promote a better “inside to down the line to back inside” swing path. If you need help with this tip, feel free to contact your local PGA Golf Professional.

Be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7fm or on the internet at www.arizonasport.com for more tips and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Tune into to hear Greg and co-hosts Jim Hill and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week.