Practice makes perfect

Release-rotation drills help prevent
ball from slicing at impact


(June 2009)
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Dale Crafton

Recently, I have worked with several new and seasoned golfers that simply cannot get the ball to go anywhere other than to “slice” a ball that curves to the right (for a right handed golfer) is curved by a club face open to the right at impact. I would encourage you to explore the following drill to help “square the club face” at impact.

Dale Crafton
Dale Crafton
Dale Crafton

It is called “the release-rotation drill. The focus of this drill is on the rotation of the forearms and the movement of the club head from the point at which the club head is at hip height in the downswing to when it is at hip height beyond impact.
Take a middle iron and assume your address position. Next, bring the club head back to a point where the club shaft is parallel to the ground just below hip height. The toe of the club must be pointing straight up (even a bit closed).
From here, slowly bring the club down while you gradually rotate your right or rear forearm in a clockwise manner. I recommend that when you begin this drill that you stop when the club is at a point where it would strike the ball. Check to see if the leading edge of the club face appears to be square to your target line.
Keep working the club down in slow motion from just below hip height to impact, always checking to make sure your club face returns to square. Now work your forearms and the club down and through the impact zone. But this time continue on up until the club head is parallel to the ground and just below hip height just beyond impact.
In sum, work the club between the two positions so the take away position is a “mirror image” of the release position. Once you get to where you can consistently move the club from toe-up to square ( slightly left of toe-up) through the impact zone, you can feel very confident that you will square the club face at impact during actual play.
For more information on these and other drills, consult “The Plane Truth for Golfers” by Jim Hardy.

• Dale Crafton is the owner and instructor at Cozy Acres Golf Complex, 4040 Old State Rd. 62, Madison, Ind. Call him at (812) 273-3137.


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