One of the first things you learn if you are trying to improve your golf swing is the proper swing path (the direction the club moves around the body in relation to the ball).This path is important in the direction of the shot and can make or break an average golfer. If the path is moving too much “outside-to-in” or if the swing is steep and over the top it will result in a duck hook or big slice. This is the most common mistake of average golfers like me, we have an outside-to-in swing. In order to improve this we must get the club on an inside-out swing path. Swing path unlike some aspects of golf can be perfected at home using some simple swing path drills. Below are 7 swing path drills to get your club in perfect position.
Best Swing Path Drills
Drill #1 – Let The Club Fall
This drill is a favorite of popular golf instructor Zach Allen. He uses it to help his students from coming over the top and developing the feeling of letting the club work for you. Most of the problems with average golfers is that they are continually thinking about directing the clubhead towards the ball instead of letting it work on its own. This drill will help get the feeling and relieve some of the tension in the swing.
To do this drill, take your normal swing but at the top of the swing simply let the club fall to the ground and then continue your swing. Get the feeling of letting gravity do the work with the club at the top. Just let it fall behind you.
Drill #2 – Figure 8
This is one of my favorite swing path drills. I did this drill 2o years ago when I was golfing in college. It changed my swing so that I could hit a nice little draw. I have since lost that sensation but this drill really does get your club inside-out. By thinking about moving the club on a figure 8 pattern you can really change the path.
To do this drill, draw or use tape on the floor to create a figure 8 loop. Start straight back from the ball and then circle inside and back out across the original straight line. This figure 8 pattern then give you a guide of where to swing the club. Take the club back straight, then loop inside and then back out. Great drill.
Drill #3 – 3D Follow Me
This swing path drill is similar to the figure 8 but adds a 3D look to it. Instructors Piers Ward and Andy Proudman show how to fix your swing path in 60 seconds using this simple drill. This drill is intended to help you stop coming over the top and moving into the ball at too steep and angle.
To do this drill, set two clubs up as a target line pointing straight at the pin. Now, set two more clubs up pointing 20 degrees to the right of the target line (one on the inside and one on the outside of the ball). You then need to swing along the clubs so that your path is inside-to-out. It will be easy to tell if you are going outside-to-in because your club will go between the clubs. The club needs to “follow the clubs”. This should get the feeling of an inside swing.
Drill #4 – Left Wrist
The left wrist drill was one of the swing path drills I used in the first month of my Break 80 Challenge. This swing path drill really helped me go from an outside-to-in swing path to slightly inside-to-out. Popular teacher Mark Crossfield explains that by focusing on flattening the left wrist you can dramatically change the path of your swing. Your left wrist at the top of the swing should point to the sky. This gets the clubface ready for the downswing and impact.
To do this drill, take a normal swing but at the top of the swing try to point the top of your left glove to the sky. Flatten the left wrist and get the clubface closed at the top. Now, when you come down it will feel funny if you swing over the top and you will end up hitting a massive hook. Concentrate on the left wrist being flat and pointing to the sky to improve your swing path.
Drill #5 and #6 – Split Hands and Basket Gate
These next two drills kind of go together and are great for getting the feeling of swinging inside-out. The idea of swinging through a gate can really help keep your swing tight and inside. Our natural instinct is to miss hitting an object in front of us so by placing a basket or cone close to the ball, our instinct is to miss it on the inside. This can be scary (I have hit the cone many times) so you may want to start with the split hands drill first and practice the motion of getting the club handle inside. I love this split hand drill as it trains the idea of pointing the handle at the ball and helps to drop the right arm into the slot.
To do the split hands swing path drill, you will separate your right hand and place it lower on the club. Now, take the club back in a normal backswing but with your hands split. On the downswing, really work the back elbow into the hips and bring the club back with the butt end pointing at the ball (and inside the basket or cone if you did that drill first).
To do the basket gate drill, you will place a basket or cone just inside the ball. Take your normal swing coming INSIDE the basket and not hitting the basket. I like to do the split hands drill first (I will practice it around the house) and then use the basket gate drill to actually hit ball. Two great swing path drills that you can do at home that will really get you inside out.
Drill #7 – 2 Ball
This swing path drill by Monte Scheinblum is multi purposed but can be difficult to pull off. If you have the shanks or want that great inside-out path this drill will get you that feeling. Your hands and arms will be trained to move inside more and you will stop coming over the top. Be very careful with this drill and make sure if you are doing it at home that you have nets up on the side.
To do this drill, set one ball in the normal place and one ball just outside it about an inch or so. Next, line up and take your address position on the OUTSIDE ball. Take your normal swing but hit the inside ball. Setup to the outside ball and hit the inside ball. Sounds difficult but if you are able to do it you will surely get that inside-out swing path.