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Six Golf Swing Killers and How to Avoid Them

You're suffering from some sort of destructive golf swing affliction and it's proving difficult to find the antidote. Time and again you misdiagnose the fault and, before you know it, you've gone further and further down the rabbit hole in search of the answer.

Sound familiar? We've sure been there.

To help you with some of the most common golf swing killers we've pulled together helpful videos from some of the best golf coaches on YouTube.

Knees Too Bent at Address

Any golfer who has their knees excessively bent at address will be placing too much weight over the heels. From there, the backswing tends to be too flat, and the golfer comes over the top in the downswing. The hips generally also move forward, and the result is anyone's guess.

The Fix: Hold your club level with your belt buckle and let your arms relax, then hinge at the hips keeping your legs straight. Finally, 'soften' the legs to get the weight into the arches of your feet.

Tension in Hands and Arms

Whether it's fear creeping in as you stand over a particularly nasty shot or a vain attempt at controlling the golf swing itself, tension will make an appearance at some point throughout a round's 18 holes.

Tension is one of the biggest golf swing killers because it ruins your fluidity and tempo. If you can relax your body, you will be in far better shape to make a flowing, well-controlled golf swing.

The Fix: Try and stay more present in your game and remember the famous quote - the most important golf shot is your next one. You can also try employing breathing techniques as you stand over the ball.

We like these two suggestions from Chris Ryan to help you relieve some pre-shot tension: hover your club before starting your swing, and use a humble tee to become more aware of the pressure in your mouth.

A Poor Weight Shift

Problems can occur early in the backswing if you misunderstand how your weight should transfer to your trail side.

Golfers who slide too much to their right (for a right-handed golfer) in the backswing have a hard job on their hands trying to make solid contact - generally, because they'll be hanging back as they approach impact.

Serial swayers may be afraid to let their weight travel to the trail foot for fear of hitting it fat.

And, of course, we have those golfers who struggle to get any real pressure into their right side and instead load much of it into their lead side - the dreaded reverse pivot.

The Fix: If you've ever studied the swing of long-drive champion Kyle Berkshire - or even Tour pros like Matt Wolff - you'll notice that they initiate a move into the backswing by first moving pressure into their lead side and then rotating back.

Danny Maude explains it better than we can below.

Clubface Rolling Open in Takeaway

If you're a golfer who fans the clubface open in the early part of the golf swing, you're setting up a series of wrong moves that all but guarantee a slice.

The early rolling motion often causes a flat backswing and an over-the-top move in the downswing - potentially coupled with that still-open clubface.

The Fix: Try to find a position at first parallel where the clubface is either square or very slightly closed. Repetition at home or the range will help you immensely in trying to find the perfect position.

Check out Chris Ryan's video for more on the ideal takeaway.

Trying to 'Lift' the Golf Ball (Irons)

Many beginner golfers and higher-handicappers mistakenly attempt to lift the golf ball because they aren't aware that you must hit down to get it airborne with an iron.

Don't take that too literally, though. It's very easy to misinterpret that advice and to start coming down into the ball very steeply. If you actively try to hit down at the ball, you could end up fatting it more often than not.

The Fix: Piers Ward shows you how to revert your focus to a point ahead of the golf ball to help you hit down correctly - and nail some beautifully pure iron shots.

Trying to Hit Down on the Ball (Driver)

While we want a descending blow with an iron, it's essential to catch the golf ball slightly on the way up with the driver in our hands.

Though some golfers may advocate a downward strike to help control the ball flight a bit more, for most golfers, this will lead to a misunderstanding of the driver swing itself and rob them of much-needed distance.

The Fix:  Eric Cogorno goes into greater detail below to explain the two driver death moves he sees most often - hanging back and hitting down. Along with advising you to nudge the ball position further forward, he also has a great drill to encourage that upward hit.


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