Start your swing on the right line
By Mike Kinloch
If you have been watching coverage of tour events recently, you may have seen a number of professionals practising with a similar set-up to the one pictured. One of the most notable European Tour star’s to use this exercise is Tommy Fleetwood who recently won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.
A very common fault that occurs early in the backswing is excessive forearm and wrist roll in the takeaway. This causes the arms and club to get way offline and out of position and often sets off a chain of events in the downswing that makes hitting on line shots difficult. This drill is designed to help you align to the target at address and then make a neutral, online start to the backswing. You need two aiming sticks, one on the ground parallel to the target line, positioned just inside the ball. The other stick is stuck in the ground 4ft back from the ball and at an angle parallel to the shaft line at address.
Starting with a waist-high swing, move the club gently away from the ball and see if the club touches the angled stick. If it does, there is a good chance you are rolling the arms and club to far inside on the takeaway. Practice taking the club away with passive arms and hands until you can avoid the stick. You can hit shots with this set-up but start with small, waist height swings with a ball on a tee. As you become better at taking the club away on line, slowly increase the length of these swings to 3/4 length backswings. As you lengthen the backswing and get the hands to chest height, the shaft should be inclined at a similar angle to the shaft at address. This is a good indication that you are moving the club back on line and maintaining good arm and shoulder structure.
Michael Kinloch is Head Professional at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club’s Peter Cowen Academy Dubai. For more information, visit dubaigolf.com