Home » Golf Instruction

Staying behind the ball just before impact - ala Ernie Els - will help you become an more powerful and consistent ball striker.
Staying behind the ball just before impact - ala Ernie Els - will help you become an more powerful and consistent ball striker. (Brandon Tucker/WorldGolf.com)

Super golf swing drills for consistent, solid ball striking

Les MillerBy Les Miller,

To hit more powerful and consistent shots, keep your body behind the ball before impact. Most average golfers have two common flaws: they either have a tendency to hang back on their right side upon impact; or they move their body ahead of the ball before impact. Both moves sap power, distance and control.

First, let's talk about hanging back on the right foot at impact. Golfers do this to help get the ball airborne. As they swing the club through the impact zone they scoop up instead of hitting out toward the target. Getting your weight to the left side is crucial. It allows golfers to swing the club head out, down the target line, just as a baseball pitcher steps onto his front foot as he releases the ball toward home plate. The weight shift must be in the proper sequence to be effective.

The opposite problem is leaving your right foot too early, which moves your head and upper body in front of the ball before contact. This leads to miss-hits and sprays.

Here are a couple of practice drills for consistent, solid ball striking:

One, take a medium iron, like a 7 iron, and hit shots with your right foot flat on the ground until you have almost completely finished your swing. This move will help you stay behind the ball just before impact. (Next time you watch Ernie Els on TV notice how he does this on practice swings, especially on short iron shots). With your right foot anchored, you'll be able to stay behind the ball and release your power like a baseball pitcher.

Another drill: get a beach ball half-filled with air. Swing at it with a middle iron, concentrating on keeping your weight on the right foot and upper body over the ball at impact. Hit the ball hard, feeling as though your left side is being restricted by a wall at impact. Your head and body should feel like they are just behind the ball at impact. Hitting the beach ball will give you a feeling of power and control.

Try these tips and see your ball striking improve.

Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment