Envisioning a ‘finish line’ will correct your clubface control. Here’s how

Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a new GOLF.com series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

While I’ve improved as a golfer over the past few months, I still struggle with having consistent clubface control, which leads to shots that often get sprayed all over the course with reckless abandon.

OK, so it’s not that bad, but you get the idea — when you can’t control your clubface, the ball seems to go everywhere but where you want it to go.

There are lots of ways to try and improve in this area, but it’s not easy to do, as it takes practice in order to get the feel for hand positioning, swing speed, etc.

To improve clubface awareness and ensure it's square at impact, GOLF Top 100 Teacher John Scott Rattan shows how a piece of tape can help
A simple piece of tape can improve your clubface awareness. Here’s how it works
By: John Scott Rattan, Top 100 Teacher , Nick Dimengo

That said, without a doubt, it’s the most important thing when it comes to hitting better shots. After all, a square clubface means flusher, straighter, and farther results.

Since I’m on a quest to break 80 for the first time as a golfer, I need to improve my ball-striking in order to even have a chance to score that low. That’s why I asked GOLF Top 100 Teacher Trillium Rose for some help.

Not only did Rose recently give me an entire three-hole lesson, but she also explained some easy-to-understand tips to better control my clubface.

So check out this video to see what tips she has to offer, and be sure to read her advice below.

How to improve your clubface control

“It’s all about the face,” Rose tells me. “So I have a little image that I’m going to set up for you.”

She then asks me to tee up my shot, and explains how envisioning a “finish line” can help improve my clubface control — leading to better overall shots.

“The face needs to be pretty square to your target line. So if it’s too open, it goes to the right. If it’s too closed, it goes to the left,” she adds.

“So if I put a little finish line there, and the toe and the heel of your club were having a race, if you were to miss it [to the right], the heel would pass the finish line first.

“You don’t want that. You want the toe and the heel to basically tie.”

The image below shows how Rose uses two pieces of a broken tee to help me visualize a finish line.

Use parts of a broken tee to make a finish line and improve clubface control
Using parts of a broken tee, Rose helps me visualize a finish line to square my clubface. GOLF.com

In order to get the clubface square and have the heel and toe cross the imaginary finish line together at impact, Rose reminds me to use my hands and wrist more in my practice swings, creating the proper feel before addressing the ball.

“As you’re going through this little practice, pre-shot composure phase, start thinking about how you can get that face to square up,” she adds.

Rose then goes on to walk me through my practice swing, instructing me on how my hands should be positioned as I work on my clubface control.

brian manzella demonstrates swing
The proper way to use your wrists in the swing, says Top 100 Teacher
By: Zephyr Melton

“Go ahead and do a little half practice swing, and stop when you get to my hand,” she says. “It should feel like you’re shaking my hand.”

With an improved focus on how to use my hands, as well as envisioning a finish line as I come through impact, I’m able to hit my tee shot with precision on the par 3 hole in the video — much to the delight of Rose.

“Beautiful shot,” she says. “You did it!”

So try using this little trick on the practice range to improve your clubface control. As you hit more balls and dial in the necessary technique, you’ll see much better results like I did.

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Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor