How to improve your hand path and hit the ball straighter

If you want to hit the ball straighter, the first step is improving your hand path.

Hitting the golf ball straight is hard — and that might be underselling it. There are (seemingly) a million things that need to sync up to hit the ball straight, and it rarely, if ever, happens.

One key ingredient for hitting the ball straight is hand path, and its something that many recreational golfers struggle with.

When pros hit the ball, they drop their hands into the “slot” and approach the ball from the inside. This hand path produces the desired in-to-out clubpath that allows for solid and consistent contact. However, recreational players have trouble replicating this move.

Where it goes wrong for recreational players is just after transition. Instead of pulling their hands down and dropping the club into the slot, they spin their shoulders too fast and throw their hands outside. From there, all they can do is cut across the ball and hit pulls, lazy fades and slices.

To help fix this problem, check out the video from GOLFTEC below.

A good drill to improve this fault is to stick an alignment stick in the ground a few inches outside the ball, and about six inches behind it. Make sure the stick is parallel to your shaft and then work on dropping your hands down when you start the downswing.

Start out slow and work your way up to a full swing. Once you can miss that shaft on the downswing with your full speed swing, you will be in proper position to hit the ball from the inside.

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Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.