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Top 100 Teacher: Here’s how a steering wheel can teach you a better backswing

The angle of the clubface influences the direction of the ball more than anything else, so controlling the clubface goes hand in hand with controlling ball flight.

A lot of golfers throw this control away early in the backswing; they twist the clubface open or shut, which throws off their timing and sequencing. When the face rotates too soon or too late, it causes hiccups later in the swing, because things have to reorganize to get back to running in the right order. The pros, like my student Kevin Kisner, control the clubface by keeping their bodies engaged; everything becomes one big clubface.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When I want to give my students a clearer picture of how their clubface is moving on the backswing, I’ll hand them something big, like the steering wheel I’m holding below. I’ll ask them to split their hands on the wheel and then swing.

The goal of the drill is to keep the wheel from rotating; if it does, it’s a sign that the clubface is out-rotating the body. Not good. Keeping the steering wheel straight on the backswing ensures that the body is properly engaged, leading to a good sequence. It’s an easy drill that’ll have you driving straight down the fairway.