This mental image will help you hit your irons solid every time
One of the more memorable images from early golf instruction is of a player turning inside a barrel. When you slide your hips rather than turn them, you make it more difficult to establish a consistent low point to your swing and hit the ball solidly. One way to stop sliding is to use the image “swinging in a barrel.”
A way to simulate the barrel image while practicing is to make swings with your feet inside a hula hoop. This helps you combat the urge to sway your hips in the backswing or slide them too aggressively in the downswing, which are two common errors that cause fat and thin shots.
1. A fix for fat shots
If you tend to hit your irons fat, make some backswings without a ball. Focus on rotating your trail hip inside the hoop. If your trail hip sways outside the edge of the hoop, you are moving too far off of the ball. Swaying tends to move too much weight to the outside of the trail foot, making it difficult to change directions. Thus, resulting in a poor impact position. If you turn your trail hip back correctly, staying inside the hoop, you will feel more pressure on the inside of your trail foot, and your upper body will remain centered. Therefore, making it easier to achieve a consistent low point at impact.
2. A fix for thin shots
If you tend to hit your irons too thin, shift your attention to the downswing position of your lead hip. If you slide your hips too much in the downswing where your lead hip extends past the side of the hoop, you will tend to hit thin or topped shots. However, if you rotate your lead hip or feel your lead knee straighten or post up within the hoop, your weight will remain on your lead heel, promoting solid contact.
Kevin Sprecher is a GOLF Top 100 Teacher and is the director of instruction at Sleepy Hollow GC in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.