How I got my sloppy, steep golf swing into tournament-ready shape

At GOLF.com, we live and breathe golf, but it still leaves us perplexed. So we sent eight staffers on a game improvement journey, courtesy of GOLFTEC.

For me, every golf season runs the same way: I’m excited to play more than last year, tinker around with the idea of playing a few tournaments, get busy, never play as much as I expect and never sign up for those tournaments.

This year, I was determined to break that streak, so I reversed the cycle. I signed up for next month’s Connecticut Mid-Am on a whim and then promptly freaked out. How am I supposed to play in this tournament — my first since college — without any preparation? I should probably get a tune up, so I called up our partners over at GOLFTEC, who hooked me up with a swing evaluation at their Stamford location.

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The main issue was that I was essentially lifting my arms too upright on the backswing, which caused me to come steep and slightly over-the-top later in my swing. My good shots were fades, but my bad ones were unplayable pulls or worse: Double-cross pull-hooks.

The issue, my instructor Boris quickly spotted, was that my hand-path was off in my backswing: My arms weren’t moving deeply enough around my body, preventing me from turning properly, which cost me power and created a steep downswing.

To help with his, Boris gave me a simple drill to work on: Hold an alignment rod in the grip-end of the club, and keep it up against me on my practice backswings. This helped stretch my arms deeper and more around my body, which was my new swing thought I took to the course.

A few practice sessions and the changes quickly took hold. On the top, you can see the club tracking more out-to-in; on the bottom, a few weeks later, is where I am now: with a club path more around my body.

To see my full journey, watch the video above!

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.