How using a basket as a training aid can improve your golf swing
Sometimes it helps to put your clubs aside and get back to the fundamentals for how your swing ought to look and feel. I’m not saying you have to leave the driving range, but instead of swinging a club swing a large range basket (or similarly sized item if you’re at home).
Hold the basket in front of you while standing in your golf posture. Imagine the basket is filled with golf balls up to the rim. As you begin to think about your backswing, ask yourself, How would I pass the basket to someone on my immediate right without dumping out any balls? You wouldn’t lift up, arch your back or heave the basket upward with your arms — all legitimate backswing errors. Instead, you’d rotate to your right while keeping the basket level and directly in front of your chest. (If that’s not what you’d do, it’s what you should do.)
“Passing” the basket like this mimics the moves inherent in a fundamentally sound backswing with the correct amount of rotation and connectivity between your arms and torso. Sure, you use more joints and connected parts when swinging a club for real, but the basic motions are essentially the same. It’s when you add unnecessary motions (bending, arching, lifting up) that your swing goes kaput (and you lose some balls from the basket).
Use this drill as a warm-up when you visit the range and then repeat it at the midpoint of your practice session to ensure that you’re turning correctly and not tilting or lifting excessively on both sides of your swing. You’ll develop a better rotation back and through the ball while mitigating the chance of injury.
VJ Trolio runs The Teaching Center at Old Waverly GC in West Point, Miss.