3 Things That Cause Blocked Shots

Tue, 01/17/2012 - 23:21 -- Don Trahan

Right after Christmas, I got this message that Arthur Rosenblatt sent through our Customer Support contact form. (By the way, this is a perfectly good way to ask a question about your golf swing!)

"The PPGS golf swing works very well with me when I use my shorter clubs; straight, good
distance and height.  However, as I switch to longer clubs I push the ball to the right
and the longer the club the more I tend to push it to the right.  As far as I can tell I
am using the same set-up, alignment, swing,etc.  What am I doing wrong? Thanks for any
help you can provide."

Well, Arthur, there are a number of things that could be causing you to push your shots right of the target but let's focus on just three today.

1. Alignment. You mentioned that you didn't think your alignment was bad, and that may just be the case. But I can tell you that I've heard nearly every student I've ever taught tell me the same thing when I first start working with them and invariably they are not physically lined up where their mind says they are. As I've said many times before, I find that 90-95% of ALL swing problems are caused by bad alignment. So this is where I would start to see if this is the root of your problem. The next time you block a shot to the right where you think you made a really good swing I want you to return the club to your setup position by not moving your feet other than to pivot your back foot to its original position. Then lay the club across your toes and step away. Check to see if your toe line is indeed aimed parallel left of the target. It it is aimed to the right of the target, problem solved.

2. Ball Position. If you were aligned properly, then next check your ball position at address. Are you still playing those longer clubs from the middle of your stance? If so, you are hitting the ball too soon and are not able to get the club face square in time. By the way, if you have the opposite problem, i.e. you are pulling the ball left then you may have the ball too far forward in your stance.

3. Check your backswing. The third prevalent cause of a pushed shot comes from over-rotating so that the club goes deep into the Sacred Burial Ground in a laid-off position. In an effort to get back to the ball in time, you may becoming too far inside and the resulting inside-out swing path creates the push that you so dread.

I might also add that a potential cause may be that your longer clubs may be too long for you. Longer clubs require a flatter arc and a flatter arc makes it more likely that you'll be laid off at the top of your swing. You didn't say how tall you were, but as a rough guide, if your driver is 45" or longer and you are less than 6'3" tall, there's a better than even chance that this is at least contributing to your problem.

But of all the possibilities I've just discussed, +35 years of teaching tells me that the likely cause is #1 Alignment. Good luck, Arthur. Let me know how you make out.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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