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The Boringdon blog

Most common faults in golf

Ian Marshall from our Boringdon Park Golf Academy team offers expert advice for eradicating silly golfing errors and seeing instant results.

If you’re struggling with certain aspects of your game, then you’re definitely not alone!

I see amateur golfers making these four common faults on a regular basis.

Here are some tips on how you can cure these problems and get the most from your next round…

Keeping your head down

The biggest fault in golf, beyond a shadow of doubt, is keeping your head down. Yes, you heard right!

Everyone will tell you when you hit a bad shot, “Oh, your head came up too early, keep it down!” That couldn’t be further from the truth. If you bury your head on your chest, you’ll knock your head off the ball to the right and, more often than not, top it along the ground.

The key word is ‘still’ – so make an effort to keep your chin up and your head still. With the chin up, the shoulder can now swing freely under the chin, enabling you to keep your head still and stop that horrible lateral slide. Also, you must let your head come up naturally as you hit the ball, otherwise you will decelerate, collapse the swing and top the ball again.

Relate it to a throw: Where is your head? It is up early and facing where you want to throw the ball. You turn though, follow the shot with the head, and face the target. The same applies in golf.

Standing too far from the ball

Standing too far away from the ball is a very common sight to see, as a coach. It is such a destructive fault that can be so easily rectified with some conditioning and discipline.

To get the correct distance, when you set yourself up, remember that the hands should hang naturally from the shoulders and, with the correct posture, should only be a maximum distance of three inches or a fist away from your left thigh.

To check this, take your right hand off the grip, make a fist and place it on the butt of the club. If you are the correct distance, it should also be touching your left thigh.

Remember, this is your constant with every club in full-swing mode – from a driver to a wedge.

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Poor aim / incorrect alignment

As a coach, virtually everyone I see tends to aim too far to the right of the target. This will almost always cause an offline shot and lead to no consistency whatsoever.

To rectify this, you must first walk behind the target to line up – every top player does this. Then imagine a line drawing back from the target to your ball. Pick something near, along that line, then walk in and aim your club face over that mark.

Now, with the feet together, shuffle until the club is level with the middle of your feet. This will give you a line across your toes that is parallel to the target, not at the target, as most think.

To finish, open your feet to shoulder length along that one and, hey presto, you are aligned correctly. Good luck!

The wrong grip

In general, most people tend to hold the club correctly with the left hand, with the left thumb, slightly down the right hand side of the grip and showing two knuckles.

However, a lot of amateur golfers tend to wrap the right hand around the grip in the palm too much, making the ball hook low and to the left. This is a very common occurrence to see as a coach.

Remember, both hands naturally return to the clap-hands position. To correct this, grip beneath the grip in the middle pads of your fingers, then wrap your palm over so it covers the left thumb completely.

The right thumb should cover the fingers of the right hand and point slightly down the left-hand side of the grip. This will straighten your shots out a treat!

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