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Train Hand Action Through the Ball for Better Drives and Irons Shots
The most basic shot in golf is a chip shot, and if you can master chipping and train the hands to hit good chip shots, you are only one step away from being able to hit the driver and irons better.
Because the golf swing is a chain reaction, if you can develop a good chipping action automatically, you will improve your full driver swing and your iron shots.
How to Release the Hands in the Golf Swing
It might sound almost too simple, but learning to hit a chip shot straight, means you are training your hands to square up the club face at impact.
Even though it’s only a small shot, the muscles in your arms fire in the same way as they do when you have a full swing, so educating your hands on a chip shot will mean they are more capable of squaring up the club face when you drive the ball or hit full iron shots.
The reason golfers tend not to practice chipping is that they fail to appreciate the close relationship between a chip and a full golf swing. Whether it’s a small gentle shot or a full drive, the muscles needed to release, or square up the club head, are the same.
To educate the hands to square up the club face, go to the range with a seven iron and carry out the following drill:
Drill to Train the Hands to Release the Club
- Take a seven-iron and a bucket of balls and start chipping. When you have warmed up, take ten balls and aim at a target no more than twenty yards away.
- The point of the exercise is not touched and power but accuracy by training the hands to adjust the club head. Chip the ten balls and see how many finish up left or right of the target.
- After making sure you are aiming correctly, take a further ten balls, and without changing your aim, change the pattern of your shots by adjusting the club face through impact. It is your right hand that is responsible for changing the way the club is released through the ball.
- To make more shots finish left of the target, the right hand will have to roll the blade closed as it hits the ball. To hit more shots to the right, the right hand will have to hold open the face through impact.
- When you have proved to yourself that it is possible to hit the ball in a different direction simply by altering the hand release, increase the power and length of the swing, so you start hitting pitch shots.
- Carry out the same test you did with chip shots. Alter the pattern of your shots by using your hands to change the release.
- Every shot you hit will be training your hands to control the club head – which many golfers believe is the true difference between a golfer who struggles on the course and a low handicap golfer.
- After hitting pitch shots, increase the power and length of the swing and try to manipulate the hands through impact in the same way. Eventually, you will find that it becomes difficult to control the ball, and at that point, you should go back to the previous length of the swing, where you were successful at altering the release.
- Work away with that length of swing, and when you feel complete control move up to the longer swing again.
If you can master hitting a chip shot straight, followed by a pitch shot to either side of the target by using your hand to release the club face, you will find it much easier to drive the ball onto the fairway, and, in turn, you will lower your scores.
The more you use this drill, the more you will be able to control your driver and iron shots.