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Grooved Golf Swing Series - Always Try To Hit A Chosen Spot From The Tee, Keep That Right Elbow In

Bill Maitland

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We all have trouble with our drives, making the ball land where we want it to. Would that be a fair statement?

If you asked me I would certainly say yes. So, what am I saying?

I am saying that you should try every time to land your ball on a chosen spot on the fairway.

I can hear you saying “I can rarely put my ball onto a spot. Goodness, if I can get it on the fairway I am more than pleased”. With this in mind, are you saying that you line up and blaze away in the general direction of the green, hoping that you will finish on the short grass?

Well, here is an adjustment to any thoughts along these lines. On every shot, even if you think you can’t, try your best to hit your chosen spot on the fairway.

There are mental and physical reasons for this.

First, the more care you take mentally to hit your target, the more this will have an effect on your physical game.

I mean, your lining up, your care in lining up your club head so that it hits the ball with a square club face, and your own personal placement of your feet and the line of your shoulders.

In other words, how you yourself align your body.

If you pay enormous attention to the mental and the physical aspects as described, there will be a much greater chance of hitting your ball to your chosen spot on the fairway.

This is a step forward. Your next shot must have a clear passage way to the green and if you can place your ball in a position to achieve this, you are playing better golf.

This means a lower score and a lower handicap.

Now once you are lined up, all you have to do is take your club back and hit your ball.

Next a little reminder on the basics of the swing. As I have said before, set up with your head over your right knee (right handers) and leave it there. Yes, leave it there during the whole swing. This will keep your head behind the ball and prevent it coming forward on the down swing resulting in a hook.

Now turn your chest to the right taking your arms with it.

Place your left shoulder under your chin with a final turn of your shoulders, taking your club to the horizontal. Now on the down swing, here is something your may not have heard of.

All this talk of hitting from in to out. It certainly takes some doing. Hitting from out to in is a no no. Lost your yet? I got lost too.

My coach used to place a tee at an angle of 30 degrees to the flight of the ball and tell me to move my club face in the direction of the tee. Talk about double Dutch. Utter confusion. I just couldn’t get the mental picture or do as I was told. It was impossible.

The trouble was that the coach didn’t understand the principles of what he was trying to teach me.

He should have paid more attention to keeping my right elbow tucked into my side. A flying right elbow plays havoc with your ball flight doesn’t it?

Actually, I am convinced that most shanks are caused by a right elbow leaving the side just a bit. Think about it. I think you will agree. The whole thing moves the club head forward towards the ball.

Here is what you do. The first part of your down swing should be a simple short movement down where the butt of your club is pointed at the ball. There is only one way you can do this - by tucking your right elbow into your side. It is fool proof.

This move takes care of the movement of your left hip. It makes it go up and back. This is what it should do.

However, don’t try to do this or you will have all sorts of problems. The simple movement of pointing the butt of your club at the ball takes care of all the complicated movements described in so many books.

Some one said to me that the whoosh of the club starts here and not at the top.

Have a look at hitting from the top. It is a devil of a job keeping your elbow in. It is more likely to move away from your body causing you to hit from out to in.

So much for the in to out and the out to in. All it means is keeping your right elbow tucked in to your side, and the only foolproof way to do this is to point the butt of your grip towards the ball as the first part of your down swing.

To get the hang of this, I suggest you practice this movement in isolation (without the rest of the swing) until it becomes second nature and then incorporate it into your swing.

Bill Maitland is a thinking, inventive golf guru. He thought out and developed simple techniques and tips which enabled him to lower his handicap from 25 to 18, then from 18 to 15, and finally from 15 to 12. He is a passionate golfer, and delights in helping others with their game should they want his help. To receive a valuable weekly golf tip go to his web site and subscribe to his free Hole In One News Letter. You will be so glad that you did.

Author of On Line Golfers’ Hand Book. An e-Book that takes you step by step to being the best golfer that you can possibly be. The basics in great detail. To learn about his tips and simple techniques and order his book, visit his web site

sign up for his free news letter and receive a wealth of great tips every time. He really tries to tell you everything and leaves nothing out as so often happens. When you sign up, receive his free chapter from his book on bunker play.


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