A pulled golf shot starts left of the target, stays left of the target and finishes in whatever trouble lies left of the target. The pull is caused by a swing path that approaches the ball from outside the target line with a clubface square to that path. At impact, the clubhead crosses the target line and the ball shoots straight left. Anybody can pull a shot occasionally, but if you consistently hit shots left, you need can look for faults in your address position or swing mechanics.
Correcting a Pull Swing
Stand behind your golf ball and picture a line from the ball to the target. That is your target line. You need to see this line to set up correctly. Your feet, hips and shoulders should line up parallel to the target line at address. Aiming too far right leads to swing compensations that cause pulls.
Set up square to the target line. Once you know where your target line and foot line should point, lay clubs or sticks on the ground parallel to those lines. Place a golf ball about an inch inside the target line marker and take your set up position. Make sure your golf ball is lined up off your left heel for woods and toward the middle of your stance for irons.
Swing the club straight back from the ball for the first 6 to 12 inches of your takeaway. Then your arm swing, body turn and wrist cock should carry the club gradually inside and up to the top of the swing. Swinging the club too far inside on the way back or picking the club straight up with your arms and hands can lead to pulls.
Turn your shoulders at least 90 degrees and your hips 45 degrees on the backswing. A proper turn keeps the club on the correct path and plane. At the top of the backswing, your club shaft should point parallel to the target line. That will put your in the proper position to start your downswing without pulling.
Start your downswing from the ground up. Push off your back foot, sliding your hips laterally a few inches toward the target. Pullers tend to initiate the downswing by spinning their shoulders or throwing their arms out away from their body, which is called “coming over the top.”
Let your hips rotate toward the target before your shoulders begin to unwind. If your right elbow pushes down into your right side and your left arm brushes across your chest, you know your club is on the proper downswing path.
Feel like you are trying to push your ball a little out to the right by swinging your club from a little bit inside the target line to slightly outside the target line. That will help bring the clubhead to the ball on an inside path, producing more controlled, powerful shots.
- Naplesnews.com: Jim Suttie: How to Stop Pulling Your Golf Ball
- No More Bad Shots; Hank Haney
- If you have been pulling the ball for a long time, correcting that outside-to-inside swing path can take time. You can improve your path by placing a head cover on the ground an inch or so outside your golf ball. Work on hitting golf balls without hitting the head cover, and you will grove a proper swing path.
David Raudenbush has more than 20 years of experience as a literacy teacher, staff developer and literacy coach. He has written for newspapers, magazines and online publications, and served as the editor of "Golfstyles New Jersey Magazine." Raudenbush holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in education.