Kuchar’s Korner: Correcting Swing Flaws

By  //  April 12, 2012


BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – How often do we go to the driving range to work on our swings correcting the problems we have with the incorrect swing changes?

Wally Kuchar, PGA Director of Instruction, the Duran Academy of Golf

This is very common unless we have a good understanding of how the swing works for ourselves. Remember that usually in the golf swing the opposite of what we think will correct the problem, only makes it worst.

What we think, feel and execute is sometimes completely different from what we really think is happening, and this is why all players attempting to improve, definitely need professional instruction. Golf is a difficult game and all of the tour professionals, men and women all have one or more swing coaches.

Here are a few swing problems and situations, and what you may try to correct your own swing flaws:

• Slicing the ball is when the ball curves to the right usually as a result of an outside to inside swing path with the clubface open. Corrections: Swing the club inside to outside with the clubface rotating closed before impact. Feel the hands and arms swing the club around the body, eliminate excessive body turn.

• Hooking the ball is when the ball curves to the left and usually is a result of releasing the clubhead and hands into impact with excessive turning motion of the body. The body can turn through impact with a square clubhead or the body can stay square through impact with clubface and hand rotation.

• Hand and clubhead rotation will generate greater distance and speed where body rotation will gain accuracy but decrease distance and clubhead speed. Most players need distance and clubhead speed which is generated with small muscle activity through impact.

• Top or Thin shots are referred to hitting high on the ball or on top and hitting grounders or a low hollow sounding shots off the leading edge of the clubhead. Corrections: Stay level and steady through impact so you can return to the same position you started at.

• Hinge wrists up in the backswing, which will allow you to hit down on back of ball when you unhinge your wrists into impact. Most players that top or thin the ball at impact are trying to lift ball to sky and have stiff wrists during the swing. Try to hit a nail with stiff wrists! Remember hit down with hands and wrists to make the ball go up!

We have to include the dreaded Shank!

The shank shot off the hosel is probably the most scary and hollow feeling shots that can be struck. The clubface is usually completely open to the right, the path is swinging in towards our front leg, the swing motion is usually up to the sky and our arms and wrists are as stiff as they can get.

• Corrections: Level shoulders and body position throughout the swing, in to out swing path, hinge up and unhinge down in the swing with wrists, soften your arms during the swing and allow your back hand to rotate over the front hand before impact. Always take a few practice swings to obtain the feel, and then move into the swing keeping the same swing feel and let it work!

There are swing corrections and drills for all the problem shots, and when we correct our swing don’t attempt to hit perfect full swing shots, work on simple thoughts and drills which focus on parts of the swing not the entire swing motion. These are only a few of the problems and corrections regarding the swing and shot results that can happen when you play this game. Contact your PGA professional to work on your game and learn and understand the simple swing drills that make this
game fun!

ABOUT WALLY KUCHAR: A member of the PGA since 1985, Kuchar’s duties at Duran include direction of all instructional programs at the Duran Academy of Golf. Kuchar  has combined a competitive golf career as an amateur and a PGA Tour Player with years of experience as a club professional and instructor to hone and perfect his teaching skills.

Through the years, Wally has had the opportunity to gain valuable personal instruction and playing knowledge from such notable instructors and professionals as Irv Schloss, Bob Toski, Phil Ritson and Moe Norman.  With his competitive career, club professional career and teaching career, Wally has taught and coached men, women and juniors of all ages and levels, and has great success in conveying his instructional methods about the fundamentals of the game.

Not only has he worked, studied and taken lessons to better understand the swing himself,  he is able to teach it through years of tournament competition and convey his personal experience and feelings to the student.  He has been both the student and the tournament player!  Wally believes, “You can reach whatever level you truly want.”

A native of Indiana, Wally currently resides in Orlando with wife Bonnie. Kuchar played golf and studied at Arizona State University, where he played on the golf team and received his degree in Education.