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Preventing A Push
The Solution To Pushed or Blocked Shots

Learn what causes blocked and pushed golf shotsAvoid the Push or Block

The definition of a push or a block is a ball that starts to the right (for right handed players) and stays on a straight line to the right. In other words, it does not curve like a slice. A slice would start to the left and banana curve back to the right. Pushes typically are struck well and do not cause much of a distance loss. They are the shots where you often miss the green to the side, but yet pin high. Distance is maintained because of the lack of excessive cut spin, side spin or underspin on the ball. The ball is spinning normally, just flying on a line to the side of your intended target.

Knowing the causes of a push make it pretty simple to diagnose and fix. Understanding the ball flight laws and how path and face work together to create 9 different ball flights is essential. Looking at the diagram on ball flight will help you understand a push,a slice and a push-slice better. A push is the result of a swing path that is too far inside-out in relation to the target line combined with an open club face. The face though, is square to the path of the swing. It is open to the target line. Anytime the face is not square to the path of the swing, spin will result. If the path is inside-out and the face is open to the path a pus-slice would result.

Because I don't know what your individual swing is doing at the moment, for the purpose of this article, we will explore all the causes of both a push and a push-slice. The list below should serve as a good starting block for checking your swing.

Mistakes involved in a push are:

  • Path - if the path is inside-out in relation to your target line
  • Club Face - if the face is open to your target line and square or open to your path
  • Alignment - if you are aimed to the right of your target (for right handed players)
  • Grip - if you have a weak grip or are holding on too tight
  • Arm Rotation - if your arms are late in rotating and releasing through the hit
  • Ball Position - if you play the ball too far back in your stance
  • Sequence - if your lower body slides or spins leaving your upper body and arms trailing

The Situation:

You are pushing your shots off-line.

The Solution:

The first thing you should check is your aim. Aim is an obvious cause and easy to fix. Simply put if you are aiming there, that's where the ball is likely to go. Next check your grip. Not that the grip causes a push directly, but it doesn't help bring the ball back on line if you are holding it open by squeezing the club too tight or by having your hands in a weak position promoting an open club face. Make sure your pressure is light and relaxed as that will help one of our other causes...lack of forearm rotation. If you are swinging free, your forearms will be relaxed and allowed to rotate over through the hit squaring the club face. A weak grip will cause the face to stay open almost no matter what you are doing. Try turning both hands 1/2 inch to your rear side (away from the target) if your grip is weak.

The main cause of a push is the path. If you take a divot you can check this by simply looking at the direction of your divots. See if they are pointing straight towards your target or off to the side. If they are pointed inside-out in relation to your target line you will want to get your swing path coming much more down the line. Make sure that you are not starting the swing back to the inside. Check to see that your arms and the club are drawing the club straight back on the target line. To get your arms in front of you on the way down, try eliminating or slowing down lower body motion. When your hips slide or spin out too fast, your arms and club will be left in the dust. You want to feel more armsy and keep the arms in front of your body throughout the swing. This is where sequence comes in. If you get the arms cleared and down in front of your body they will be able to fire with force in the right direction. The proper kinematic sequence is hips, shoulders, then arms. Excessive hip action can throw off the timing of firing your body parts in the correct order. Lastly, a quick check of ball position is a good idea. The farther you play the ball back in your stance, the more likely you are to catch it early and to far from the inside.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
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