My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Diagnosing Problems:

My ball flight can be a fade (sometimes slice) or pull to left. 20% of the time it will be right down the middle. Trying to get that "down the middle" to 80%. I'm sure I must be coming over the top a bit or turning my shoulders to quick in my down swing. What do you think and suggest I can do to correct this?
--Dave C. from Mason, OH

Hi Dave. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com. I'm looking forward to helping you with your game.

Fading and pulling as you may know are both caused by the same swing path error. The club is swinging outside/in through the impact area. When you do this and the face is open you will get a fade and if it is square or left of your swing path the ball will pull.

There are many things that can cause the club to swing outside/in through impact. Among them are:

- Poor alignment at address
- Swinging over the top of the swing plane
- A reverse pivot
- A reverse weight shift
- Physical issues such as tightness and weakness
- Casting

The first thing I'd like you to check is your posture. Make sure that at address your right side (hip and shoulder) sits lower than your left. This should happen naturally since your right hand is lower on the grip than your left. This sets your upper spin a bit behind the ball and further from the target than your lower spine. As a result it will be easier for your to turn your shoulders on the backswing, get the club on an inside plane and stay aligned properly with your spine and hips. You may also want to make sure your right shoulder is a bit behind or inside your left shoulder in relation to your target line to facilitate and inside takeaway.

Next, I'd like to see you keep your back at the target a bit longer in the downswing. Keep it facing the target until your arms and the club have dropped down on plane. Often times golfers open up their shoulders too quickly in the downswing and this of course forces the club to come over the top of the swing plane and then swing outside/in through impact.

Think of your swing as having a 3 count to it. One is the backswing, two is the drop on plane or transition move and 3 is the turn to the ball. You will see this rhythm with most professionals whereas with higher handicappers you will see a 2 count. The backswing and the downswing with the transition move being bypasses.

I hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks

By:

Other Related Tips on Diagnosing Problems
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)