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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

I hit a lot of pulls and pull hooks (with all clubs). I'm limited somewhat in flexibility. I believe, I'm guilty of the other reverse pivot, where spine actually tilts to target somewhat at top of backswing. I NEVER hit a shot that starts left of target and moves to right (not that I want to). What would you recommend?
--Waldron G. from Roanoke, VA

Hi Waldron. Thanks for writing

As you know a pull and a fade are the same swing path (outside/in or across the line), but the face is different. It sounds like you are aware of the fact that you are in pulling across, but because you say your ball never moves back to the right, it's safe for us to assume you are doing a great job of closing the clubface.

Without seeing your swing I can't be 100% sure, but based on what you said it sounds like we need to work on your swing path. Note that as a Pro Student you could send in your swing for analysis. In the meantime though let's see what we can figure out.

First, do your divots point to the left of your target line? I'm assuming you are right handed as you haven't completed your profile yet. If so, that is the perfect indication of an across the line swing path.

You mentioned an upper body reverse pivot. The problem with that is as you lean towards the target with your upper spine at the top of your swing, the next move is the shoulders spin open and you swing over the top. It's very difficult for most people if not impossible to get the club started down to the inside from an upper body reverse pivot at the top of the swing. The first thing I would have you do here is to make sure at address that your rear side (shoulder and hip) is lower than your target side (shoulder and hip). Once in this position you are at least starting off with a chance. Next, try to make sure your chest is pointing down at the ground at the top of the swing. Don't be afraid to let your head move some in the backswing (an inch or two) so that you can properly load up on your back leg. If your chest is pointing down at the ground you aren't reverse pivoting. If your chest points up however, your upper spine will lean towards the target.

Once set up correctly at address and in a good position at the top, I would recommend working on the following drills for plane/path:

Swing on a String Drill
Swing Under a String Drill
Swing Plane Poles Drill

These drills can be found here:


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