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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

I'm picking up and not making solid contact. Can you help?
--Ernie K. from Boynton Beach, FL

Hi Ernie,

Thanks for posting your question. When you say picking up there are really two ways to do that.

1) Players can raise up out of their posture causing them to top the ball or hit it thin.

2) Players can buckle their arms (short arm it) causing them to top the ball.

I would like to note here that it is also common for a golfer to just hang back too much on their rear foot or fall back through the shot. This causes them to swing up too quickly and the result is thin contact or a miss altogether. With that being said I would have check to make sure that your weight is properly transferring to your front foot before and through impact.

To tackle issue #1 try putting your rear end against a wall in your house and crossing your arms across your chest. Bend over into your posture and practice turning your shoulders back and forth while keeping your rear end attached to the wall. You should have the feeling that your chest is staying low and that on the backswing your front shoulder is pointed down towards the ball or slightly outside. On the downswing your rear shoulder should now be pointed at the ball or slightly outside. Hold your finish for a few seconds so you feel the stretch and realize what it's like to stay down through and after impact.

For issue #2, make sure that you have the feeling that your arms are actually getting longer through the shot. After impact try stopping with a punch type finish waist high. At this point freeze and look at your arms and see if they are buckled up or if they are fully extended. We want them fully extended so practice stretching them out away from your body post impact. Note, short arming it can actually be a result of casting the club and releasing too early on the way down.

Without seeing your swing it's hard to say exactly for sure what might be occurring in your swing. Try these two things and see if they help. If not, you might consider becoming a premium member and sending in your swing for review.

Thanks and good luck!


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