Hit it straighter instead of blocking golf shots
Have you ever stood on the first tee calm and confident only to block the golf ball way right into a water hazard? Maybe you need a par on the last to shoot your best score and after splitting the fairway in two, you block your approach shot right into the bunker and end up with a messy bogey or even a double? If this sounds like you then it’s likely you are guilty of blocking golf shots or also called pushing golf shots.
Fortunately like all golf faults, it can be fixed just be understanding the root cause of the issue.
The good news is a blocked golf shot is not as bad as you think as it means you are swinging inside to out which typically results in a nice draw shape similar to what a touring professional might hit.
What does a blocked golf shot look like
A blocked golf shot is when the golf ball (right hander) starts right of the intended target and stays there. It usually doesn’t have any curve left or right on the ball in either direction, only a straight path right. It does this when the clubface is square and the path is coming too much inside to out right of your target line.
The golf ball is often hit in the middle of the clubface but misses the target (as mentioned above) due to the severity of the inside to outside swing path.
If the golf ball curves back either left or right severely it is known as either a push hook or a push slice.
Why do you block golf shots?
There are 5 main reasons why you are blocking golf shots which are listed below.
- Too much lateral slide with your hips in the downswing
- Your lower body moves too fast for your upper body
- Coming too much from an inside to outside swing path and ball position
- Incorrect alignment too far right at your golf set up
- Too much tension in your hands in the golf swing
What is too much lateral slide and how to fix
This common reason for a blocked golf shot is when the hips move too far and too quickly to the left in the downswing. It makes it difficult to clear the left side and creates a lot of secondary axis tilt impact (right shoulder a lot lower than the right) which further results in the arms getting trapped too far behind you and unable to catch up.
The excessive lateral hip slide is often due to swaying too far to the right on the backswing. Ensure you keep the pressure on the inside of your right foot as you move to the top of your backswing.
The hip slide prevents you from making a proper hip rotation as your hips have already moved too far left and the arms and hands can only move in to out resulting in the block.
To fix this issue you need to slow down your hips and allow them to rotate open slowly so that your arms and hands can synchronize perfectly.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW THAT DEMONSTRATES HOW TO STOP YOUR SLIDE IN THE DOWNSWING:
How to fix lower body speed issues in the downswing
A lot of problems with blocking golf shots happen because of timing issues in the golf swing. As mentioned above quite often golf shots going right is the result of the lower body moving too quickly and the upper body is unable to keep up. This results in little or no balance in your golf swing.
You will more likely than not block the golf ball when your lower body gets too quick for your upper which results in the lower body spinning open and your club drops too far to the inside.
A great drill to practice at home or on the driving range is to stand with a narrow stance or with your feet close together and make golf swings.
This teaches your body to balance and forces your lower half to slow down to allow the upper body to come through and complete the swing without falling over.
Fix coming too much from the inside with ball position
As I already explained, a blocked or pushed golf shot happens when you come too much from inside to out with a square clubface. Often the position of the ball in your golf set up contributes to whether you hit a blocked golf shot to the right. When the golf ball is positioned too far back in your stance it increases the chances of blocking the golf ball.
This is because your clubface will meet the golf ball too early in the downswing well before it has a chance to square up to the target line.
Ideally you want to position the golf ball in the middle of your stance for your shorter irons such as 8-iron to sand wedge.
For 7-iron and lower you can progressively more the ball more forward culminating in the driver which should be played off your left instep of your left shoe.
The more forward of centre ball position allow the clubface more time to reach the ball in the bottom of the swing arc and time to rotate and square up for solid contact.
Incorrect alignment and how to fix
It may seem obvious but most golfers I see that are blocking golf shots to the right are actually aiming in that direction in the first place. So technically it’s not actually a blocked golf shot but more so hitting a straight shot but poorly aligned.
Take the time to align your feet and shoulders parallel to your target line.
Your clubhead should be aimed at your target and your feet and shoulders parallel to that target.
Placing a golf club or alignment stick in line with your feet parallel to the target on the driving range is a great drill to integrate the feeling of proper alignment.
How tension affects blocking the golf ball and how to fix
Too much tension in your hands and arms can have an adverse effect in your golf swing and contribute to blocking golf shots. This is because it restricts the ability for the hands especially to rotate and properly square the clubface in the downswing.
Practice making golf swings feeling like you are holding the golf club with just enough grip pressure to support and feel the weight of the club.
It should feel like about a 4 / 5 out of 10 (10 is maximum pressure) in pressure.
For more information on how to grip a golf club correctly go here.
What you need to do next
Firstly, you need to identify which one of the reasons is why you are blocking golf shots to the right.
The best way to do this is to record your golf swing at the driving range and see if you can pinpoint where your golf swing is going wrong.
The team at Rotary Swing are experts at identifying and fixing swing faults – get your FREE membership with them here.
Next, practice the suggested drills for each issue and perform at least 30 reps slowly until it feels ingrained in your golf swing.
It’s important you do these drills making just half swings so your body can get used to the new movement.
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