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Clubface Control

The single biggest thing that separates average players from good players, good players from great players, and great players from Tour-caliber players is clubface control, said Kevin Shields.

“Lesser players either open the clubface too much on the backswing or keep it the same amount of open for too long in the downswing,” Shields said. “That requiries the player to frantically try to “flip” the club square at the ball.”

• Here’s what to do, according to Shields:

Assume a standard grip and try to “twist” your bottom, or right, hand so it faces away from you in the backswing, and keep it facing away the whole swing, as if you are wiping your palm across a table in the impact area.

Many people don’t realize that what is considered by modern instruction to be “square” at the top is actually 90 degrees open. The clubface needs that much rotation to be square at the ball.

Some of that rotation comes from turning your body, but most comes from your hands and arms. Learn to turn the face toward the ball sooner in the downswing.

Rotate your torso

Players need to understand that the torso is the engine for the golf swing, Parees said. Too many players try to generate speed and power by swinging their arms and wrists, not rotating their torso.

“While the arms do swing up and down and the wrists hinge and set, these motions are secondary to torso rotation,” Parees said. “That is what creates the majority of speed in the swing.”

• Here’s what to do:

Parees: To make a correct backswing, establish your spine angle/address posture and rotate your core by turning your torso away from your target. To do so, attempt to position your left shoulder as close to being over your right leg than your left. And maintain the same spine angle/address posture throughout the backswing.

As you start the downswing, pretty much do the reverse of what you did on the backswing. Rotate your torso toward your target until your right shoulder is closer to being over your left leg than your right. Again, maintain the same spine angle/posture throughout the forward swing.”

To practice this, set up in your normal address position and place a club across your shoulders, holding it in place with your hands. Rotate your core away from your target until the club points at the ball on the ground. Now rotate your core toward your target until the other end of the club points at the same spot on the ground. This will allow you to feel the proper rotation of your core while maintaining the same spine angle.

“I feel safe in saying that all really good players perform this motion during their swings,” Parees said.

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