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Mastering The Art of Fixing Your Golf Swing

Golf can be such a fickle sport. It can provide us with incredible highs, from memorable shots and rounds to unbelievable lows where, for whatever reason, our game deserts us,...

Golf can be such a fickle sport. It can provide us with incredible highs, from memorable shots and rounds to unbelievable lows where, for whatever reason, our game deserts us, and the notion of never picking up another club again crosses our minds.

We strive to perfect our golf swings to emulate the stars in the professional game. We spend money on lessons and scour social media, looking for a fix or a new way to unlock the mystery of the golf swing.

But can we ever master the golf swing? Tiger Woods has often commented that, in his opinion, only two players have truly mastered their golf swings - Moe Norman and Ben Hogan. So, if we can't master our swings, how do we improve, and what are the typical bad shots that plague nearly every golfer?

In this article, we'll unlock some of those mysteries and give you food for thought on what causes the bad shots by covering the following:

  • What Are The Fundamentals?
  • Improving Our Fundamentals
  • Slicing And Hooking
  • The Road To Improvement
  • Can Custom-Fitted Clubs Help?

What Are The Fundamentals?

Every successful golf swing is based on having solid fundamentals. Good fundamentals are so important that even the best players in the game will always check their fundamentals before going into swing theory.

When we talk about the fundamentals, we are principally talking about the following:

  • Grip
  • Stance
  • Alignment


The grip is critical as it is our only physical contact with the golf club. Getting our hands positioned correctly on the grip can assist in club face control in the swing and dictate how square the club face comes into impact.

A golden rule concerning your grip is to keep grip pressure light on the club. Holding the club too tightly results in the muscles in your hands and wrists tensing up, which leads into your arms, shoulders, and back. Tight muscles are not suitable for an effective, powerful golf swing.

If you want to test if you grip too tightly, ask a friend if they can pull a club out of your hands while they hold the club head. If they can pull the club out of your hands with little resistance, your grip pressure is good if they can't lighten up your pressure on the grip.

TaylorMade Rory Mcilroy


A good stance can build an athletic foundation to swing the club. The width of your stance depends on the club you are swinging - hitting a driver will require a wider stance than hitting a wedge, as you exert more power when hitting the driver.

Weight distribution can also depend on the club and shot you are hitting. For the driver, we might favour more weight in our trail leg to help us hit up on the ball, which is the desirable path for the modern driver through impact.

Suppose we want to flight an iron shot down a little lower. In that case, we can marginally favour our weight on the lead leg to help us keep on top of the shot, helping to produce the desired lower trajectory.

Let's think of even weight distribution as 50%-50% in the examples described above. We are talking about no more than a 10% difference in favour of either the trail or lead leg.

Anything more than that can cause inconsistencies in ball striking, leading to many thin or fat shots. A good stance can also help reduce the risk of injury, especially to the back. Keeping your spine straight at set up will provide a powerful fulcrum, which the upper body turns on in the backswing and downswing.


Having good alignment is crucial to hitting accurate shots. If we set up aiming too far right or left of our intended target, we have to make compensations in our swing to try and get the ball on target. Get into good habits of lining up parallel with your intended target when you practice by using alignment sticks or an old golf club.

Choose a target you want to aim at, then place the alignment stick or old club along the line of your feet after you have made your stance. Once placed, step back and look down the target line to see if you have lined up correctly. If you haven't lined up correctly, alter the alignment stick or old club accurately, then make your stance and start to hit shots.

So many faults we see in the golf swing can be traced back to poor fundamentals, so, like the professionals, if you start to see some poor shots creeping in, when you next practice, check that all your fundamentals are correct.

TaylorMade Stealth

Slicing And Hooking

Most amateurs will fight a slice shot. The dreaded slice is a shot that starts left of our intended target and curves violently to the right if you are a right-handed golfer. There can be many reasons why a golfer slices their shots. The most common causes are:

  • Weak grip on the club
  • Poor alignment
  • Out to in swing path at impact

Weak grip on the club

Going back to the fundamentals we discussed earlier, if you set up with a weak grip at address, it will likely encourage the club face to open in the swing and through impact.

For a right-handed golfer, this means they may be only able to see one knuckle showing on their left hand if they look down at it at address. For their right hand, this might be positioned too much on top of the grip.

Strengthen the grip so that at least two knuckles are showing on the left hand, and with your right hand, make sure the "vee" formed between the left thumb and forefinger is pointing up towards the right shoulder.

Callaway Paradym

Poor alignment

Looking at the example of a right-handed golfer, if they know they are slicing shots, they can compensate by aiming further left of their intended target to try and hit it. This actually has the opposite effect and can make the slice even bigger. Ensure you get lined up properly during your practice sessions and create a good pre-shot routine to help you when you are out playing.

Colin Morikawa TaylorMade

Out to in swing path at impact

Also commonly known as swinging "over the top", the club face will come into the ball on an out-to-in swing path. To explain this further, if we use a device like TrackMan, we can analyse precisely how the club face moves through the ball. If we draw a straight line from the back of the ball, if the club face is moving from the right of this line, it is measured as a negative path into impact.

If the club face is also marginally open as it moves on this path, it will create a counter-clockwise spin on the ball that will see it move sharply from left to right (if you are a right-handed golfer).

There are several ways the out-to-in swing path can be cured, and many teaching professionals will use devices like TrackMan to identify and measure improvements in getting the club path on a more neutral path into impact.

Titleist Golf Club

Hooking Shots

In the hook shot, we see the ball move sharply from right to left (for a right-handed golfer), and it is equally as destructive as a slice shot. Similar to the slice, we can see some common mistakes which lead to a hooked shot, such as:

  • Grip
  • Alignment
  • Club Path


When a golfer tends to hook their shots, the first thing to look at is the grip. In this case, the grip will be deemed too strong - what we mean here is the left hand will show more than two knuckles when looking down at address, and the right hand will almost see the thumb sitting on top or to the right side of the grip.

Having such a strong grip tends to get the club face very closed in the swing, which at impact causes hook spin and seriously de-lofts the club you are hitting, leading to a low, inconsistent trajectory for the ball.

Like what we discussed with the slice grip, neutralise your grip, which can help keep the club face square throughout the swing and present the club's true loft at impact.


Opposite to the slice, a golfer can fall into the habit of aiming too far right of the target (if right-handed), which means they have to compensate in their swing to try and get the ball back on target. This can also lead to the club face shutting down to correct the setup flaw. Make sure you create good habits in your practice, and when playing, use a good pre-shot routine to ensure you align yourself correctly with your target.

Titleist Golf Club

Club Path

Using TrackMan as our guide again, we typically see a club face path that moves aggressively from inside to out for a golfer who hooks the ball. This inside-to-out path can also lead to inconsistent ball striking, and coupled with a closed club face, the ball will hook violently right to the left.

Working with TrackMan, a professional will start to work on neutralising the club path to improve the consistency of ball striking, trajectory, and direction. Slices and hooks can be destructive shots and ruin rounds of golf, but the good news is these shots can be eliminated with some good coaching and drills to work on when you practice.

The Road To Improvement

The golf swing, as we have seen, can be a complex puzzle, but breaking this puzzle down into small pieces makes improvement easier, such as:

  • Remove Overthinking
  • Be Patient With Progress

Remove Overthinking

Focus on one area and having one straightforward and clear thought in mind will help maintain confidence on the course and reduce the amount of overthinking that can leave many a golfer standing paralysed and unable to take the club back at address.

Be Patient With Progress

Patience can be a challenging skill to master for a lot of golfers. Still, it's a critical component to long-term improvement. If you are working with a professional on improving, build a practice regime that allows you to focus on the drills you have been taught to imbed in your swing. If you get to the driving range to practice, be disciplined with these drills and don't just start bashing the driver after 20 balls!

In an interview in 2000, Tiger Woods jokingly bemoans a drill his then-coach Butch Harmon would make Woods do. Woods talks about doing nothing else but hitting thousands of balls based on this one drill. In the end, nobody would argue it didn't pay off for Woods.

Another great in his time, Nick Faldo, spent two years reconstructing his swing under the tutelage of David Leadbetter. The hard work eventually paid off for Faldo, as he claimed six major titles.

Can Custom-Fitted Clubs Help?

Golfers can sometimes see custom fitting as a bad idea if they suffer from a persistent slice or hook, but custom fitting can make a difference and straighten out crooked shots.

During a fitting session, we can see from the data collected and conversation with you just what the bad shot potentially is. From there, we can experiment with combinations to help straighten shots.

For example, if you come for a driver fitting, we can work on different loft options, weight settings and lie angles to help straighten shots. Taking this further, we can marry you to the correct shaft, which can also help tighten shot dispersion.

Regarding fitting for irons, we can also look at different head types and combo sets where difficult-to-hit longer clubs are replaced with hybrids. Similar to the driver, we can also look at different shafts to reduce shot dispersion. Getting properly fitted for your clubs can give you more confidence in hitting fairways and greens when you play.

If we know you are working on technical areas of your swing with a qualified professional. In that case, we can build contingency into your fitting so that your fitted clubs will continue to perform as you improve.

Golf is a game where we are always seeking improvement if we want to shoot lower scores. Paying attention to ensuring our fundamentals, such as grip, posture, and alignment, create good habits in our swing. We still get plagued by slices and hooks, but understanding the relationship between the club path and club face at impact can help us cure these shots.

At Nine by Nine Golf, when you come for a custom-fitting session, using TrackMan technology, we can build clubs that can help reduce slices and hooks and give you more confidence out on the golf course. If you're about to make changes to your bag, be sure to contact us to arrange a fitting session.

Nine by Nine Golf Fitting Studio

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