Sweep the leg, err, golf ball


I have listened to many of your podcasts over the course of the last few months. Like you, I aspire to get better at golf. Unlike you, by every conventional definition, I am not a skilled golfer, despite an extensive fitness and practice and lesson and playing regimen for more than a decade.

Like you, I am a sweeper of the ball. My normal ball flight is a push draw.
I am on GC Quad pretty much every day, and my swing appears to be fairly consistent.

You mentioned on the podcast that in your opinion, it is not necessary to hit down on the ball to play well. Can you expand on this thought? Is there a point where there is too much up in the swing?

To help visualize my contact, my normal 9i swing has a left to right path of 5 (righty golfer) and hit AoA 0. My 6i swing has left to right path of 4 and up 1. Hybrid left to right path of 3 and up 3. Driver left to right path of 1 and up 5.

If you offered me $1 million to hit down 5 with my nine iron, i can do it with a punch shot and handsy stab at the ball. If you offered me $1 million to hit down 5 with a full swing and gave me 100 chances, i would end the session with disappointment. :slight_smile:

I think my biggest issue is that out of nowhere for 2 swings out of every nine holes, i hit the biggest pull hook you could ever imagine. I’ve many times been 60 yards left of the green with a wedge in my hand from the middle of the fairway. It (understandably? appropriately?) usually results in a penalty. I take more 6’s from the fairway than anyone in the history of golf.

In my head, if i could learn to hit down better it would mitigate some of the results of the disaster swings, but maybe I’m on a fool’s errand and really just need to learn clubface control on a more fundamental level.

@willwagner posted this chart of pros that shocked and stunned me at how down pros hit on the ball. I am focused on a different part of the chart so I started a new topic, but please feel free to merge if it belongs elsewhere.

My question to you-is there a known point where hitting up on the ball generally limits development to become a skilled player? It prevents one from being consistent enough to be scratch? To be a single digit player?

I’m hoping the divot board eliminates the need for me to ponder this question in the future, but I appreciate any thoughts you might have as a fellow in to out swinger.

Thanks! Enjoy your podcast and thoughts on golf so very much.

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It’s very hard for me to give you exact information on this since there are so many variables. But I think as your swing speed increases, it allows you to hit down on the ball more. That’s why you’re seeing such “steep” numbers with the pros. However, I would say that hitting up with your 6-iron and hybrid could be problematic. There’s nothing wrong with being shallow (attack angle of zero) if your ground contact, face contact, and club path/face angle are functional. I’d be careful trying to get too steep just for the sake of getting steep, you really don’t know what is causing those “oops” swings - it could be something entirely different.

If I were you I would continue to work with the divot board, and see how its external feedback will alter your numbers on the GCQuad.


Somewhat of a random thought here, but have you tried some differential training and spent any time trying to fade the ball?

I’m not a qualified golf instructor, but it would be interesting to see how a fade swing felt for you…

Overall, even with a shallow swing, you will be swinging down at some point in your swing… once again, some differential training could be good here… move the ball even more forward in your stance and hit it, which should move the low point in your swing farther up… then try hitting more down on the ball in your regular position…

On the left of left miss, it sounds like you get really inside and then present a closed club face into the ball… I don’t have any specific advice for that, but I’ve tried to move my shorter wedge swing to a more arms swing with no rotation that is just down the line… I hit it from 60-120 yards… Once I figured it out, the ball started flying mostly straight!

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I’m no instructor, but I have at least some of the same issues. I am a picker; that part is self taught as I have had surgery on my right wrist and left hand and taking big divots can be painful. I will take shallow divots with wedges and even a 9i though.

With the wedges I take a fade set up, slightly open stance, but I try to fire down the line as Craigers just mentioned. I found I hit the ball higher and straighter this way as I had a tendency to push the short irons and wedges more than the mid to long irons. When I was playing a lot of golf over 10 years ago I was deadly straight with this shot; now not so much lol.

I will warn you that the open stance can lead to that pull draw you suffer from as I may have you beat with 6’s from the fairway lol. I probably do it as much or more than you. The Pro says I tend to get too static at times and I don’t turn enough and my feet are too flat and I pull draw the shot. Nothing worse than having a GW in your hand and missing the green left of left.


I think the biggest question is, are your patterns playable. I’m guessing you probably hit the ball fairly high as well. Perhaps trying some differential training like @Craigers mentioned it even checking out these videos from GolfScienceLab and Mark Crossfield may light up some aha moments. Not aha in the sense that you’ve got golf “figured out” but more of aha in the sense that you understand your patterns more and how to adjust as needed.


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It’s a special pain deep in your soul when you are in team competition and you have to write down a 6 from the fairway over and over.

I swear that god has an F.U button for my golf game and it doesn’t actually matter what swing I make. When god pushes the button, ball goes hard left and OB. And he likes to do it 2 times on each side. Don’t know when, but it’s 2x for sure. Dance, monkey!


I feel your pain for sure. I know I can’t hit every shot the way I want, but my biggest issue is probably lack of focus.


I have a similar issue. Quite often I look back at a poor shot and I didn’t go though my usual routine and just rocked up and hit it. Off target. A lot.

Still the provisional is usually better…


I’ve seen a few pre-shot routines on tour, maybe Spieth or JT or Rose, with an exaggerated chop swing. Not sure if this is to help more with path or AOA, but seems like it might help. But my favorite, thought/drill is the Nail drill. I’m less focused on what my body is doing, and more focused on getting the club to hammer the nail on the back of the ball

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Yep, that’s been my standard play on my opening hole for the last month. Annoying, isn’t it?