Standing on the tee, you feel relaxed and confident, until suddenly smack, you push your golf ball straight right into trouble! How does this happen you ask yourself, the ball doesn’t curve, but instead flies off straight as a die – right of your target. Fortunately this instructional article will help fix this common mishit, sometimes known as block, and will make sure you know how to stop pushing your driver and iron shots in the future.
Understandably one is right to be concerned about a push, but it isn’t as bad as may think. This is because to start with you are swinging with an inside to outside swing, and this is much more preferable to an outside to inside golf swing. You should be pleased the club head is travelling from the inside to out if like many good amateurs and professionals it’s your intention to draw the ball, but obviously not so happy that you are striking the ball too early in your swing.
To fully appreciate why you are pushing the ball you need to understand that the ball comes off the club face in a straight direction because it is square to the inside to out line it is travelling along at impact. Once you have any form of curve in the resulting shot you are looking at club face angle problems. Sometimes you will see the ball start out straight and then curve to the right, this is due to an open club face and is known as a push slice. A push hook occurs when you close the face.
6 Reasons You Are Pushing The Golf Ball
Here are a number of reasons to carefully consider when you start to push the ball with your driver or with your irons. Read on to discover a detailed explanation of each cause.
1. Sliding your hips on your downswing
One of the main causes for pushing a golf shot comes from sliding your hips too much to the left on the downswing. As a result this makes it extremely difficult to clear the left hand side as you descend into impact. Consequently it generates a feeling of leaving the club behind you. The movement to the left means body and hands are ahead of the ball at impact and in a nutshell you are essentially fighting a losing battle because the club never catches up as it should.
Your hands are late to the ball because instead of properly making a full hip turn you slide your hips to the left too much. To fix this problem you do need to slow down your hips so as you can release your hands properly and prevent yourself from pushing your ball.
There are two common reasons you are swaying to the left on the downswing.
Firstly it can be caused by swaying to the right on your back swing where you then consequently compensate for this by swinging back too much on your downswing to the left.
Secondly you sway to your left by moving your head up as you swing. This action will unfortunately also move your body up. Try to stop yourself from looking up too early to see where the ball has gone. Work on keeping a fixed position for your head and remember to wait for your right shoulder to meet your chin before looking up.
You can also use a mirror to check that you aren’t moving your head, by default if you fix this you will stop your body from swaying.
2. Moving your lower body faster than your upper one
Many of the issues related to pushing the ball come down to timing issues. You need to correct any timing and tempo issues you may have where ultimately you are ending up with no balance as you complete your swing.
You will undoubtedly push the ball when your lower body gets faster than your upper one. As a result the lower body spins open whilst you drop your club far too much inside.
A good tip is to quieten your lower body by practicing shots with a narrower stance than usual.
3. Swinging too much on an inside to outside path
A pushed shot happens when the golfer comes too much on the inside on their downswing. This action sees the golf club moving on an inside to outside path to the right of the target line.
The ball to target line is the line you want the ball to travel to reach its target in one straight shot. A pushed shot happens when the club is to the right of the ball to target line.
Be aware that by playing the ball too far back in your stance you increase the chances of swinging on an excessive in to out swing path. The club head meets the ball far too early and well before it has an opportunity to square up to the target line.
You need to make corrections so as you swing down the line instead of swinging out to the right field. Check that you aren’t positioning the ball too far back in your stance. If you can imagine your club head reaching the ball before the bottom of your swing arc you will find it is still travelling inside to outside.
It’s at the bottom of the swing arc that the clubface is square to the ball to the target line. The ball should be positioned in the middle of the stance for short clubs and pitching wedges and further towards the left foot for the longer clubs. If you are pushing the ball it is likely by moving the ball forward you can correct this fault.
Additionally check your stance isn’t too wide, this can make your weight transference difficult. Learn not to leave too much weight on your toes and make sure you read these golf stance setup tips.
4. You are misaligned right of the target
You should check that your shoulders, hips and feet are properly aligned square to the target line and not to the right of it. Make sure you aren’t tilting your right shoulder down too much at address.
You are also likely to push the ball if the club face isn’t aiming directly at the target.
Ask yourself, are you aligned to the ball properly? Take time out to read these golf alignment tips and drills. One quick recommendation is to align yourself with the club in your left hand as this helps ensure your shoulders aren’t too open which can make you push the ball.
5. Moving your swing axis too much to the left
You may be pushing the ball because you are moving your swing axis to the left. As you do this your swing arc will in effect reach its extreme outside point after the ball has been hit and not at impact as it should.
Thus you maybe inadvertently moving the centre of your golf swing a few inches to the left.
This results from you either swaying to the left on the downswing ( too much of a hip slide) so as you past the position you had at address, or you are playing the ball too far back in your stance towards your right heel.
6. Swinging too hesitantly
When you are hesitant due to nerves and pressure you will often find yourself not making a proper body turn. Without that commitment you are unlikely to fully commit to the shot and release the club head at impact. So it is in effect just like swaying the body to the left on the downswing, the club face will reach the ball whilst you are still swinging on an inside plane and before you square up through impact.