Cutting across the ball is a
common fault of beginning and intermediate golfers. The causes of the
outside-to-inside swing can be complex because they often occur in
combination. In the simplest terms, many of these faults cause the
shoulders to turn to the left. The direction of the swing tends to follow
the alignment of the shoulders at impact. If the shoulders point left, the
swing will tend to go to the left.
- The straight left
knee. When your left knee straightens, your hips and shoulders
automatically turn to the left. Go ahead, try it! Get in your regular
stance. Now straighten your left knee. Feel your shoulders and hips turn
to the left. The swing path follows your shoulders and ends up going from
the outside to the inside. At impact the shoulders should be square wiht
the hips, open at approximately 30 degrees to the target. If your hips
open, (turn to the left) your shoulders are sure to follow. This means an
outside-to-inside swing will result. Some slicers find that keeping the
left foot square rather than open (turned slightly to the left) will help
reduce the tendency to open the hips and the shoulders giving a straighter
swing path. You can check the alignment of your knees, when taking your
stance, by laying a club across the front of your thighs. Keeping your
left knee flexed through the swing helps keep the shoulders from turning
- Incorrect alignment
to the left. If your shoulders and hips are aligned to the left you
almost surely will be swinging from outside-to-inside causing a slice.
Some slicers aim to the left to allow for a slice thereby all but
guaranteeing a slice.
- Improper weight
transfer. This is where most of the weight stays on the right foot at
impact instead of shifting to the front foot. If you do this it.s almost a
certainty your swing will be from the outside-to-inside. The straightened
left knee can also be a factor in the reverse pivot. Opening the right
foot (turning it a little to the right) can allow a fuller turn and
backswing. This makes it easier to push off with the right leg and
transfer the weight to the front foot.
- The ball at address
is too far forward in your stance. This can cause your shoulders to
turn to the left, opening them to the target line. Check the alignment of
your shoulders by holding a club across your upper chest. Your shoulders
at address should be parallel to the target line.
- The right arm
overpowers the left. Allowing the right arm to overpower the left arm
creates a swing path to the left. Pushing with the right arm tends to pull
the club inside on the downswing causing an outside-to-inside swing. A
flying right elbow (an elbow away from your side) during the downswing is
often a symptom of this problem.
- Premature unwinding
of the shoulders. This causes too much of a merry-go-round-like
shoulder rotation. The result can be the club is cast on a path from the
outside to the inside. This throwing motion is called .coming over the
top. or .casting.. This is named after the fisherman.s right arm dominated
movement, when casting a fly rod. The downswing should not be started by
the shoulders but begin with the lower body.
- The club is taken
away on the outside. This results in an outside-to-inside swing path.
If you take the club away on the outside it tends to comeback from the
outside, creating a downward action that opens the clubface. However, it
is possible to take the club away on the outside, make a loop at the top
of your swing and come at the ball from the inside. A few pros like Lee
Trevino1 even suggest this method. It will work, however, you must put in
a fair amount of practice to .groove the loop..
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