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Arnold Palmer swings the club with a closed face on the downswing.
Harry How/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
To control your golf shots, you need to know where your clubface points when it hits the ball. World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino built fantastic careers out of fading the ball with an open clubface. However, the weekend golfer who hits weak slices should copy fellow Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer. Palmer closed the clubface at the top of his backswing and kept it closed through impact. His powerful draws made him one of the best ball strikers in golf history.
Closing the Clubface1.
Use a stronger grip. TV golf analyst Johnny Miller suggests most golfers should copy Palmer's hand positions. If you are right-handed, point the Vs formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand at your right shoulder.2.
Check your clubface positions at key points in the backswing. Closing the clubface in the downswing is much easier if the clubface is in the proper position in the backswing. When the club is waist high, PGA teaching professional Jim Hardy suggests the angle of the clubface should match the angle of your spine. At the top of the backswing, your left wrist should be flat, and your clubface should match that angle. Practice these swing positions in front of a mirror.3.
Bow your left wrist at the start of the downswing. The bowing starts the clubface moving down in a closed position, ensuring a square or closed clubface at impact. Instructor Hank Haney points out this move not only gets the face in the right position for impact, but also it helps the club follow a shallow downswing plane so the path will favor a straight shot or slight draw.4.
Swing the club back to the ball from inside the target line. Swing coach Sean Foley advocates a push-draw swing. He wants golfers to start the ball to the right of the target and draw it back to the left. The inside-to-outside swing path encourages a full release and a closed clubface, which imparts right-to-left spin on the ball.5.
Lead the club into the ball with an arched left wrist. Ben Hogan said every great right-handed golfer reached the impact position with their left wrist raised and closer to the target than the clubhead. Hogan called the move supinating, and he believed it kept the club moving quickly and squarely down the target line for power and accuracy.6.
Rotate your body as you swing through the ball. To complete a full release, Foley recommends rotating your shoulders, chest, arms and hips together all the way to the finish position. Striving for a full release will help you close the face through impact.
- Golf clubs
- Golf balls
- Many golfers try to close the clubface by intentionally rolling or flipping their wrists through the hitting area. Hogan believed that action changed the arc and path of the club, which leads to a variety of mishits.