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How to Stop Pulling Golf Shots

A pulled golf shot happens when the club comes down from a path outside the target line and is moving inside the target line at impact. The ball will fly straight and left of target if the club face is square at impact. If the club face is open, the shot will slice left to right, and if it's closed, you'll hit a hook that starts left and keeps going that way. Cure the over-the-top move in your downswing and the pulled shots will stop.

  1. Check your alignment. Chuck Cook, recognized as one of America's top golf instructors, says it's best to make sure your shoulders, hips and feet are aligned with the target line. To make sure, line up a club on the ground behind your ball, pointed directly at the target, then put one parallel to it. Move the club that is behind the ball toward you, parallel with the second club. Now you have a "guiding alley" to practice proper alignment.

  2. Check your right elbow, or left elbow for left-handers. Cook says that if your swing takes your hands up and right elbow up and away from your ribs, it promotes an outside-to-in, or over-the-top, downswing that leads to pulls. Roll up a headcover, hold it to your ribs with your right elbow and take a few swings. Now you can feel the proper path for your swing and right arm as you make an inside-to-outside swing.

  3. Try the Rope Drill. Cook says you want to feel your right shoulder pulling back in the swing, not up, so take a length of rope and wrap it around, near the bottom, on a bag stand on the range. Grab an end with each hand. Pull the right end of the rope back so it shortens the left end. This drill will generate the proper feel of the turn for your backswing.

  4. Check your posture. You must have enough tilt in your spine to the ball, and maintain that through the swing, according to Cook. In the "tilt the T" drill that he recommends, you stand erect with your knees locked. Grip and extend a club in front of you, parallel to the ground. Bend at the waist while keeping your knees locked to find your proper spine tilt, then bend your knees comfortably. That's your correct posture for a proper golf swing.

    Tip

    When you practice, relax as you swing your club and start with slow swings. Gradually increase your speed as your technique improves and your swing becomes more consistent.

    Warning

    Avoid injury by performing a few dynamic warm-up stretches before swinging your club.

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Things Needed

  • 8 feet of rope
  • Head cover
  • Mid-iron, 6-iron to 8-iron

About the Author

Jeff Rogers has edited and written since 1987 for the Associated Press, United Press International and six newspapers including "The Dallas Morning News," "The Washington Times" and "Dallas Times Herald." A Charlotte native who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism (news-editorial) from the University of South Carolina, Rogers has also worked as a technology analyst, sales executive and professional golf caddy.

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