17 August, 2011
What Is "Dropping in the Slot" in Golf?
The game of golf uses a variety of terms that may be confusing to inexperienced players, and "dropping in the slot" is among them. The concept is important to understand if you want to improve your game and lower your scores. The "slot" has to do with the optimal swing path on the downswing and helps a player make solid contact with the ball every time.
How the Slot Works
Renowned golf instructor Jim McLean describes the slot as the ideal channel, or swing path, for the golf club on the way down to impact with the ball. The virtue of this path is that it follows an inside-to-out direction, helping to maintain the integrity of the clubface angle in relation to the target. Many amateur players do the opposite of this, following an out-to-in path, generally caused by initiating the downswing with the arms and shoulders instead of the lower body.
Finding the Slot
McLean suggests a brief pause at the top of the swing to allow the lower body time to initiate the downswing ahead of the arms and shoulders. While the lower body is starting to uncoil, you should allow your hands to drop vertically, with the upper arms remaining close to the body. This dropping move will make it far easier to drive the club through the ball on the crucial in-to-out path.
Swing Segment Drill
Teaching pro Jim Suttie suggests breaking your swing into segments to help you locate the slot. Make a backswing, holding the club at the top of the swing. From that point, drop the club down to waist level, making sure to keep your right elbow close to your side. Pump the club through this motion two or three times, then release the club and hit the ball.
Suttie suggests another drill to help you get the feeling of being in the slot. Grip your club, and stand about 18 inches from a wall with your back facing the wall. Go to the top of the backswing and gently rest the club on the wall. Swing the club down slowly, keeping the clubhead on the wall. As your hands reach waist level, pull the club away from the wall and through the hitting zone to mimic a path toward impact with the ball. Your lower body should approximate a slower and gentler version of the driving action toward the target that leads to weight transfer in a full-speed swing.
- Naples News: The most important move in golf ... get in the slot; Jim Suttie; May 2008
- "The Slot Swing: The Proven Way to Hit Consistent and Powerful Shots Like the Pros"; Jim McLean; 2009
- flashfilm/Lifesize/Getty Images