1 Lateral Shift
If you want to discover how to stop blocking drives the first fault to check relates to the way your weight is shifting at the start of the downswing. Ideally, as you transition from the top, your hips should ‘bump’ towards the target before rotating through. For many of those who struggle with a block, the hip bump has become excessive. The problem here is that your upper body moves too far ahead of the ball, with the club caught behind you. From here an open face at impact is the likely, destructive outcome. In practice, place an alignment stick in the ground next to your left hip at address. As you move into the backswing, a gap will emerge between your hip and the stick, that’s good. However, as you start the downswing you are looking to nudge the stick with your hip (not push it into a 45˚ angle) before rotating your upper body. This drill will prevent the excessive hip slide that is so often the cause of a block.
2 Early Rotation
The next problems stems from trying to hit the ball too hard. It is important for all golfers to try and generate as much clubhead speed as they can whilst maintaining their balance. However, as players search for power this often causes them to lose the rhythm in the transition from backswing to downswing. They try to hit the ball with an aggressive and poorly timed rotation of the upper body. Again, the club gets trapped behind the player and the ball flies off to the right. The fix here is to reach the top of the backswing and then let the club drop. This is a move that all good, and powerful, players have in common. So work on letting the club drop before you release the rotation in your body. You’ll have more room to deliver the club squarely to the ball for more powerful, accurate drives.
3 Late release
The final fault to look out for is a late release. Before I explain how to resolve the issue, it is important to be clear about what we mean by release. This refers to the angles in your wrists and right elbow during the downswing. For maximum power you want to release these angles as late as possible – a last minute injection of speed through the hitting area is ideal. However, if the release happens too late, you will, without doubt, hit a huge block. The fix here is to make some practice swings holding a basketball or football. Get the timing of the release right and the ball will fly straight at your target. If you’re late, the ball will shoot into the ground in front of you.
4 Video replay
Modern mobile phones are able to take fantastic video footage and I would urge anyone reading this to get a friend to record their swing. By examining the footage, you should be able to detect which one of these three faults applies to you. A slow motion recording will really highlight the issue and help you pinpoint which fix to use.