Timing Drills For Golf
It happens to us all. A few poorly struck shots and suddenly your timing is gone and you feel incapable to getting the club properly on the back of the ball. If you’re half way through your round, start making half length, half paced practice swings before each shot. Make a few but importantly, it needs to be a slow movement back and through. This works because you’ll start to feel the clubhead is during the swing. It will also naturally slow you down.
Find your feel
Poor ball striking often stems from excess tension in your hands and arms. When you are nervous or trying to hit the ball too hard, your grip pressure can become too tight and you lose the mobility in your wrists and your feel of the club. Take a look at Ernie Els. There is not an ounce of tension in his body and yet, a better ball striker, you will not find. To rediscover your feel, try the first of my timing drills for golf by holding your fingers very lightly on the grip. As you set your hands on the club feel as if the forefinger and thumb of both hands are in control of the club – the rest are there purely for support. This will soften your grip and get the club moving with much more flow, releasing as it should through the ball.
When your timing goes wrong, it often stems from trying to hit the ball too hard. In my experience, the desire for extra distance causes players to over-rotate in the backswing. The knock-on effect is an early wrist extension in the downswing which restricts your power and often disrupts your timing. The simple way to stop yourself casting (releasing the club too early) is to make a slightly shorter backswing (two thirds the normal length) and then swing through to a full finish. This will help you accelerate the club through impact and find that crisp contact you are looking for. If you are catching your shots a little thin or fat, this is a great drill to use.
There are occasions when, try as you might, you aren’t able to rectify the problem while out on the course. That’s fine – even the world’s best players have days when their timing is off. However, if you are serious about rectifying the issue, head to the range and hit a series of half wedge shots. The aim is to keep the club shaft out in front of you throughout the shot. At the address, top of backswing, impact and in the finish, the clubhead should be pointing directly away from your chest. Try to get this image in your mind as you swing and the synchronisation between your body and arms will improve.
Lower body release
If you are losing shots to the right, blocking drives, your lower body might be releasing too quickly. This is a fault that causes the clubhead to get left behind as your body turns through. In this instance, you need to slow down your lower body release. Hit some practice shots with a wider stance, as shown here. This will help your arms stay connected to the rotation of your body for much better strikes.