Improve your ball striking with this great pre-set drill

If your downswing is out of sequence, it’s hard to strike the ball well. This pre-set drill from GM Top 25 coach Peter Finch will improve your ball striking

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

If your downswing is out of sequence, it’s hard to strike the ball well. This pre-set drill from GM Top 25 coach Peter Finch will improve your ball striking

This is a great tip if you’re struggling with your ball-striking – very simple to understand; a little more difficult to do! But if you can execute the movements in this drill successfully, you’ll get a really good understanding of where everything needs to be at impact and really improve your ball striking. Take a 6-iron and tee it up just slightly, with ball position just forward of centre as usual.

Take the club up to the top then make a movement downwards, leading with the left hip, putting your weight onto your left side, driving your hips forward and turning. Then, rather than accelerating on into impact, pause the club when it’s almost parallel to the ground. One reason people struggle to strike the ball well is because they don’t get the downswing sequence correct.

Adding this pause to your downswing helps you to really feel where your body is at this point. Ideally, your hips should be clearing left, your weight should be on your left side and your sternum should be over the ball so that as you come through, you can really get your hands ahead.

The only difficulty with this drill is the stopping bit! So from the paused position, take the club back up a fraction, then go on to actually strike the ball. Mastering this drill is a great way to really hone your impact position and improve your ball striking.

More great tips from GM Top 25 coach Peter Finch

1. To the top as normal Tee the ball up just a little with a mid-iron, and from a normal set-up position swing to the top just as you would usually.

2. A pre-impact pause Start down leading with the left hip, moving on to the left side, driving the hips forward and turning, but then pause with the club parallel to the ground pre-impact.

3. Feel where your body is This pause clearly shows you where your body is at the crucial moment pre-impact, highlighting if things have got out of sequence on the way down.

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf


Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response