We’ve previously discussed the key for a golfer looking for how to fix a slice is to create an in to out swing path. Many high handicap and beginner golfers have the opposite, an out to in swing path, which is the main reason for their slice. Many golfers with an out to in swing path also “cast” the club during their downswing. Casting refers to straightening your wrists and losing the angle between your left forearm (for righties) and the club shaft very early in your downswing which makes consistent ball striking very difficult.
One reason for casting is the tendency to lift the club up with your arms and hands to start the backswing. This sets up what is referred to as a narrow to wide to narrow swing. Golfers with this swing lift the club during the back swing (narrow), extend their arms and cast the club to begin the downswing (wide), and finally collapse their arms through impact with the ball (narrow).
Creating a wide to narrow to wide swing is a great way to stop casting the club.
If you watch any professional golf, you’ll notice that a professional’s swing is much different. In fact it’s very much the opposite, a wide to narrow to wide swing. A professional brings the club back wide with their arms extended, keeps a narrow downswing with their wrists still hinged, finally releasing the club by extending their arms and going wide.
The following video by Simon Weston is a great explanation of a wide to narrow to wide swing.
There are big benefits to a wide to narrow to wide swing.
The first is a more consistent in to out swing, helping you to fix a slice. Rotating your body with hip and shoulder turn minimizes you using your arms and hands to swing the club. It is difficult to build consistency in a swing with a lot of hand and arm movement.
Secondly, you lose club head speed and shot distance when you cast the club. By keeping your wrists hinged until later in the downswing, you create lag in your swing. Lag refers to keeping your hands in front of the club shaft and releasing the club right before impact with the ball. A wide to narrow to wide swing promotes more lag and gives you a higher club head speed at impact.
One of the keys to a wide to narrow to wide swing is getting your weight moving forward towards the target to start your downswing. This helps to drop your hands down inside to start your downswing. If you start your downswing by dropping your hands before moving forward towards your target, you are more likely to come over the top with an outside to in swing path.
Here’s a great drill from Karen Palacios-Jansen to help you start your downswing by getting your weight moving towards the target.
By not casting the club on your downswing, you’ll help eliminate your slice, create more consistent ball striking, and gain distance through increased club head speed.