Cures for a Pulled Golf Shot

By Mike Southern
As professional player Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, makes his downswing, his right knee stays bent so he doesn't tilt his spine toward the target.
As professional player Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, makes his downswing, his right knee stays bent so he doesn't tilt his spine toward the target.

At one time or another, almost every player pulls a shot, sending the ball left of the intended target for a right-handed golfer. A pull is a straight shot that travels left of where the golfer is aiming and is the result of an incorrect swing -- an out-to-in path. But you can cure the pull by attending to some simple fundamentals.

Connection

In a connected swing, your triceps rest lightly against your chest throughout most of the swing. Your right arm moves slightly away at the top of the backswing, then reconnects until the left arm moves away at the finish. Connection during your swing helps keep your arms from moving out at the beginning of the downswing, which can cause an out-to-in swing path.

One-Piece Takeaway

One application of connection is the a one-piece takeaway, where the arms and shoulders bring the club back in unison. A one-piece takeaway starts your backswing on plane. The over-the-top swinger lifts his hands and then turns his shoulders. From there, he has to push the club straight up to reach the top of the swing, arcing up and over his correct swing plane and causing a steep, out-to-in swing path that pulls the ball left.

Avoid Leaning Toward the Target

Your spine should lean toward the ball throughout your swing (left shoulder slightly higher than the right), but never toward the target. At the top of the swing, if you lean toward toward the target, either because your hips move away from it (a sway) or your shoulders move toward it (a reverse pivot), your right shoulder gets too high.

Don't Lunge

Some players have trouble using their legs – specifically, they straightening their right leg. This has the same effect as leaning, but it causes a more violent pull. Practice making your backswing while keeping your right knee bent. Hold a ball between your knees and try to drop it by moving your left knee first on the downswing.

About the Author

North Carolina native Mike Southern has been writing since 1979. He is the author of the instructional golf book "Ruthless Putting" and edited a collection of swashbuckling novels. Southern was trained in electronics at Forsyth Technical Community College and is also an occasional woodworker.

Photo Credits

  • David Cannon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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