Eddie Pepperell: Swing tips for better ball striking

Eddie Pepperell: ‘All the great ball-strikers have the left arm pointing right on the way down’

I use my left arm as a reference in the downswing. I have a tendency to get my arm path a little high on the way down, so the left arm becomes disconnected from the body and points left of the target.

I work hard on this because the best ball-strikers never let their left arm get away from them. Guys like Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead – you can go as far back as you want. They’re all phenomenal at keeping the left arm connected to the body so it points right of the target in the downswing, and that’s why I’m a big believer in that.

#1: Stand a little closer to the ball

I like to stand quite close to the ball because it means my hands sit a little lower naturally and I get into a better posture and move the club into a better position on the way back. The classic thing you’re taught is a hand’s width between the belt buckle to the butt of the grip, but I prefer half a hand’s width.

#2: Clubhead outside the hands

I want to see the clubhead a little outside my hands but still under my chest when it’s halfway back, which is easier when you stand a little closer to the ball. If I’m too far from the ball, I’m reaching for it and that forces my left shoulder high and away from me and throws the clubhead too far inside my hands.

#3: Left arm pointing right of target

I’m trying to keep my left arm connected to my chest and the arm plane deep, so my hands are below my right shoulder rather than below my head as you look down the line. This makes the left arm look as if it’s pointing right of the target. If my left arm comes out too much, then it looks as if it’s pointing left – and I never want to see that.

#4: Rotate the big muscles to square up

From that position with the left arm pointing right, you simply rotate the big muscles in your body to square the clubface up on a neutral path into the delivery position and compress the ball at impact. That body rotation is vital as it creates the clubhead speed you want and makes it easier to deliver the clubhead consistently well.

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