Criss Cross Practice
By Erika Larkin on 2/12/14
Here is another idea to help you practice with a purpose, so you can make the swing change you need. I call it "Criss Cross" — the goal is to exaggerate the fault with opposite alignment keys, so you can work against your tendencies and feel something different. Let me give you an example:
Let's assume your miss is a hook. I would say aim as far left as you can on your driving range and pick a target approximately down the middle of your range. Your mind knows that if you hook it from that setup, you're going to be in trouble and hit it off the planet. Instinctively after a few tries, you will find a way to leave the face more open / square through impact.
If this doesn't work, set up square to a target and start with a closed club face — on purpose. If the face is facing to the left before you start, you better not close the face even more or you can definitely hook it. Again, this is a way using exaggerated alignment to help you react and feel something different to solve your swing issues.
Another example would be to correct your swing path. Let's assume you have a tendency to come over the top and swing left. If you aim to the right, you're not fixing anything — just fueling the fire and coming more over the top. So again, aim way left of your target and swing more down the target line. It will feel strange at first, but your brain and common sense will help your calibrate your path and swing.
I hope this helps you correct your swing issues. I use these concepts with my students and it can be very eye-opening once they hit a few and see the results. After you see and feel a change, minimize the amount of "criss cross" and work back toward a more square position for the long term, toning down the exaggerated position and moves until you dial them all down the middle!
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine — and she's oobgolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, e-mail her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
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