Improve your ball striking and eliminate fat and thin shots with the Chair Drill!

By Andy Hilts

A common problem high-handicap golfers face is inconsistency in their ball striking. Many amateur golfers tend to hit fat and thin shots from striking the turf before the golf ball or never hitting the turf at all, rather than contacting the ball first and producing a divot after the ball.

As a result of our SwingTRU Motion Study, we found a common factor leading to this is an improper lateral sway of the hips in the backswing. Scratch golfers tend to move their hips an average of 3.9 inches toward the target at the top of the backswing, while high-handicap golfers move their hips an average of just 2.3 inches toward the target.

As featured below on Golf Channel’s The Golf Fix, let’s take a look at this difference in hip sway and discuss how placing a chair behind your trail hip can lead you toward significant improvement in this area.

If you want to improve your divot pattern and ball striking consistency, try this drill at home or substitute your golf bag on the practice range:

The Chair Drill

1. Place a chair behind your trail hip at a 45-degree angle away from the target.

Andy Hilts Hip-Sway Chair Drill

2. Take your address position, with your trail hip about one hand-width away from the edge of the chair.

Andy Hilts Hip-Sway Chair Drill

3. As you take controlled backswings, your goal is to keep your hip off of the chair through to the top of your backswing.

Andy Hilts Hip-Sway Chair Drill

Continue this motion with full backswings and you’ll train your hips to move toward the target, resulting in a swing arc that bottoms out after contact to finally put a stop to those thin and fat shots you struggle with.

To help improve your game even more, check out the other measurements from our ground-breaking SwingTRU Motion Study!


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