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Fixing Chronic Low Pulls with a Simple Approach

November 08, 2021 5 min read

Fixing Chronic Low Pulls with a Simple Approach

This article was co-written with Ji McBryde, Senior Coach at KDV Sport, Gold Coast, Australia

The low pull is one of the most damaging shots in golf. If you have been plagued by these, you’ll be well aware of the kind of issues it can create. The low ball flight means that you have little chance of carrying the trouble (trees, water, bunkers). Then even if you do miss the hazards on the fly, there is a greater chance of running into the trouble later on! Perhaps even more frustrating is that a pull actually feels pretty good due to the compression from a shut club-face. So your disappointment is even more magnified when you look up to see your ball ricochet around the trees. This is in stark contrast to the more benign high push, that whilst it feeling pretty terrible off the open club-face, generally flies further and lands softer, thereby often avoiding the trouble.

The example below provides a nice example of a student that was suffering from the dreaded low pull, but managed to turn things around in just one session. Usually, changes as dramatic as these occur over the course of weeks or months, once the student has had time to practice and adapt to the new feels and movements we have introduced. In this case, the changes demonstrated happened over the course of about 45 minutes!

The People

Golfer – Jayme, 16 yrs old, student, 9 handicap.

The Golf Coach (me) – Ji McBryde, former Australasian Tour player, qualifications in Trackman, Balance Lab, Putt Lab, GASP and TPI.

The Place

KDV Sport Golf Academy

The Problem

Jayme booked in because he has hitting his irons low and left, and struggling to control direction with driver.

To start the session we used video capture and Trackman as diagnostic tools to help tell us why Jayme was struggling with the low lefts. The screen shot below from Trackman tells us that Jayme had a swing path going left, with a shut club face and a dramatically steep angle of attack. This combination of factors is like a perfect storm for low pulls.

 

 

TrackMan Data – Before

We then turned to video for clues as to how and why he was moving the club in that way. What we see below is a very strong grip, very low right shoulder at address, a bowed left wrist and arms moving away from the body. Again, a combination that will most likely lead to a shut club face and struggles with the lefts. What this also means, is that during the rest of the swing, Jayme is simply doing the best he can to mitigate the shut face and get a decent result at impact.

 

 The Solution

My philosophy is to always focus on what is easy to control and likely to make a significant difference. In this case, Jayme’s set up posture, alignment, right hand grip and takeaway were the low hanging fruit, so we decided to work on those first. As with most of my students, the first step was to introduce Jayme to the GravityFit TPro. This piece of equipment firstly gave Jayme awareness of his shoulder posture, specifically how far back and up he needed to orientate his right shoulder blade. This had the effect of automatically weakening that strong right hand grip, which also needed a small amount of input to get sitting more on top of the shaft.

Once a better set up posture and grip was established, we moved on to drilling a takeaway in which his arms were more connected to his body and club face in a more neutral position. See the video below for a snippet of this process.

 

 As Jayme started to grow accustomed to the new feels, we moved on to hitting short shots whilst still using the TPro. He was starting to make some really solid contact with half swings and we were starting to see drastic changes in contact and ball flight. This encouraged me to move on to hitting full shots. As I have already alluded to, Jayme’s progress through these stages was extremely quick. It’s a credit to his level of talent and athleticism that we were able to progress to this stage in one session.

As you can see from the videos below, Jayme’s movement quality is really starting to clean up and the club face is in a more neutral position.

 

 

One of the best features of this tool is how it can accompany the student from the early stage of improving posture, right through to hitting full shots, providing feedback on postural control and movement pattern quality as they progress. Jayme continued to hit shots with the TPro whilst I provided him with video evidence of the improvement, to accompany the great feedback he was getting from better strike, direction and flight.

To finish off the lesson we removed all of the feedback to see if Jayme could still move in the new improved manner, with reduced input from both myself and the technology. As you can see from the video below Jayme continued to set up and swing it really nicely, demonstrating dramatic improvements compared to the start of the session.

 

 

The Outcome

As I’ve mentioned throughout the article, we saw a really nice change in strike, ball direction and flight during the course of the session. The image below serves as a strong demonstration of how far Jayme managed to progress in one session. In the after swing on the right hand side, Jayme’s path is now moving to the right, his club face is neutral and attack angle is shallower. You can plainly see the effect this has had on direction and flight; a drastic improvement.

 

 

TrackMan Data – Comparison

 By way of a summary, it’s tempting to address the “Low Pulls” by first addressing the main causal factor; a shut club face. Trying to simply manipulate the face can be very tricky to teach and train, as you’ve seen in this example I would rather work on factors that are easier to control. With Jayme we really only worked on set up, grip, alignment and takeaway. With the help of Trackman, video, the GravityFit TPro and Jayme’s talent, I was able to focus on simple interventions and provide the guidance he needed to make the changes outlined above.

KDV Sport is a state of the art Golf and Tennis facility situated on the Gold Coast in Australia. They offer facilities and instruction to suit every level of golfer, to find out more click here

For a closer look at the featured GravityFit TPro, please click here