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The most common stumbling block to hitting the ball more consistently is movement
within the golfswing. The higher the handicap, the more exaggerated the movement
on improperly struck shots. To put movement into perspective, while movement of one
- inch doesn't sound like a lot, when you consider that your ball is about 1.68 inches
around and the hitting area on a 460cc driver is around 5 inches wide or around 3
inches for oversized irons, that one-inch of movement is a lot. There are two types of
movement planes in a golf swing - toward/away from the ball and toward/away from
the target. We'll show you how to fix both.

Toward/Away from the ball

The most obvious movement is when you move weight to your toes during the
backswing and move too close to the ball or when you move weight to your heels
during the backswing and move too far away from the ball. Both these moves have
disastrous results like "whiffs", "sculls" or "worm burners" but afterward your aware of
what happened and can correct on your next swing. The killer is the imperceptible
movement. This move is so slight you can hardly feel it and results in either an over
the top downswing move to get back to ball or a shank if you moved away from the
ball. This is because a movement of your head (your body follows) of only 2 inches
toward the ball will cause you to miss half the ball if you follow your intended (and
correct) inside-out downswing path. Since your eyes and body know you're swing
plane is off 2 inches and your brain wants to hit the ball on the clubface - your body
automatically reroutes the downswing to get the clubface on the ball. Unfortunately,
the only route is a path that travels outside-in since the desired inside-out path to the
ball is blocked and would result in a miss if followed. But since you have enough basic
hand-eye coordination and athletic talent to play the game, you body automatically
reverts to the outside-in path in order to meet the intended objective of hitting the ball.

While the small movement is basically imperceptible, there are clues to let you know
what is going on. They are;

Don't be misled by the many descriptions of the type of swing correction your body is
doing - "over the top", "casting", "wood chopping" to say a few - this is not a problem
caused by the way you begin your swing, it's a problem caused by imperceptible
movement toward the ball in your swing.

The best news is that fixing movement is relatively easy. Start with a good base
position by balancing your weight between the balls of your feet and your heels. If you
played any type of sport the position you should be in is the "ready position". In this
position you are so well balanced that a push in any direction will not knock you off
you feet and you'll be able to react to any situation. Next, focus on the separation
distance between your head and the golf ball. Keep this distant constant during the
backswing. Do not dip down and keep your head level through the golfswing. That's it,
but remember the key is to keep you head still during the swing. If your head moves
the body will follow!

Toward/Away from the Target

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