pulled golf swing

Pulled Golf Swing: How to Stop Pulled Golf Shots (Best Tips & Drills)

Pulled golf shot is another common golf mistake that professionals and amateurs make. However, to avoid a pulled golf shot, you must effectively find ways to address your alignment, grip, stance, swing, and ball positioning. Other tips to help you understand pulled golf shots are in this guide.

What is a pulled golf shot?

A pulled shot or golf pull occurs when you hit the golf ball but it starts left of the target. The ball starts at the target’s left and continues down that path in a straight line but without a lateral spin. Hence, it ultimately misses the target.

Also referred to as a tug or yank, a pull shot often sends the ball left of the target and ultimately in the wrong direction from where you were aiming.

Pull shots are like most golf shots. However, everything goes right for your shot apart from going in the predetermined direction. When it occurs, there is usually less direction and a little spin. However, the shots are mostly straight but not straight at your target.

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What causes a pull shot?

The clubface is closed at impact

The most significant cause of a pull shot is when your clubface is closed at impact. Now, this is a considerably simple way to put it. However, how do you know when your clubface is closed at impact?

When you hit a pulled shot and it starts left of your target, the ball can do one of three things. Those three are also referred to as the types of pulled shots.

  • Pull straight: the ball starts and stays left after traveling a distance.
  • Pull slice or fade: the ball starts left and cut back to the right towards the target
  • Pull hook or draw: the ball starts left and continues down in the direction from a pull hook.

So, back to a clubface that is closed at impact. When the clubface hits the ball at an angle square to the club path, it produces no sidespin. By implication, the clubface determines the club path.

So, when pulled shots occur, it means that the clubface was aiming left of the target and was also closed at impact.

The clubface can also be closed at impact because if there is an excessive amount of club rotation in your downswing or if your swing plane is too steep.

Read: Golf Drivers that Fix a Pull Slice Golf Swing

Your alignment

A case of bad alignment can also be responsible for your pulled shots. For example, if you are simply not aiming for the target from the start, you won’t hit it.

If this is the problem, then it is considerably easy to fix it. All you need is to make sure you aim straight at your target when next you are setting up your shot.

Alternatively, you can use alignment sticks to learn where you are pointing and the ball’s direction after impact.

Your grip

When your clubface is closed or, put differently, when you close your clubface, the clubhead is rolled forward when it contacts the ball surface.

When the face is closed over the top, it pulls the angled faceplate and hits the ball slightly around the side. A strong grip actively releases the club; however, it also closes the clubface at impact.

Instead, you should loosen your grip. Although you should maintain a firm grip, it should not be too tight.

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Incorrect ball positioning and stance

When you are misaligned from the target, there is a higher chance of pulling your shots. For example, if the ball is too far from your stance, it makes it a bit hard to release the club.

Instead, you should move the ball enough in your stance and keep it positioned for the club. When you stand, your toes should be parallel to your line of target.

Another mistake most golfers make is to pull back their front foot behind the other. However, this practice makes it hard to rotate the upper body.

Not only this, but it also pulls your shot trajectory back to the angle that your feet make with the line. Hence, there is little chance of securing a straight shot.

How to correct pulled shots?

Effective ways to manage and correct your pulled shots are to address your alignment, grip, stance, swing, and ball positioning. When you hit the golf ball with a square clubface, make sure the club does not come from over the top.

Instead, it should be from the inside of the ball. You also need to check your downswing and backswing. On your backswings, don’t take the club too far outside and get it off the plane.

Also, on the downswing, you must assume the correct motion for your hands, arms, hips, and shoulders. Since power comes from the ground to the upper parts of your body, uncoil your body with your hips to maximize the swing efficiency.

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Drills to help with pulled shots

Don’t lock your knees:

Most new golfers have much tension in their lower bodies. Locking your knees changes the angle of your hips and closes them to the left side. As a result, it increases the chances of an outside-in swing path. Instead of locking your knees, keep them flexed through the follow-through.

Don’t move your shoulders too fast:

Your downswing will fall off its line if you move your shoulders too fast. Instead, don’t let your right shoulder flare out too much in the ball’s direction when you start your downswing.

Roll your back arm over:

Since pulled shots are mostly caused by a closed clubface, you can open the clubface with a natural grip. Grip the club naturally and rotate your arm back slightly so that the sensitive part of your inner elbow faces upwards and towards the ball. Do this without removing your hands or loosening your grip.

Use your primary muscle groups:

Swing naturally with primary muscles and with little forced effort. Let gravity and your upper body do the job. This way, your bigger muscles can guide your arms and hands through the swing.

The tips at a glance: 

  • Fix your alignment and ball positioning
  • Address the ball-club angle
  • Check your equipment, grip, aim, stance, and swing plane.
  • Aim to the right of the target
  • Try the pool noodle over the top drill
  • Try the back foot drop back drill

Overall, take the golf tips and instruction from today’s guide on the pulled golf shot and use it to work on your golf swing to reduce or quit pulled golf shots altogether. Thanks for reading. Here’s some important practice routines to help lower your golf scores.

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