Jeremy Dale
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What is the most common fault in golf?

“What the most common fault in golf?…..Surely it’s swinging too hard?”


A pupil asked this question last week and it made me think about the one thing that was guaranteed to help ALL golfers.

Whilst slowing a swing down is perhaps a way of reducing errors, most golfers want or need more club head speed, not less – and they want to enjoy hitting the ball freely rather than be overly cautious and tentative.

There is a much better answer, one that many of my Scoring School pupils have found very effective.


Hitting up or down? Which is best for which shot?


Many golfers make two opposite errors – one in chipping and the other in driving – because of how they believe the ball should be hit.

Most golfers hit DOWN and across the ball with a driver (giving a slice and reducing distance) and many of the same golfers also hit UP at chips and pitches in a mistaken attempt to “lift the ball in the air”.

They should be doing the opposite…..

The key to getting this right is to understand impact and then to stand at address so that your head and swing centre (a point on your neck in the middle of your shoulders) is appropriately placed…..


With a driver, we should hit UP at the ball


Since the ball is teed up, the lowest point in the swing can be before impact.

In order to hit up at the ball we need to do three things at address…..


Common Faults


1) Stand wide

2) Place the ball opposite the front heel

3) Magic Tilt! Keep your head “behind the ball” – I call this the MAGIC TILT because the spine is angled slightly away from the target.


Common Faults


With a chip or pitch, we should hit DOWN


Any shot where the ball is on the ground requires contact with the ball first and then the turf.

The angle of attack need not be steep but it does need to be descending.


Common Faults


The address position could not be more different from the driver – in fact, it is the complete opposite.

1) Narrow stance

2) Ball opposite the back heel

3) Head just in front of the ball – I call this “the leaning tower of Pisa” because the upper body just leans towards the target at address.


The most common errors in golf?


Golfers who struggle with their driver commonly have their head too far forward, their shoulders open and hit down and across at the ball.

Those who chip and pitch poorly have the opposite problem, they often have their heads too far back, their shoulders may be closed and they come in too shallow and hit the ground before the ball.

The two shots require completely different approaches – perhaps this is why you rarely see someone who is really good at both…..

Hope you enjoyed the article.

Thanks for reading,



PS Click here for more details on Jeremy’s one day Scoring Schools at Heythrop Park…..


Jeremy Dale is a brand ambassador for the Paradis Golf Resort in Mauritius & the World Corporate Golf Challenge.

Jeremy is a fully qualified PGA Coach and has a degree in psychology from Sussex University.

Photos courtesy of the Golf Picture Library



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