How to Correct Pushing the Golf Ball to the Right

What is Pushing the Golf Ball and Why Does it Happen

Pushing the golf ball refers to an undesired ball flight pattern where the golf ball starts left of the target line and continues flying to the right. This is one of the most common ball flight issues that plague amateur golfers. There are several reasons why you may be pushing your golf shots to the right, including an “over-the-top” downswing, an open clubface at impact, coming too far from the inside on the downswing, or simply aiming left of the target initially. Identifying the specific cause is crucial in order to correct this frustrating ball flight pattern.

An Open Clubface is the Most Common Cause of Pushing

The most typical reason recreational golfers push shots to the right is having an open clubface relative to the club path at the point of impact with the golf ball. At impact, the clubface needs to be square or even slightly closed relative to the target line. An open clubface directs the golf ball to the right of where the club path was traveling at impact. If your miss patterns and ball flight suggest you struggle with a push, focus on clubface control drills and setup adjustments to promote a square impact to start straightening those shots.

Pay Attention to Your Grip for Proper Clubface Control

One of the keys to minimizing a push caused by an open clubface lies in your grip technique. A stronger left-hand grip promotes squaring the clubface through impact. Turn your left hand clockwise one or two knuckles during your grip to correct the open clubface. This allows your left forearm and clubface to rotate through impact together, resulting in a square clubface position. You can also try bowing your left wrist into a slightly concave position at address. This strengthens your left grip, encouraging the clubface to close as you swing into the golf ball.

How Downswing Path Also Influences a Push Shot

Besides an open clubface position, the path your club is traveling on as it approaches impact also contributes to hitting pushes and slices. An “over-the-top” move during your transition and downswing causes the club to swing too much outside-in and across the ball from right to left. This either leaves the clubface wide open relative to that inside-out path, resulting in pushed slices, or hits straight pushes when you rotationally release to square the face. Practice proper downswing sequence, letting your hips and trunk lead the downswing rather than your arms and hands. This shallows your swing plane, preventing over-the-top moves and inside-out club paths that lead to pushes.

Setup Adjustments Can Also Help Correct Pushing

Sometimes a closed clubface at address helps counteract an open position through impact for golfers struggling to control the clubface due to grip issues or overactive release moves. You can set up with your body aimed a few degrees left while keeping the clubface square to where you’re actually trying to start the ball. Additionally, align your feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to your actual target line, then close the clubface specifically at address. Use visual feedback like a mirror or video on the driving range to ensure your stance is properly aligned left while the clubface remains square. This works to offset the open clubface at impact.

Swing Path Drills Are Key to Fixing Over-the-Top Moves

Since over-the-top downswings often lead to pushes and slices, improving this swing plane issue through dedicated drills makes a significant difference. To shallow out your transition and keep your arms connected to your body turn, rehearse feeling as though the club drops back inside with your upper left arm makes contact with your chest on the downswing. You can also make practice swings consciously leaving the crown of your driver hat facing the ball target line for several feet into your downswing to prevent coming over the top. Place an alignment stick or piece of wood outside your golf ball, brushing it with your clubhead in the downswing to promote an inside path.

Use Proper Ball Position for Maximizing Consistent Impact

An additional choice within setup that affects club delivery through impact lies in ball position. Teed up with the driver, ideal ball position is opposite your left heel in order to strike the ball at an upward angle of attack using the centerpoint of clubface curvature. If you struggle with open clubface impact patterns due to overactive hands and flipping, moving the ball an inch or two forward encourages compressing down into the ball using your body rotation for added consistent squareness through impact to eliminate pushed shots. Don’t get too far forward though, as that blocks rotation.

Rhythm and Control Lead Better Clubface Management

Controlling the golf club requires both patience and feel around the greens, and the same applies to controlling the clubface through impact on full shots to eliminate pushes and slices. By dedicating practice time to half shots and smooth, rhythmic 3/4 swings, you can improve your clubface manipulation relative to swing path without getting quick and handsy with your release. Make increasingly fuller backswings and downswings as you find improved control of face angle and contact. Proper tempo builds muscle memory so you can eventually expand to full speed while keeping the clubface square longer through impact.

Master Clubface Drills First Before Incorporating Full Swing

Once you identify control of the golf club and its clubface angle as the culprit behind pushed golf shots, it helps to take a step back from full driver swings during range practice. Instead, begin rehearsing face angle control using short game swings, waist-high drills like impact bags and abbreviated driver swings. Starting with the wedge, make successive 10-yard pitch shots where you intentionally aim, setup and align for a push or pull while trying to square the clubface at impact anyway to start the ball straight. Move up through mid irons before applying control drills using your driver.

Use Impact Marks on Clubface to Identify Issues

When working on face angle manipulation relative to swing path, using impact markings like impact stickers, foot spray or face tape on the clubface provides helpful visual feedback regarding where golf ball contact happened. If impact is repeatedly in the same toe side of the face with markings showing an open position through the hitting area, this confirms that faulty clubface angle coming into impact contributes to your push-slice misses. Center or even heel side impact marks point instead to swing direction and path being the problem causing pushes. Analyze the marks to guide your adjustment focus.

Swing Easy and Stay Patient Making Changes

Keep in mind that improving any golf swing flaw to fix chronic mishits like a push right takes a combination of understanding the core issues through feedback like video and learning to enact incremental changes through repetitive practice. Don’t expect perfectly straight shots immediately. Be patient making reasonable changes over time like a stronger grip, closing the clubface slightly at address to start or shallowing your downswing a little more each day. Staying positive by taking easier swings focusing only on quality will accelerate mastery of adjusting clubface angle coming into impact.

Work Consistently on Drills and Feel Between Range Sessions

Dedicate a little bit of time daily revisiting grip adjustments, setup tweaks, half swing control moves and downswing path rehearsal away from the range itself. Whether in your backyard, at the office or while watching TV, put a club in hand and go through the motions of key checkpoints. Ingrain solid fundamentals into muscle memory. Come range session time, start by incorporating these feels into your warmup rather than plunging straight into full swings with drivers. This conditions your body and mind to apply fixes on the course.

Monitor Ball Flight and Make Further Adjustments if Needed

As you translate practice swing changes and impact control drills onto the golf course itself eventually, embrace being your own coach with keen eyes on ball flight outcomes over results in order to correct persistent push and slice misses. If pushes remain despite implementing grip changes and path fixes, you likely still battle open clubface impact issues. Consider an even stronger left hand grip, setting up closed or moving the ball forward to shallow angle of attack. If slices persist instead from an overly in-to-out swing direction, focus even more attention on proper weight shift, clearing your hips and shallowing the downswing before impact.

Perfect practice makes permanent progress conquering any flawed golf shot like the push. Stay observant of ball flight, remain patient with incremental adjustments over time and keep a positive persistence to ingrain new swing technique feels that will finally fix your push struggles for good.

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