Golf Swing Drill: Clip a Tee on Your Target Line to Stay Down Through Impact Like Tom Lehman

Posted by GolfTipEditor | | , ,

Symptom:  Painfully erratic ball striking, often accompanied by bouts of chunking, duffing, shanking, and hitting behind the golf ball.  Head shaking and cursing under your breath are common.  You long for a swing that just works better most of the time, so you can enjoy playing the game a bit more and win some money from your playing partners for a change...

Overview:  Learn to stay down through impact for consistent ball striking.  Put a golf tee in in the ground in front of your golf ball about eight inches away, on your target line.  Let about an inch of the tee show above the ground.  When you swing to hit your golf ball, make sure you clip the tee with your club on your follow through.

Why it works:  Chunking, duffing, and hitting behind the ball are caused by a downswing that is too steep, and often over the top. You need to keep the lag in your downswing and go for more of a sweeping motion on your downswing, which will give you a full release on the follow through.  Hitting the tee beyond the ball on your target line requires this motion.  You will hit the ball, then the ground, and then clip the tee, just as you should.  Straighter, more powerful shots will result.

To demonstrate this action, let's have a look at Tom Lehman.  Tom has been one of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour, and now the Champions Tour, for many years.  Watch Tom deliver an incredibly shallow, descending blow to the ball with a mid iron from the fairway:


To understand his motion in more detail, have a look at Lehman at the start of the takeaway, during his Starter Move to initiate the swing, and just after impact:

Tom Lehman golf swing at address and after impact
Tom Lehman's club hugs the ground well beyond impact with the golf ball.
Tom's sweeping motion at impact keeps the clubface in the proper hitting position well beyond the original ball position.  This leads to greater consistency because this swing path delivers a shallow, descending blow that is very reproducible.  And it tends to promote a draw, which is a good thing for most Occasional Golfers.

Tom would have easily clipped the tee on his target line with his follow through!  You can do it too!


It's an easy concept to understand -- if your clubface is only in the right position to strike the ball for an inch or two (a few percent, really) of your entire downswing, it's incredibly difficult to always strike the ball crisply.  You will be erratic.  And frustrated.  There are just too many ways things can go awry.  Why not maximize your chances of a clean strike by having your clubface in excellent position at impact and well beyond?  That's what Tom Lehman is showing us here.

And this is the true essence of the common golf exhortation, "Stay Down".  I prefer to rephrase this as, "Keep your clubface low through impact on your target line".  It's much more descriptive and useful.

Will you give the "tee on the target line" drill a try at the range?  Then tell your friends!  Like, Share, Tweet, +1, or Email below!

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