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September Tip

    By Dean Hedstrom,

    Undoubtedly, the most embarrassing tee shot in golf is the drive that pops straight up, barely
    clearing the tee box. The pop-up is an agonizing mis-hit most often caused by an excessive
    forward weight shift on the downswing and a club that approaches the ball on a very steep
    angle of attack. The steep descent de-lofts the clubface to such a degree that the topline of the
    club effectively becomes the leading edge. The result? Not only a humiliating pop-up, but one of
    the most hated marks in golf: a scuff on the crown of the clubhead. Yuck.

    Eliminating the pop-up can be as simple as fine tuning your setup. The key is to make sure your
    address position encourages a longer and bigger backswing arc, which will automatically
    shallow out your swing plane and reduce the steepness of your downswing. You’ll also find
    that the correct setup facilitates a solid backswing weight shift. In addition to the plane errors
    discussed above, a poor weight shift to the right side during the backswing can increase the
    likelihood of a pop-up.

    The simplest adjustment you can make to your setup to keep the pop-up at bay is to open wide.
    A wide stance is needed because in order to create a bigger backswing arc, there must be
    room for it.

    Try the following drill. Make abbreviated swings with your feet placed wider than shoulder
    width. Each swing should move from 2:00 to 8:00 (as if a large clock sits behind you).
    Concentrate on maintaining a higher position at the top of your swing (hands at 2:00) and a
    lower position at the finish (hands at 8:00). This will train your body to make a fuller backswing
    and shift your weight to your back foot on the backswing and to your forward foot on the
    downswing, instead of the other way around.
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