How a $100 Dollar Bill Fixed My Golf Slice

I’ve been working on my golf drive for a while. It seems to have a mind of its own. I line up my target, set the clubface square to the target, take my position, check my grip, my posture, my stance, my balance…. and when I think everything is ready to go… and Thwack!  I swing my driver and the ball heads for the woods. What gives?

I took a lesson recently from Sue Kaffenburgh, LPGA instructor at Bayberry Golf Course here on Cape Cod. She watched my set up, asked a lot of good questions, and then proceeded to breakdown a lot of what I had come to believe was true about the golf swing. I’ve written about this in previous posts, (Lessons-to-fix-that-sliceGolf Instructors can be wrong)

As often happens when you are learning a new skill, there is so much information that it is hard to keep it all straight in your mind, much less put it into practice all at once. I’ve got most of it down and am continuing to practice with her instruction in mind. But when I get to the golf course and start a round of 18 holes, all my best intentions get lost in the game, and I start to slice and dice my drives again. I’m getting distance but no consistent direction.

Two days ago I was playing at a local club, and just like the thursday before, I could not hit the fairway with my drive no matter how I tried. As I marched from one hole to the next, becoming increasingly frustrated with my game, I suddenly remembered something Sue had told me about holding my forward arm closer to my body. “Imagine you have a $100 bill in your hand and you put it under your arm, squeezing it between your arm and your chest. If you drop the $100 bill, you lose it.” Her idea was to force me to change how I held my arms during the drive. Keeping my arms from swinging too far up and away from my body changed my swing plane and helped bring the club face back to the ball-square to the target line.

On the next tee box, I tried this $100 bill trick. I very consciously swung the club back, all the while squeezing this imaginary $100 bill between my arm and my body. Suddenly my drives were going straight down the middle of the fairway. The trick worked.

It wasn’t a perfect round, by any means. And there were several holes that I lost my focus and started heading for the woods again. (Lost only one ball in the pond—and that’s something.) When I realized what I was doing, I again began to focus on the $100 bill trick and my last drive of the round hit the fairway about 100 yards from the green. I was getting back on track. Still have a lot to learn.

If you, like me are having straight drive troubles, check out the $100 bill trick. It’s worth a try.

Do you have a trick you use to keep your drives going straight and true?

  1 comment for “How a $100 Dollar Bill Fixed My Golf Slice

  1. June 23, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    That’s funny, when I saw the headline I just had to read it. Because I have been offering a $100 bill to anyone who looks up before or at impact for the last five years. Have yet to find someone.

    That $100 bill trick is really a sound fundamental, not a compensation or bandaid to fix an error. Solid connection of the lead arm helps the forearms rotate and square the clubface. Good stuff.

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