In a coaching career that spans more than 25 years, Gary Gilchrist has been responsible for recruiting, training and developing more professional, amateur and junior golfers than any other coach in the world. His system of training applies to golfers of all ages and abilities.
At the training facilities at Mission Inn Resort, he and his team incorporate a holistic training environment for juniors, amateurs, and professionals through technical, mental, fitness and on-course strategy training.
Below you will find fundamental swing drills and tips by Gary Gilchrist which are being used to improve the techniques of junior and professional golfers.
Club Face Awareness -Setup
The key to any great golf swing is the set up. In this photo I am using a tennis racket to demonstrate the importance of the clubface to creating a consistent swing. The goal is to improve direction by making sure the clubface is square at impact.
My set up starts with my feet slightly wider than my shoulders making sure my spine angle and head is behind the ball. This will help your improve your plane and body motion during the swing.
Club Face Awareness-The Moveaway
The moveaway will be initiated by your shoulders arms and a slight movement in your hips. The goal is to keep the clubface square.
Club Face Awareness-Top of the Backswing
As you can see my weight has moved into my right leg by my left shoulder, hip and left knee moving to my right side. The clubface is square at the top of my backswing also the club is in balance. This is all of a result of great set up and paying attention that the clubface remains square throughout my backswing.
Club Face Awareness-Transition
As a result of my backswing, I can now start my transition in to the ball. The sequencing starts with my left knee, hip and left shoulder feeling pressure into my left foot allowing the arms to drop and my right elbow move forward into my right side. The clubface will stay square and my spine and head remain behind the ball.
Club Face Awareness-Impact
At impact my hips start to rotate left and my hands lead into the ball. My left shoulder and hip move left and slightly upwards. The pressure into the left foot is now moving into my left heel.
Club Face Awareness-Follow Through
The finish to the swing is a reaction from the momentum of the club through impact. The right side moves through and around until all my weight is now I into my left side. This swing is easy to repeat creating improved ball striking which improves consistency and your confidence.
To improve direction and distance control in your pitching starts with setup and alignment. Make sure that you start by aiming your clubface at the direction you want the ball to travel. When pitching, you should narrow your stance. Ball position slightly forward of center in my stance. Bend from your hips. Feet should be slightly open and my shoulders square. Now you ready to swing the club on plane. Alignment with your shoulders is key for improving direction.
Pitching-Setting the club
Halfway back I set my wrists making sure that my left arm is slightly across my chest. My knees stay flexed and my weight stays in the middle of my feet. Hips and shoulders turn slightly in my backswing.
Pitching – Top of the swing
The length of your swing and the width of your stance dictate the distance you want the ball to travel. This photo depicts an 80 yard pitch shot, which is close to a full backswing.
Pitching- Shallowing the club
Shallowing the club is created and by the movement in my left side separating from my right side. The left knee, hip and shoulder start moving towards the target. This movement initiates the hands shallowing and moving towards the ball.
At impact my left hip is moving left and around my body. My shoulders are slightly left and my right knee starts to kick inwards as my weight moves into my left heel. Clubface now is square to my target.
Now, my weight is now into my left side. My body rotates around my spine staying in my angles showing me I am swinging in balance.