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Get on plane in a hurry. As you can see, I’m a big fan of these orange sticks. What are they? Here’s a secret. You can find them at your local home-improvement store. Just check the road-signs area and you can’t miss them. Anyway, here you can see my instructor, Alasdair Dyer, holding a stick that represents my shaft angle at address. This drill also helps me ingrain a swing that’s on plane from start to finish. In fact, this is a great tip for amateurs who struggle with coming over the top of the ball, which even touring pros sometimes develop a habit of doing from time to time. By using the orange stick as a reference to my plane at address, I can mimic it at the top of my swing, through impact and into the finish.

Align the orange stick parallel to the shaft at address. Using that as a guide, make a few slow, simulated practice swings. Work on staying on plane at the top of your swing and again at impact.

Notice how the ball is on the ground? Kevin was able to decrease the loft of his driver (from a 10.5 to an 8.5) by practicing shots off the turf with no tee. As he got better with the higher-lofted driver, he switched to a lower loft, all the way down until he settled on an 8.5-degee model. Why the switch? Kevin’s control and distance both improved with the lower loft, and it helped him hit more piercing drives with more roll on the firm fairways found at PGA Tour events.


Flex your knees. I like to keep my knees flexed as much as I can. And I practice retaining my knee flex as often as I hit balls. At address, you can see my knees are flexed and also flared out. This helps me turn and also helps me add a lot more stability and takes pressure off my lower back.

Notice how my knee is the same distance from Alasdair’s hand as it was at address. Also, look how my knee has rotated away from the ball. Any locking of the knee will restrict your backswing and potentially cause you to sway or lean too much. Let your knee rotate and stay flexed. You’ll love how it feels.

Don’t lock your forward knee either. The greatest golfer alive got away for years with having a rigid, locked left knee through impact, only to then require surgery in his early 30s. Tiger’s incredible skill endures, but for most amateurs, when they lock up their leg at impact, the body locks up, too.

Through the finish, I keep my knees flexed, as well. Next time you head out and hit balls, notice the wear and tear your left knee is getting. If you’re locking and popping your knee, try adding some more flex. You’ll be able to more effectively transfer your weight than you would with a straight left knee.


Stick with your natural swing. I’ve made a few adjustments to my golf swing, even some that occurred since being on the PGA Tour. But generally, I?stick with what works for me, and try to make the most of it. Too often, amateurs take emulating the pros a bit too far and, in turn, neglect the good things about their swings in favor of certain moves that might not be best for their golf games. Yes, I flare my knees, and that may seem unusual, but it works for me and has helped me position myself among the game’s elite players out here on Tour.

So the next time you practice, focus squarely on basic fundamentals, and let the rest of your swing develop on its own. You’ll soon start to see what swing is most repeatable for you, and if your repeatable swing produces a fade, then go with it. Same goes for a draw or high or low trajectories. Stick with what works, and you’ll play better.


By Kevin Streelman, PGA Tour, Photos By David Johnston

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