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Struggling with a piece? Try to separate your holdings

If you are fighting a piece, you may be using a “chicken wing” to follow.


There are many ways to cut, but most boil down to a weak grip, poor release and/or an open clubface at impact. The culprit: pulling hard with your lead arm and elbow to the point where it stays straight for too long instead of curled, creating the appearance of a chicken wing. In this case, the face can do nothing but stay open.

Here’s a practical fix for practice and the course. Take your normal setup and grip, and slide your bottom hand down the handle, almost all the way to the end. Start swinging (don’t use the ball yet) back and forth, building up to full speed.

With your hands apart, you’ll find it easier to bend your lead elbow as you swing through impact and allow your arms to be more level in the forward swing. That’s what a proper, anti-chicken-wing release looks and feels like. And, without you even knowing, the clubface will equal the strike.

Keep going back and forth, listening for the whoosh sound down your swing. If you can recreate these feelings with your normal grip, you’re in business – and down the middle.

Kellie Stenzel is a GOLF Top 100 instructor who teaches at Palm Beach Par 3 and The Boca Raton in Fla.

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