The Three Most Common Swing Problems – Solved

This issue – Steve Pace tackles the three most common faults in the golf swing. According to Mr. Pace, most golf shots are missed in the take-away or beginning of the back swing! If the take-away is “OFF”, I guarantee the return to the ball will be “OFF” too. These TIPS are designed to help with a more disciplined backswing. If you have golfed much, then you have learned how the swing feels. The problem is what golfers have learned to feel, quite often, needs to be changed. It takes about 500 to 600 balls, hitting 50 at a time to change one bad habit to good one. Be Patient! By the way, I GUARANTEE my TIPS!

The absolute most common problem that amateur golfers want to fix is “the slice “; and it just might be the easiest fix of all. This will require diligent practice, but “the slice” will be gone.

FIX: Do this simple step: Keep your knees slightly flexed during the entire backswing (especially your trailing knee). It is natural to want to straighten your back leg during the backswing, but you must learn to keep it flexed (see photos #1). The proper pivot point of the golf swing is at the trailing knee, not the hip. A general description of how a set up should feel is that of “just getting ready to sit down”. Also, don’t let the knee slide back with the backswing. Keep it flexed and under the back hip.

The second most common problem that we hear from students is that of not having consistent ball contact; “Thin” one time and then “Fat” the next. Head movement causes all kinds of problems. Observe the better players at your local golf course and see how still or calm their head is during the back swing. There really is no need for the head to travel. If your head moves, it is simply a bad habit.

FIX: The goal is to “spin on your spine”; A good way to feel this is to arrange yourself on the range where the sun is at your back and

casts a shadow directly in front of you. Now, assume your set up (with or without a club) and observe your head motion as you make your backswing (see photo #2). It should not go up, down or left or right. Take some practice swings as you are looking at your shadow and keeping your head still or in the same place. Another good way to learn how this feels, is to arrange where you can see your reflection, face-on. Emulate your golf swing, especially the backswing. Watch your head movement. I tell many of my students to simply try and keep their nose still during the backswing.


Probably the simplest to fix problem of all! In a proper golf swing set up, you should have your toe-line parallel to the flight that you

want the ball to travel. Where your toes go, so go your knees, and your hips, and your shoulders, and ultimately the golf ball. Once again, pay attention to how the set up feels. You may need to learn all over again how it feels to be “on-target”.

FIX: Take one of your extra clubs and have it handy. Address the golf ball and assume your set-up. Now, once you feel that you are positioned to hit toward your target, lay the extra club shaft down along your “TOE LINE” (see photo #3). Then step back about 10 feet and see if the shaft of that club is aimed at your target. That is the goal and it may take awhile to adjust. All you want is to be consistently perpendicular to the target line.

Steve Pace, Grand Lake Golf Academy at Patricia Island Golf and Estates.
For a free video evaluation, send a smart phone video of your golf swing to the Grand Lake Golf Academy at Patricia Island Golf and Estates, Grove, OK c/o

About Steve Pace
Steve Pace is the former golf coach at N.E.O. A&M College, Miami, OK.
Mr. Pace also is the director of golf instruction at Patricia Island Golf Club in Grove, OK. He has taught over 4,000 students in the past 17 years and conducted 100’s of golf classes and clinics. He was formerly the head golf instructor at Shangri-La Resort and Country Club on Grand Lake. He was certified by the United States Golf Teacher’s Federation in 1992 and passed the P.G.A. Playability Test in 2003. Mr. Pace writes a weekly golf column in several local newspapers. He also created the curriculum and teaches adult golf classes in several northeast Oklahoma cities as well as Summer Junior Golf Camps. His philosophy is to simplify teach the most basic fundamentals of a good golf swing. He teaches the basic discipline of Grip, Alignment, Stance and Posture (G.A.S.P.) also referred as LOGICAL GOLF. He teaches a simplified but logical putting discipline that works for everyone. He believes that golf is a game and therefore is meant to be FUN. Mr. Pace is the owner of the GRAND LAKE GOLF ACADEMY located at the Patricia Island Golf Club in Grove, OK which is in the northeast corner of Oklahoma on Grand Lake.