Hitting Golf Shots Right of the Target But On Straight Line

Faults and Fixes: Quick tips for shots flying to the right on a straight line

Vijay Singh points to the right, where he hit his drive
It's not usually a good sign when a golfer is pointing right after a tee shot, as Vijay Singh does here. Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Are you hitting a lot of golf shots that start out right of your target line and continue on a straight path (no curving in flight), landing well right of your intended target? If you are a right-handed golfer you are pushing the shot or pushing the ball. If you are a left-hander, you are pulling the shot or pulling the ball.

Below, golf instructor Roger Gunn gives us a checklist of possible causes for these types of mishits, but the faults and fixes differ depending on the golfer's handedness.

Right-Hander Hitting It Right But On a Straight Line is Hitting a Push

A right-handed golfer hitting the ball to the right of the target but on a straight line is hitting a push shot. Your divot, if there is one, will point right of your target line.

Here is golf instructor Roger Gunn's checklist for a right-handed golfer hitting a push:

  • Grip: Not normally a factor.
  • Set-up: Watch out for aiming too far to the right, or having your shoulders pointing to far to the right. It sounds simple, but this basic misalignment is a common culprit.
  • Ball Position: The ball might be too far back in your stance. This causes you to make when the club is still swinging to right field.
  • Backswing: You might be too far inside on the backswing, pulling the club away from the target line. The club should track a gentle arc on the way back, not a rapid arc to the inside of the target line.
  • Downswing: The club might be swinging too much to right field at impact. Your right shoulder could be dropping too soon and/or your hips might be sliding to the target, preventing the club from swinging back around to the left. Make sure your head doesn't move to the right in the downswing.

Left-Hander Hitting It Right But On a Straight Line is Hitting a Pull

A left-handed golfer hitting the ball to the right of the target but on a straight line is hitting a pull shot. Your divot, if there is one, will point right of your target line.

  • Grip: The grip is not normally a factor with a pull.
  • Set-up: Make sure you are not aiming too far right, or that your shoulders are pointing too far right.
  • Ball Position: You might have the ball too far forward in your stance. This causes you to catch the ball when the club is swinging back to the right.
  • Backswing: The club is likely being pushed outside the target line on the way back. The club should track a gentle arc on the way back. The club should be over your shoulder at the top, not over your head.
  • Downswing: Your arms are likely pushing away from your body at the transition. Keep your arms in so that they pass close to the left pants pocket on the approach. Make sure your head doesn't move toward the target until after impact.
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