First things first, what is a block? Blocking a golf shot means the ball flies directly to the right (right-handed players).
Ok, so the same as a slice? Nope, not quite. A slice curves to the right because you cut across the ball (outside-in) at impact.
Blocking a golf shot is when your clubface is open at impact. It doesn’t curve to the right but flies straight in that direction.
In both cases, you are going to miss your target to the right and might even go out of bounds, but the way you fix them is different.
Blocking a golf shot is the opposite of pulling one.
The good news is that blocking shots is not a critical flaw in your swing. In fact, we believe it means you are very close to hitting the ball perfectly.
Let’s explore what causes you to block the ball and how you can fix it!
What Is The Root Cause Of Blocking A Golf Shot?
There are several different factors that could lead to you blocking a golf shot. Each root cause has a different fix.
You may have to do a little “trial and error” during your next practice session to determine which fix will work for you.
We are confident that one of the ideas below will stop you from blocking a golf shot.
Shake It Off
No, we aren’t talking about the Taylor Swift song. Nerves and tension in your golf swing can lead to you blocking a golf shot.
A blocked shot happens when your clubface is open at impact – in other words, you aren’t getting it closed (or square) prior to making contact with the ball.
Being concerned about a shot can cause you to “hold on to the club”, leave the face open, and block the shot to the right.
If nerves are causing you to block golf shots, there are several ways to fix it.
Play with confidence. There is nothing worse than fear when trying to execute your golf swing. Swing confidently and accept the results.
Are you looking for a technical solution? Loosen your grip. You don’t want to choke your club.
Blocking a golf shot can happen simply because you are squeezing the grip too tightly.
This causes your hands to slow down and makes it harder to release the club through impact.
Take a deep breath. Loosen your grip. Make a confident swing and “the blocks” will go away!
Maybe You Don’t Have The Blocks?
14th-century logician and theologian William of Ockham famously said “the simplest solution is almost always the best”.
It’s with this in mind that we ask the question “are you sure you are blocking golf shots”?
Let’s look at the evidence. You make what feels like a good swing, but the ball flies right of the target. You could be blocking a golf shot or you could just have an alignment problem.
This may sound silly, but the result would be the same. It is worth checking your alignment before trying to alter your swing.
There are two steps to your golf alignment. First, aim the clubface at your target. Second, your body & feet should be parallel left of the target (right-handed players).
The best way to check is to use alignment sticks. Take your normal stance and lay one of the sticks down in front of your feet.
Step off the ball and stand behind the alignment stick. It should be pointing parallel left of your target.
If it is pointing to the right, you may not be blocking shots, you might just need to adjust your alignment.
Rotate & Reduce Your Lateral Movement
We have covered the most basic reasons for blocking a golf shot (tension & alignment). Now it is time to focus on more technical swing issues.
Great golf swings include a weight transfer. Your weight shifts to your right foot during your backswing and to your left side during your downswing.
Problems can happen when you have too much lateral movement instead of rotation. You want a rotary swing, not a slide motion.
You guessed it – too much lateral movement can lead to you blocking a golf shot.
To fix, focus on shoulder and hip rotation during your swing. During your backswing tuck your shoulder under your chin. This will ensure a complete shoulder turn.
Instead of sliding your weight to your right foot, use hip rotation to complete the move. The goal is to keep your spine still and simply rotate around it.
Rotation in your swing will prevent you from blocking a golf shot!
Don’t Be Stuck In The Moment
Even the best players in the world are not immune from blocking a golf shot. If you have ever heard them discuss it, you may hear the phrase “I got stuck”.
If you don’t speak fluent “golf” you may have wondered what they meant by this comment.
“Getting stuck” refers to the concept of your club getting behind your body during your backswing. Once in this position, it is very hard to get the clubface square at impact.
Once you are “stuck” you have two options. Fail to close the clubface and hit a block or flip your hands and hit a duck hook. Both are bad.
You need to avoid this swing flaw. It happens for two primary reasons:
1. you take the club back too far inside and flat.
This leaves the clubhead “behind your body”. From this position, it is very challenging to hit a good golf shot.
Second, you allow your body to slide forward, instead of turning. We call this “getting in front of the ball”.
If your body is in front of the ball at impact, the clubface is going to be open. And yes, blocking a golf shot will be the result.
There are a couple of drills to address this problem if you are “feeling stuck” during your golf swing.
Start your swing by taking the club low and outside. Getting the club outside prevents it from getting behind your body.
Start your downswing with your lower body. Casual golfers often make the mistake of swinging too much with their arms or leaning into the shot with their upper body.
Try doing the opposite. Take a slight pause during your transition and then start your downswing by rotating your hips and legs.
This will help you in a couple of different ways. First, it clears your lower body out of the way, creating space for your swing (not stuck).
2. your arms will simply follow the lead of your lower body.
This creates a one-plane swing that will give you more power and prevent you from blocking a golf shot.
We have covered 4 reasons why you might block golf shots. We doubt you are doing all four. In most cases, golfers simply have one flaw that is leading to their miss.
Spend an hour on the driving range trying the techniques we described above. Eliminate the block from your game and start shooting lower scores.
Good luck and play well!