Learn How To Stop Pulling The Golf Ball

All golfers fight mistakes on the course. Some are scared of a duck hook, while others lose sleep thinking about a slice.

We can’t fix everything at once, so today we are going to learn how to stop pulling the golf ball.

On the surface, golf seems easy. The ball is sitting still and you simply have to hit with a club that is designed to help you do just that.

So why is it so hard? The clubface likes to get closed or open and impact and the ball loves to spin and curve.

If you are an avid golfer, you know what we mean. How often have you hit a straight shot? One that starts online and stays online?

If golf was easy, Tiger Woods wouldn’t be famous. Our goal is to make it a little bit easier for you. We can start with learning how to stop pulling the golf ball.

how to stop pulling the golf ball. A golfer in position after a shot.

How To Stop Pulling The Golf Ball – The Lingo

Do you ever wonder if golfers are speaking a different language? They love to use different terminology to talk about the game.

Before learning how to stop pulling the golf ball, let’s make sure we are all on the same page.

Here are some common terms used to describe what shots do – these are from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. Reverse them if you are a lefty!

  • Hook – a shot that curves wildly to the left (aka a duck hook) – a poor shot
  • Slice – a shot that curves wildly to the right (aka a snap slice) – a poor shot
  • Cut – a synonym for “Fade” – they can be used interchangeably
  • Pull – a shot that starts left – it doesn’t curve, just starts left of your target
  • Push – a shot that starts right – it doesn’t curve, just starts right of your target
  • Block – similar to a push – if you “block” a shot it starts right of your target

You may even hear golfers combine these terms. For example, a “pull hook” is a shot that starts left and curves even farther to the left.

You will typically hear this term when a golfer is describing how they hit their tee shot out of bounds.

Now that we have defined the problem, let’s learn how to stop pulling the golf ball.

A golfer at the peak of her backswing.

5 Tips To Learn How To Stop Pulling The Golf Ball

You may be doing several different things that cause you to pull shots. You don’t need to do all 5 of the below tips at the same time.

The next time you practice, give them a try and see which one works best for you.

#1: Keep It Moving – Turn Through Impact

It is a bit ironic, but to learn how to stop pulling the golf ball you have to make sure you don’t stop your swing.

Let me explain. The most common cause of a pull is when your lower body slows down or stops at impact.

When this happens, your hands fly through the impact zone causing a pull, a hook, or a pull hook!

To fix this, you need to make sure you complete your downswing. This means clearing your lower body and giving your upper body space to swing through the ball.

One swing thought that might help is “start your downswing with your legs”. This will get your lower body out of way quickly.

As Chubbs told Happy Gilmore, “it’s all the hips”! Get our hips out of the way and you will learn how to stop pulling the golf ball.

A golfer hitting a golf ball.

#2: Only Cast When You Are Fishing

Another reason you pull the ball is that you come “over the top” during your transition. This is also known as “casting” the club.

Here is how it works. At the start of your downswing, you route the club to the outside instead of keeping it on the correct plane.

Once you cast the club, you will be forced to hit the golf ball with an outside-to-inside motion. This will cause a pull or a slice.

Do you want to check if this is your problem? Hit a few 7-irons and check out your divots.

Do your divots point to the left? If so, there is a good chance you are coming over the top during your swing.

To fix this, you need to try and bring the club back to the golf ball on the same plane as your backswing.

A great swing thought is to “drop the club” from the top of your swing. In other words, instead of using hands/arms to swing, let your lower body do the work.

If your lower body controls your swing, the arms will naturally follow. Figure out this move and you will learn how to stop pulling the golf ball.

#3: Swing Out At The Ball

We mentioned above that your divot can tell you a lot about your golf swing. In some ways, your divots can be your golf coach.

Get your divot to point slightly to the right and you will learn how to stop pulling the golf ball.

To create this type of divot you must swing out at the ball. Instead of hitting the ball with an outside-to-inside motion, you want to try and strike it with an inside-to-outside path.

It is virtually impossible to pull a golf ball with an inside-to-outside swing path.

It will feel strange at first, but try different things in your swing until you can get your divots pointing to the right.

You might develop a draw or a hook, but you should learn how to stop pulling the golf ball.

A golfer sets up at the ball.

#4: Tempo & Rhythm

There may be nothing wrong with your golf swing. You might simply have a “tempo” problem.

Smooth your swing out and you may quickly learn how to stop pulling the golf ball. Our favorite examples are Fred Couples and Ernie Els.

The most common mistake is to get quick during your transition or at impact. Both can cause you to pull golf shots.

Our favorite swing thought for tempo is “1&2”. As you swing the golf club say “1&2”. We recommend you say it to yourself so your playing partners don’t think you are crazy!

The “1” is your backswing. The “&” is your transition and the “2” is your downswing. These 3 steps should take the same amount of time each.

Learning how to stop pulling the golf ball can be as simple as “1&2”!

#5: How To Solve The Putting Pulls

Yes, it is possible to pull the ball on the greens. In fact, this is the most common reason golfers miss putts.

Your putting stroke is shorter and simpler than your swing. Unfortunately, it can have a significant impact on your scorecard.

The pulled putt happens because you jab at the ball instead of stroking it. You might even flinch a little at impact.

There is a simple drill that was made famous by Jordan Speith that can help you create a smoother stroke.

Practice putting while looking at the hole instead of the golf ball. You can’t see the impact, so you won’t flinch or jab.

Speith even does this during PGA tournaments sometimes when he is close to the hole. We recommend you try it on the practice green before using it on the course.

Up Next: No More Quackers – Eliminate The Duck Hook!

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +1 handicap.

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