How to Stop Flipping – Bucket Drill

My latest blog post titled “A Leap from the Lion’s Head” generated a few requests on a drill that was mentioned in the post.  The drill that I talked about is called the Bucket Drill and is used to help a golfer stop flipping.  As I mentioned in the previous post, it is a drill I first saw used by Martin Hall and then by Brian Manzella.

Here’s a video of me doing the drill:

Here’s how to set up the drill.  The bucket needs to be placed directly in line of the downswing plane and behind the ball about a foot and a half.  The distance really depends on the height of the bucket and the club being used.  It needs to be far enough way so the drill is doable but not so far away that it is possible to hit the shot fat while performing an orthodox pivot and weight shift with a standard ball position.

Typically, the bucket should be tall enough that the player can’t take a backswing because the bucket will be in the way.  That is why you see me start the drill with the club head on the bucket.

Some things you’ll need to perform the drill correctly.  When you place the club head on the bucket, be sure that the club face is square to the plane at that point.  If done correctly, the club face will still be almost pointing directly at the ball just like it would be at address.  The goal of the drill is to hit the ball without hitting the bucket with a flat left wrist and keeping the club head below the grip in the follow through.  Check your follow through to see if it looks just like the above. If you allow the club head to come out too early, it will hit the bucket.  If you flip it, you may hit the bucket or you won’t be able to keep the head below the grip.  This drill will also exaggerate a steeper angle of attack into the ball and a divot after the ball.

Sometimes when players are doing this drill and learning how not to flip, they will hit shanks and shots way to the right.  The reason for this is because some player’s are using the flip the close the face and this drill takes the flip out which takes away the closing face.  The player will need to learn how to square the face another way.  One of the ways to teach them how to square the face a new way is too rotate the shaft to the left (closing) during the downswing.  Rotating the shaft does not require a straightening of the shaft and the left arm angle.  It is a strange sensation if you’ve never done it before but one I would highly recommend you learn.  Try practicing creating a 90 degree angle between your left arm and the shaft right in front of you.  Now, keeping your wrists in the shape they are in, twist the shaft about it self to the left.  You will notice that the face closes and your left wrist will go to flat and possibly beyond to bowed.  This is the move you need to make to close the face if you are having a hard time with shanks and shots that start way to the right with this drill.

Keep the comments and questions coming.  The great thing about this drill is if you can do it, you are doing many things correctly.  Keep practicing.

John Graham