A few weeks ago, I wrote about a drill that I spotted Tommy Fleetwood doing on the range. Between himself and his golf ball were two alignment sticks — one protruding from the ground and another along the turf — as well as a box just outside the golf ball. He does it at the start of every range session.
On Friday at the Players Championship, Fitzpatraick arrived with a box, too, although his was slightly bigger. He arranged it in the same way as Fleetwood, though didn’t bother with the stick coming out of the ground.
So, what’s going on here, you ask? And, more crucially, would this drill help me?
Essentially, the box and various other components comprise what coaches and teachers call a “practice station.” Pros love practicing with feedback — meaning, they want to know when they’re doing something wrong, the moment they do it. That’s what practice stations are there to do.
This one, in particular, is designed so players get their swing path, exactly where they want it. If they swing the club over the top, their clubhead will hit the box. Too far the opposite way, and it’ll collide with the stick on the ground.
The drill works like a doorway of sorts. Swing the club through the doorway, and player’s know their swing is where they want it. If they don’t, they know exactly what the mistake was.
So in short, yes, this drill would probably help your golf swing. Quite a lot, actually, considering how many amateiur golfers come over the top. But it’s also a really difficult drill. It’s effectively golf’s version of threading the needle. So if you’re going to try it yourself, start slow and give yourself some room for error.