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Golf Tip - Mirror Image
How 10 minutes of practice in front of a mirror can help improve your game

practicing a golf swing in the mirrorMirror, mirror on the wall, what do I really see after all?

The truth is in what you see, not in what you feel.

It might be raining or snowing outside where you're at, or maybe you've been unable to play for a while for other reasons. But that doesn't mean you can't still work on your game. So here's what you do: get your clubs re-gripped and your loft and lies checked. When you get your clubs back with fresh new grips, get off to a fresh start with some basic fundamentals. You can work on them using nothing more than a mirror and a club.

Set up a mirror in a high-ceilinged room in your home (or the garage, or wherever). Bring or sneak, depending on your situation, a 6-iron into the room. The mirror will give you an observer's perspective on your swing and set-up. Practice the fundamentals outlined below in the mirror for 10 minutes a day.

Go slowly and observe what you are doing in the mirror. And every time you see something in the mirror you do not like, say, "Thank you, mirror, for showing me what I'm really doing." It's a kick! Especially for those of us easily entertained.


Find a good book and try to match your grip to the pictures in the book, based on what you see in the mirror.

Club Face

Take your grip and face the mirror. Look at the clubface in the mirror. Is it square, open or closed?


As you sole your 6-iron on the ground, your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width and the left foot (for right-handed players) flared open about 20 degrees. Your right foot might also be flared depending on your flexibility. The less flexible you are, the more open your right foot should be. Your balance is 50-percent on each foot.

Ball Position

Place your club in the middle of your stance with the ball slightly forward. With your ball position slightly forward, your head should appear behind the ball.


Place your club behind you and along your spine. Touch your rear end and your upper back to the club. Keeping the club on your back, stick your butt out, and bend from the knees and hips until your belt buckle points at the ball. Balance on the middle of your feet (front to back, and right to left). Then, without moving your spine, hold the club in front of you and let your arms hang relaxed. Take your right hand off the club and let it hang to reinforce this concept.

Take Some Swings

Facing the mirror, take five swings (careful not to hit anything), starting with about 30-percent of your normal effort. Before each swing, go through your pre-shot routine and check your set-up in the mirror.

Then switch to a down-the-line view (swinging toward the mirror). Take five more swings at about 30-percent effort. Go through your routine and check your posture before each swing.

After five swings with each view, increase swing speed for several more swings. Make sure that as you swing, you maintain the same tension on the grip from start to finish. Are you able to swing without adjusting your grip each time, or is the club moving in your hands? Close your eyes: How's your balance? Do you feel in sequence? Can you tell where the clubhead is and whether it is open or closed through impact? Is your swing path on the correct swing plane or outside-in (a k a, over the top)?

Swing Path

Let's say you can't feel if your swing path is correct or incorrect ... hmmm. Maybe, just maybe, if you could see your path you could learn to feel it. And if you could feel it, you would be able to correct it.

Here's a great swing-path drill for those of you who swing outside-in: Set-up as if you are going to hit the ball through the mirror. Make a very, very slow swing and stop halfway through the follow-through. The clubhead should appear to cover your nose in the mirror (as in the photo). Try to accomplish this position with several slow swings, gently stopping your follow-through halfway through. Then, take swings watching the blur of the club pass through your eyes (in the mirror) on the follow-through. Note: If your head is down, you will have no chance of seeing the path of your swing.

Ten minutes a day in front of the mirror is time you'll be glad you spent. You'll be able to hit the ground running when you're ready to play golf again.

About the Author...
Perry Andrisen is a PGA Teaching Professional at The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon, California. He teaches over 2,000 lessons a year.

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