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Do you have a fade-biased pivot?

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The way you arrange the components of your swing can make it better suited for certain ball flights more than others. Certain grip types work better for low shots, while others are better for hitting it high. Some transitions are more likely to produce fades than draws.

What I call making your swing “biased” is gearing your swing components for a certain shot shape, height and even distance. The more you align your components toward the same goal, the more likely the desired outcome.

Whether I’m with a PGA Tour player or amateur, a lot of my job is aligning components to get players hitting shots the way they want. I travel to 35+ PGA Tour events every year, and while I’m there to work with some of the guys playing in the event, I usually get to work with a few amateurs as well.

Wednesdays are when PGA Tour events hold their Pro-Ams, which give regular golfers the ability to tee it up with a real Tour player on a real Tour course. It costs a lot of money to play in a Pro-Am, and the entry fees support the tournament’s charity. 

When I’m at the course on Wednesdays to work with my guys, I get to see the amateurs play a little, too. Like most amateurs, more of them hit fades than hit draws. Unknowingly, almost all of them have aligned their components toward a fade, which is often the result of their pivot. 

My video on the pivot below could have saved me a lot of breath during Wednesday Pro-Ams over the years. So many amateurs are using a pivot that is best for producing low fades even though they want to hit a high draw. Watch it to learn more about aligning your pivot with the type of shot you want to hit.

The author, Scott Hamilton has created a four-lesson video course with his keys to achieving consistent, solid contact. The Solid Contact Series is available for free on his website OnTourGolf.com.  

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Currently teaching 14 PGA Tour players, Scott Hamilton is a staple on the PGA Tour range each week. In 2015, a poll of PGA Tour players conducted by Golf Digest ranked him as the No. 2 instructor on the PGA Tour. His players like him for his ability to conduct a complete analysis of their games and return a simple solution to help them play better. “You get the result you want without all the big words.” as Scott often says.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Mbwa Kali Sana

    Mar 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    A complétely misleading video lesson .There are so man y différent parameters other than spine tilt which create the draw and the fade ,That the wise Golfer should entirely disregard this simplistic ” lesson”.

  2. Obee

    Mar 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Great stuff. Definitely holds true in my group of 7 or 8 scratch and below amateur buddies. I create quite a bit of angle, as does one of my buddies, and we both hit low, trap draws as our “standard” shot. Another buddy has very little angle away from the ball, and he definitely favors a cut. A few others are more neutral, and their ball flights are, well … more neutral!

    Thanks! Will definitely keep this in mind when fading the ball. I think if I think of less lean back and away, that I will be able to more consistently fade the ball with my irons….

  3. Sean

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Great video, never thought about that. Out of curiosity, the head movement is the killer here, right? Seems like the only way that angle changes is by the head moving too much forward or back. If you keep your head still, your pivot angle can’t come one way or the other too much. I only ask because I don’t think you offered a tip here so is that what you’d have these students work on to fix it?

    • Scott Hamilton

      Apr 6, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      Good question Sean- Moving your head is one way to change your pivot. The way you slide or turn your hips can also change your pivot angle.

  4. Rocco Mediate

    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    This is how I swing guys! It’s good on your back!

  5. Jafar

    Mar 14, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve been trying to find this in my swing and it does explain why my shots tend to fade when they look like they should be drawing.

    I also figured out that my “trigger” finger has been causing backswing issues and once I fixed that, I found myself in the draw position described here.

    Great info to check your swing with!

  6. Scott Hamilton

    Mar 11, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Hey guys-
    Thanks for watching.
    -Scott

  7. Butch

    Mar 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you, Scott. I appreciate your sharing your insights!

  8. Hogg

    Mar 10, 2016 at 11:02 am

    What a complete load of hogwash.

    • birdy

      Mar 10, 2016 at 11:15 am

      willing to bet Scott has a little more knowledge of the swing than you….

      http://www.golf.com/instruction/scott-hamilton-best-golf-teacher-you-have-never-heard

      • Tom

        Mar 10, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        Amen to that

      • Wash

        Mar 10, 2016 at 7:08 pm

        According to that article,
        “I’m still an on-plane teacher, which some people think is old school, but it works.”
        “A quiet head tends to keep the clubface quiet through the hitting zone. Then, if you can just line up your left arm and the shaft, you’ll have a better chance of hitting the ball straight.”

        Oh that’s it, is it?
        You don’t need to know anything about tilting in a pivot in any direction to do this.
        And he wants people to hit it straighter.

        Hamilton talks a load of country hogwash. Don’t believe the explanation in the video. It’s another way to mislead people real quick in one direction, make money off them while doing that, then steer them back to make more money off them from those lessons, and then bring back into the middle. A classic method to keep the students coming back. Totally dishonest.

    • Leon

      Mar 10, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      Agreed. Just common sense

    • Obee

      Mar 24, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      No it’s not — at least in my game and the games of my buddies. I see a pretty distinct correlation between what he’s saying and the shot shapes of the guys I play with. What you think is “hogwash,” I see as solid insight.

  9. Buddy

    Mar 10, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Scott – Thank you for sharing this tid-bit of information with us here on WRX. I hope you continue to share your knowledge with us in the coming years.

  10. Shallowface

    Mar 10, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Many years ago there was a golf shop on Dale Mabry in Tampa (no longer there as far as I know) and the owner had a son who was looked to be a pretty good player. He claimed the son could hit any shot just by changing how he rotated his shoulders during the swing. So I found this article quite interesting, and am looking forward to checking out Mr. Hamilton’s website.

  11. antonio

    Mar 10, 2016 at 3:07 am

    I appreciate any tip but just watching the video above it seems too simple and too obvious. It depends only on your tilt on your stance.

  12. Jack

    Mar 10, 2016 at 2:39 am

    This kind of “instruction” is why nobody ever gets any better. Just get guys hitting the inside of the ball and they will learn to draw the ball with a shallower swing — period; Let there natural athletic ability sort it out. And btw, not to be offensive, but you and other “coaches” are just security blankets for tour pros; They would play just as well without you.

    • Tour Pro

      Mar 10, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Jack,

      I’m a tour pro and Scott knows his stuff. Your comments show how little you know and understand a coaches job on tour. There’s a reason why Scott was voted the 2nd best teacher out there by your pro’s. Quit being a hater and be thankful that guys like he and Butch would share their knowledge.

    • Philip

      Mar 10, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Actually, I have been thinking about this the last few weeks. This video just confirms what I have been discovering. Personally, I like the approach and find the article quite clear. Horses for courses … oh, and thanks Scott, I’ll be checking out your site.

    • larrybud

      Mar 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

      I can hit the inside of the ball ALL DAY by sliding my upper body to the target, and I’m going to hit push-slices all day as well.

      • Jack

        Mar 10, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        Some people are never going to be good players and you may be one of them.

    • Tom

      Mar 10, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Jack you’ve been schooled!

      • Jack

        Mar 10, 2016 at 11:23 pm

        Really? Presumably you believe I have no credibility because I am an anonymous internet poster, however that logic would have to apply to the putative schoolers who would also lack any credibility for the same reason… Now you have been schooled through logic which stands on its own and requires no credibility from anyone in this thread!

        • Tom

          Mar 11, 2016 at 10:31 am

          Jack Mar 10, 2016 at 2:39 am

          “This kind of “instruction” is why nobody ever gets any better….”
          A broad statement, I don’t agree with.

          • Jack

            Mar 11, 2016 at 7:15 pm

            Fine. Not exactly a schooling, though.

            • Tom

              Mar 11, 2016 at 9:45 pm

              I don’t benefit from long hours and detailed instruction. I understand my flaws, simply describe them to me and prescribe a
              solution.

    • birdy

      Mar 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

      lol this comment no doubt comes from a hack who has no idea the knowledge and experience that scott hamilton has.

      • Jack

        Mar 10, 2016 at 11:19 pm

        He is doing what other coaches are doing — trying to put you in positions that he has seen good players in — this may work sometimes but only through a personal lesson. There is too much pseudo science in golf and most of these pros are not helping amateurs — especially with out of context generic videos. It’s like a doctor putting a drug out there and encouraging anyone to give it a try and see if it helps with something without first examining the potential patents!

        • Tom

          Mar 10, 2016 at 11:56 pm

          ” Whether I’m with a PGA Tour player or amateur, a lot of my job is aligning components to get players hitting shots the way they want. I travel to 35+ PGA Tour events every year, and while I’m there to work with some of the guys playing in the event, I usually get to work with a few amateurs as well “

          • Jack

            Mar 11, 2016 at 2:19 am

            And yet a generalized video is still worthless and most amateurs never improve even with lessons and practice. Why?

            • Tom

              Mar 11, 2016 at 10:33 am

              So your issue with the article is the video?

              • Jack

                Mar 11, 2016 at 7:18 pm

                The video will do more harm than good as all of the hacks venture to the driving range and attempt their best Curtis Strange sway off of the ball to try to finally hit a draw.f

    • Mike

      Mar 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Oh please enlighten us, anonymous golf site poster. Moron.

  13. Tom

    Mar 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    hawt damn. I’ve spent hours on the range with instructors only to have my question answered in five minutes reading your article. Now I have an idea of why I hit a draw. Thank you.

  14. Stephan Lechner

    Mar 9, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I figured out that if you click on the link titled solid contact series it gives you the opportunity to create a login but if you click on the link to the website it does not. I hope this helps others trying to get there.

  15. Stephan Lechner

    Mar 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    It says that you can watch the rest of the videos for free on his website which you provide the link to in your article. When you go to the website it requires a login however there is no place to create a login. Please provide some insight. Thanks

    • larrybud

      Mar 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Scroll down, the create account is all the way to the bottom.

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Instruction

3 keys for getting out of bunkers with soft sand

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One of the most infuriating things in golf is to land in a bunker that has too much sand, or sand with the consistency of a truckload of talcum power. Now, I am not picking on the Superintendents; they do have to add new sand from time-to-time, so no hate mail please! It’s my fault for hitting it in the bunker in the first place, and bunkers are supposed to be hazards; I know that.

The one thing we will assume for this article is that even though we are in soft sand, we will have a good lie, not a plugged or semi-plugged one. We are in a bunker that just has a bunch of sand, or it’s soft and fluffy sand. Everyone asks me what the secret is to handling these types of conditions and I’m here to help you get better.

1) Get a wedge with the correct bounce

Let’s consider that you play the same golf course every weekend, or that you mostly play on courses that have the same type of playing conditions mostly. When you have this luxury, you should have wedges that fit the conditions you tend to play. So, if you have a low bounce wedge with a sharp flange and you’re playing from bunkers with lots of sand, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Why alter your swing if the wedge you have can help you? Use a high bounce wedge (9-12 degrees of bounce) for soft sand, and a low bounce wedge (6-8 degrees) for firm sand.

2) Control your Angle of Attack 

As with most things in golf, there are always things that you must pay attention to in order for you to have the odds in your favor. Simple things such as paying attention to the lie you have can help you save shots in the rough. In bunkers, you cannot test the surface, however, you can use your feet to feel the density of the sand. Pay attention to what you feel in the balls of your feet. If you feel a ton of sand below you, then you know you will have to alter your angle of attack if you want any chance to get out of the bunker successfully.

So what do I mean by this?

The setting of your wrists has a very dynamic effect on how much the wedge digs in or skids through the sand (assuming you have an open face). When there is a surplus of sand, you will find that a steeper attack caused by the maximum cocking of your wrists makes it much easier for the wedge to work too vertical and dig too deep. When you dig too deep, you will lose control of the ball as there is too much sand between the blade and the ball — it will not spin as much and won’t have the distance control you normally have.

The secret to playing from softer sand is a longer and wider bunker swing with much less wrist-set than you would use on your stock bunker shot. This action stops the club from digging too deep and makes it easier for you to keep moving through the ball and achieving the distance you need.

3) Keep your pivot moving

It’s nearly impossible to keep the rotation of your shoulders going when you take too much sand at impact, and the ball comes up short in that situation every time. When you take less sand, you will have a much easier time keeping your pivot moving. This is the final key to good soft-sand bunker play.

You have made your longer and more shallow backswing and are returning to the ball not quite as steeply as you normally do which is good… now the only thing left to do is keep your rear shoulder rotating through impact and beyond. This action helps you to make a fuller finish, and one that does not lose too much speed when the club impacts the sand. If you dig too deep, you cannot keep the rear shoulder moving and your shots will consistently come up short.

So if you are in a bunker with new sand, or an abundance of sand, remember to change your bounce, adjust your angle of attack, and keep your pivot moving to have a fighting chance.

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Instruction

WATCH: How to stop “flipping” through impact

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Are you flipping through impact? In this video, I share a great drill that will help you put better pressure on the golf ball at impact. By delivering the sweet spot correctly, you’ll create a better flight and get more distance from your shots immediately.

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The Wagon Wheel Drill

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For many golfers, the ability to hit shots golf ball to the target is a difficult task, especially when you take into account the rough, trees or hazards lining the hole. In this video, I share “The Wagon Wheel Drill,” a simple idea of how to practice intentionally hitting the ball left, right and on target.

Practice this and you will soon be hitting the target more often.

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