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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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Why you must practice under pressure if you want to play better golf

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Practice, as most of us employ it, is borderline worthless. This is because most of the practices, if you will, typically employed during practice sessions have little chance of improving our performance under pressure.

The type of practice that improves performance is, for the most part, rarely engaged in because practicing under typical “practice” conditions does very little to simulate the thoughts, feelings, and emotions we deal with once our performance actually means something. If we want to really improve our performance when it matters, we need to put ourselves in situations, often and repeatedly, that simulate the pressure we experience during competition. And nowhere is this statement more true than on the putting green.

The art and skill of putting is a funny thing. No element of the game requires less inherent hand-eye coordination or athletic talent. Putting’s simplicity makes it golf’s great equalizer. You roll a ball along the ground with a flat-faced stick in the general direction of a hole nearly three times its size. Sure, green speeds vary wildly, and there are those diabolical breaks to deal with, but despite that, putting is truly golf’s most level playing field; it’s the one element of the game where even the highest handicappers can potentially compete straight up with the game’s most skilled. At the same time, there are few other situations (other than maybe the first tee) when we feel as much pressure as we do on the putting green.

Ben Hogan, during the latter part of his career — years that were marred by poor putting — claimed that putting shouldn’t even be a part of the game because, in his words, “There is no similarity between golf and putting; they are two different games, one played in the air, and the other on the ground.”

Now, Hogan suffered a serious case of the yips later in his career, and while this statement was likely uttered following a frustrating round of missed three-footers, it serves to highlight not only the differences between putting and the rest of the game, but how taxing on the nerves it can be for even the game’s greats.

Its inherent simplicity, the slow pace of the stroke, and how much time we are given to contemplate it, are in truth what sets us up. It’s golf’s free throw. We very often know exactly what to do, and how to do it, like when we’re faced with one of those straight three-footers, but with more time to think, it opens the door wide for the type of second-guessing that arises during those moments we feel a bit of pressure. And that’s the biggest part of the problem.

The self-sabotage that leads to missing relatively short easy putts, the reasons behind it, and practices to overcome it is something for a different article. What I really want to get into at the moment is a practice that I think can help ensure you never end up in that desperate place to begin with.

Most of us rarely practice our putting, and when we do, it’s in about the most useless way we can. We’ve all done it. You grab a sleeve of balls just prior to the round, head to the practice green, and begin rolling them from hole to hole around the typical nine-hole route. Now I could go into a whole host of reasons why this isn’t very helpful, but the No. 1 reason it’s such a pitifully poor practice is this: there is no pressure.

Early in my career, I worked at a club where there was at least one money game on the putting green every day, and many nights too. The members (and staff) putted aces, 5 for $5, rabbits, and many other games for hours on end, and when the sun went down they often switched on the clubhouse roof-mounted floodlights and continued into the wee hours. Many days (and nights) I witnessed hundreds of dollars change hands on that putting green, occasionally from my own, but in my younger days, that was fortunately an infrequent occurrence.

Those money games were a cherished part of the culture of that club and an incredibly good arena in which to learn to practice under pressure. To this day, I’ve never seen as many really good pressure putters (many of very average handicaps) as I did during that period, and when I think back, it’s no small wonder either.

The problem with practicing golf, or just about any other sport for that matter, is that it’s difficult to practice under the types of pressure we compete in. In 4 or 5 hours on the golf course we might only have a half dozen putts that really mean something, and maybe only 2 or 3 of those knee-knocking 3 footers with the match on the line or the chance to win a bet.

When I was younger and playing in those money games on the putting green, I had a meaningful putt every minute or two, for hours on end, and you either learned to handle that pressure pretty quickly or your hard-earned paycheck was being signed over to someone else. Now I’m not bringing this up to encourage gambling, as I know for some people that can become a serious issue, but rather to point out how the opportunity to practice repeatedly under pressure helped me learn to deal with those situations. And with how infrequently we even get the opportunity to face that same pressure when we actually play, it’s important to try do our best to simulate it as often as we can during practice.

So when it comes to my own students these days, I don’t necessarily encourage gambling (I don’t discourage a little bit of it either), but I do encourage putting and practicing for something. I’ll get three of my students together on the putting green and say “look, you guys putt for 30 minutes and the loser has to do 100 push-ups” or something similar. I’ll tell students to putt against a parent for who has to mow the lawn, do the dishes, or some other mundane household chore neither of them really wants to do. The point is to have something on the line, something that will make it really hurt to lose.

You can even do it by yourself. Wait to practice putting right before lunch or dinner and make a pact with yourself that you can’t eat until you make 15 three-footers in a row. Until you find a way to practice under pressure all that practice is really just that: practice. You shouldn’t be surprised if, when the chips are down, mindless practice doesn’t translate to improved performance. Hopefully, by learning to simulate pressure during practice, you’ll play better when the heat is really on.

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