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When we look at the anatomy of the arms and wrists, we quickly realize that we were built for slinging objects with great velocity.

In this video, we compare the release of baseball, hockey, fencing, golf and hammering, and we notice that… hey, there is no difference! When you use your body the way it is designed, you set yourself up for decades of strain-free use with high performance gains. Another side effect of this proper use? No more slice!

Watch the video to see how our arms and wrists are designed to be loaded, and then how the weight of our “instruments” release us through the task without any conscious thought on our part. Enjoy!

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Shawn Clement is the Director of the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn Clement was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee and was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet with 65 K subscribers on YouTube and 29 millions hits.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Dill Pickleson

    Mar 11, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Shawn, I’ve taken lesson from many famous instructors and have seen all the others videos, too. I just came to say you are a great orator and keep up the good work. Hard not to enjoy and learn something watching you.

  2. Ted

    Mar 11, 2017 at 12:09 am

    lots of ways to get it around on the golf course, this is one, may work for some not others…great thing about the game it is a never ending search for something to support the loss of one or two strokes in a round. Like the “Hammer” idea look up Jerry Heards Super Swing from 20 years ago…now that is the “Hammer” idea taken to the max…

  3. Shawn Clement

    Mar 10, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Hey man! All you need to do is try the drill!! You will feel for yourself how the weight of the club releases you! It is not your job to place the club; it is your job to use the weight of the club to perform a specific task with it! Try it and let me know how you do!
    See also “hammer through shawn clement” “fencing for power shawn clement” and “how arms and club release shawn clement” as well as “throwing the club shawn clement” on youtube!

  4. Bert

    Mar 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Tried this today and while making sure my right elbow was ahead of my right hip, I hit quite a few really nice powerful high draw shots. Boy did they feel so much better than my weak fade.

  5. DaveT

    Mar 10, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    You have to be careful with analogies. There are too many false analogies in golf instruction, and I think we’ve got one or two here. Just a few places where my mind rebelled:

    (1) Throwing a football lines up the radius and ulna. True. But pitching a baseball has radius and ulna in what was presented as a “weak position”. So you can pick and choose your analogies, but there are others that make the opposite point.

    (2) Continuing on this point, the hammer and sword analogies have the “impact” in the lined up position. If you did that in golf, you would hit the ball with the hosel, if you hit it at all. To get the clubface on the ball, you need the radius and ulna in what is called here the weak position at impact.

    (3) The hockey analogy is all about what the biomechanics community calls the “hand couple”. But in golf, the hand couple is not providing the power through most of the release; power comes from the moment of the pull on the handle. Encouraging a golfer to focus on hitting the ball with the hand couple is likely counterproductive.

    (4) “Engineers say” the force is 2000-3000 pounds per square inch. I’m an engineer, and I would NEVER say that. Pounds per square inch is a measure of pressure, not force.

    (5) As long as “compression” is just a buzzword, harmless and meaningless, I guess I won’t complain. But if you’re going to use it as a serious argument, you should say enough to distinguish it from ordinary momentum transfer. I don’t see genuine understanding conveyed here.

    Bottom line: there are so many errors in detail here that I don’t know what to believe and what to dismiss.

    • Shawn Clement

      Mar 10, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Hey Dave! Awesome reply, thank you for taking the time!
      Yes, agree with 1-Dustin Johnson would be the baseball and Bubba the Football; both can propel like crazy! 2-don’t agree there as there are G-forces at work tht you connot prevent the club head from being taken when in a full out kinetic chain; so the face of club comes around but only if the grip is strong enough…
      3-not encouraging anyone to do that; if you simply performed the drill with the sword without filters and felt how the weight of the shaft releases your anatomy; it would be very clear
      4-there are other engineers who say that (I am sure your clan is as varied as the golf clan as is the medical clan) and I am merely trying to demonstrate that there will be “an elastic collision” slowing down the club through impact that the Central Nervous System will compensate for in comparison to say “air or a whiffle ball” how would you describe it better so I can choose my words better next time?
      5-ok, let’s make this one crystal clear: our students are our best coaches as they convey their golden feedback to us as we teach them; I start with a solid understanding of human anatomy-blend that with breaking par both right and left hand and playing just about every sport in the book and growing up on a farm-apply this to 20 years of proper teaching 80 to 100 students a week after cutting my teeth for 10 years and get this validated byDOZENS OF MD’s including several orthopaedic surgeons and you get what you see today; so when I do a video like this, understand that you have literally, a stadium full of people speaking through me saying hey, this worked for me!!
      So please, this is not my first ride around the block; I have and continue to do my homework every day.

  6. Steve Wozeniak

    Mar 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    WRONG.

    This is teaching people how to shank it. At least he demonstrates how to do it correctly while hammering, and then screws it all up when telling people how it works at impact…..SHANK!!!!

    Steve Wozeniak PGA

    • Shawn Clement

      Mar 10, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Steve;
      This could not be farther from the intention; have you tried the drill? Did you feel how the weight of the instrument releases the anatomy? This is a universal movement of a human being.

    • doc_c

      Apr 12, 2017 at 5:52 am

      Dear Steve,

      more constructive criticism would be helpful if you feel like there are errors. your trumpian like attitude is quite unbecoming. But maybe you play golf with the guy, so who knows.

      Shawns anatomical understanding is spot on. As a physician, I can attest to that.
      cheers,

      doc c

    • JR

      Apr 20, 2017 at 12:16 am

      Hey Steve, you have crapped on Shawn twice in the comment thread, but you have failed to tell us the “right” way to do it.
      Your attitude toward other golf instructors is a huge turnoff, dont know why anybody would take a lesson from you the way you conduct yourself toward other golf pros.

  7. James

    Mar 10, 2017 at 12:59 am

    better have excellent hand eye control if your going to use this idea…this is the swing where you shoot 70 one day and 84 the next…major timing issues here…..I wonder how many new players watching this are going out and trying this idea on the first tee tomorrow…let me help “FORE RIGHT”.

  8. SoCal

    Mar 10, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Ah!!! Don’t think so…

  9. Joseph

    Mar 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    While I appreciate the comparisons, I’ve got to speak out against his thesis – that the timing of the wrist action is the same across various sports.

    The main problem I had picking up golf was overcoming the comparatively late wrist release (rotation) I’d learned playing baseball. Hitting to the opposite field with power in baseball requires a delayed wrist release, i.e. the wrists don’t begin to rotate until well after impact. The same action in golf leads blocks and slices.

    Consider the demos from the video, but imagine Shawn is wearing a pair of wrist watches. In the hammering motion, the face of the watch would be oriented about 90 degrees from the target line at impact. Same thing in the baseball demo; as the bat travels through the contact zone, the watch faces would be facing up and down.

    But in golf, at impact, the watch faces would be oriented more or less along the target line, meaning that the release has already begun and your wrists have already begun to rotate before contact is made.

    So for anyone struggling with a beginner’s slice, understand that, while the loading motion of the wrists is similar across sports, in golf, your wrists must begin to rotate in the last half to quarter of your downswing in order to square/close the club face at impact.

  10. Ian

    Mar 9, 2017 at 11:43 am

    When I try swing like that – my brain screams fore left.

    • Jim

      Mar 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Ian…Been there, done that! If I focus on releasing the club “at the ball” instead of following Shawn’s advice of releasing the club “To the Target” I can hit some nasty high hooks. OTOH, when I follow Shawn’s advice and focus on the Target, the same swing produces a tight, medium-high draw (his “Throw the Club” videos are awesome!) It’s kind of spooky, but changing the focus from the ball to the target down range makes the swing feel less powerful and more like a natural swinging / throwing motion, but the impact sensation is “WOW”…
      WARNING: any impulse at the top to “Crush” the ball for extra power instantly changes your focus to the ball and will validate your brain’s “Fore Left!” screams and can produce some lethal OTT snap hooks that threaten the OB boundaries of the next fairway!

      • Ian

        Mar 9, 2017 at 10:31 pm

        Well said. I’m just not sure it’s worth the risk – OTT snap hook spells disaster and can wreck my confidence/score card at the same time.

      • Shawn Clement

        Mar 10, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        Awesome comment!!

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Instruction

WATCH: How to take your hands out of your swing

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In this video, I share two great drills that help golfers take their hands out of the golf swing. These drills encourage more rotation through impact with quieter hands to improve consistency.

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A simple formula to figure out the right ball position for you

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In this video, I offer my simple formula on ball position that has seen my students produce more consistency. Watch to see how you can adapt your ball position to hit more shots on target.

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How to fix the root cause of hitting your golf shots fat

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Of all the shots golfers fear, hitting the ball FAT has to be right up at the top of the list. At least it heads the list of commonly hit poor shots (let’s leave the shank and the whiff out for now). After fat, I’d list topping, followed by slicing and then hooking. They are all round-killers, although the order of the list is an individual thing based on ability. Professionals despise a hook, but club golfers by and large fear FAT. Why?

First of all, it’s embarrassing. Secondly, it goes nowhere — at least compared to thin — and it can be physically painful! So to avoid this dreaded miss, golfers do any number of things (consciously or subconsciously) to avoid it. The pattern develops very early in one’s golf life. It does not take very many fat shots for golfers to realize that they need to do something differently. But rather than correct the problem with the correct move(s), golfers often correct a fault with a fault.

Shortening the radius (chicken-winging), raising the swing center, early lower-body extension, holding on through impact (saving it), running the upper body ahead of the golf ball and even coming over the top are all ways of avoiding fat shots. No matter how many drills I may offer for correcting any of those mistakes, none will work if the root cause of fat is not addressed.

So what causes fat? We have to start with posture. Some players simply do not have enough room to deliver the golf club on a good plane from inside to inside. Next on the list of causes is a wide, early cast of the club head. This move is invariably followed by a break down in the lead arm, holding on for dear life into impact, or any of the others…

“Swaying” (getting the swing center too far off the golf ball) is another cause of fat, as well as falling to the rear foot or “reversing the weight.” Both of these moves can cause one to bottom out well behind the ball. Finally, an excessive inside-out swing path (usually the fault of those who hook the ball) also causes an early bottom or fat shot, particularly if the release is even remotely early. 

Here are 4 things to try if you’re hitting fat shots

  1. Better Posture: Bend forward from the hips so that arms hang from the shoulders and directly over the tips of the toes, knees slightly flexed over the shoelaces, seat out for balance and chin off the chest!
  2. Maintaining the Angles: Casting, the natural urge to throw the clubhead at the golf ball, is a very difficult habit to break if one is not trained from the start. The real correction is maintaining the angle of the trail wrist (lag) a little longer so that the downswing is considerably more narrow than the backswing. But as I said, if you have been playing for some time, this is risky business. Talk to your instructor before working on this!
  3. Maintaining the Swing Center Over the Golf Ball: In your backswing, focus on keeping your sternum more directly over the golf ball (turning in a barrel, as Ernest Jones recommended). For many, this may feel like a “reverse pivot,” but if you are actually swaying off the ball it’s not likely you will suddenly get stuck with too much weight on your lead foot.
  4. Setting Up a Little More Open: If your swing direction is too much in-to-out, you may need to align your body more open (or feel that way). You could also work with a teaching aid that helps you feel the golf club is being swung more out in front of you and more left (for right-handers) coming through — something as simple as a head cover inside the golf ball. You’ll hit the headcover if you are stuck too far inside coming down.

The point is that most players do what they have to do to avoid their disastrous result. Slicers swing way left, players who fight a hook swing inside out and anybody who has ever laid sod over the golf ball will find a way to avoid doing it again. This, in my opinion, is the evolution of most swing faults, and trying to correct a fault with a fault almost never ends up well.

Get with an instructor, get some good videos (and perhaps even some radar numbers) to see what you are actually doing. Then work on the real corrections, not ones that will cause more trouble.

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