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Why You Should Exit Left In Your Golf Swing (Like Hogan And The Pros)

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In this video, I share why I believe golfers should exit left in their swings to create the correct body and club release.

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Find him on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/adaviesgolf Advanced Fellow of the PGA Head Golf Professional The Marriott Forest of Arden The Golfing Machine Authorised Instructor TPI Certified Fitness Golf Instructor PGA Swing Lecturer PGA Swing Examiner PGA Qualified in 1999, Achieving 3rd position Trainee of the Year Roles Former Academy Coach Wales South West Squad Performance Director Midland Performance Golf Academy Coach to GB & I Squad Member Head Coach to Birmingham University Teams Coach to Solihull College AASE England programme Coached Numerous County Squads including Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Derby. Philosophy I am a highly self-motivated full time coach committed to improve players of all standards. Through continually developing my skills and knowledge I am considered one of the leading coaches and have been recently voted in Golf Worlds top 100 coaches. Having excellent communication skills enables me to be able to deliver first class tuition to all levels of golfers and this is reflected in my achievements from my players and personal accolades.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. ButchT

    Sep 29, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Pretty funny “Highpro” discussing rational thought and in the same paragrap referring to a “god” having mercy on a soul! Talk about irrational thinking!

  2. joro

    Sep 5, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Theories are marvelous but that is what they are. Everyone is different yet most teachers teach what they do and not what the player needs. The first thing they need is skill and ability, something most Golfers don’t have. Then they need to see what works for them, not Hogan or anyone else. We all have a skill level and that is it, a level whether it be great or ok, it is our level.

    As an old guy that taught Golf for over 40 yrs. and a really good player in my day I have seen it all and it ain’t pretty. Some have the ability and some have no chance and they are the vast majority who pour money into teachers pockets. The First and most important thing is the game should be played naturally by letting your body control the swing. Start off with swinging the arms and the body will react. Hit the ball with your strong hand, the hips will go along and make a good finish. For a right hander it is a right hand hit, or you can even call it a swat.

    Just let the club do its thing and make a good finish, that controls the direction. Finish with the hitting had next to your ear and the club over your shoulder. I you are right handed it is the left shoulder of course. The single most important thing to me in the swing is TEMPO. I always tell players to swing at 60% and go from there up and down until you find your best tempo, it is way too simple yet we do nothing to keep it that way. We attack it with vengeance to hit the little White Ball out of the Park, losing our balance and hitting it who knows where and nowhere. Today there is way too much garbage about what the swing should be and how it should be done and totally confusing so a few Gurus can spread their BS and make a lot of money.

    Back in the day we did not have Gurus, or 300 yd Drives, or hot Balls. We were self taught and just picked up a club and went at it and the gifted became good while like today the rest just kept on trying. Guys I played with like Tommy Bolt who in my opinion was the best ball striker I ever saw, and guys of that era were all like me, self taught. Even a guy like Sam Snead taught himself, but we all had the skills to be good. Take it for what it is worth and rather than follow all these quacks, try figuring it out for yourself what works for you. And remember TEMPO and Balance is the key.

    • Hogan Fan

      Sep 5, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      While there is a great benefit to digging your own personal technique out of practice sessions of trial and error, even Ben Hogan wrote 2 books on swing instruction and specifically mentioned his reason for writing them were so others could capitalize and build on his knowledge without having to start from scratch. Hogan basically said that by the time he figured out the swing, he was physically incapable of adequately performing the motion. Instruction books and videos just speed the process but it certainly helps to have talent, desire and an ability to sort through some of the BS and experimental thought that is in todays golf instruction. I don’t agree with some of your thoughts but I will agree that balance and tempo are key factors to keeping things under control and on a decent track. Best wishes.

      • joro

        Sep 6, 2017 at 11:54 am

        True, but in films it showed even Hogan did not do what he perceived he did. He was a great tinkerer and player no doubt, but what he enjoyed was the search for the perfect swing, but what is perfect? I think it is what works for you.

        But, as we get older it goes on and on. Thanks for the opinion, we all have one. Mine is based on years and years as a player and a teacher and what I saw.

        Take care and enjoy the game.

  3. Andrew Cooper

    Sep 3, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Hogan’s swing, or any other great player you want to pick-was unique; built around his physique, the equipment of his era, his feels, influences, environment etc. Also it evolved over time. Hogan was a notorious tinkerer and practiced probably more than anyone. He also detested hitting hooks, and much of his technique was designed to guard against it. Trying to emulate/copy what he did (or somebody’s idea of what he did) is probably a bad idea for the vast majority of golfers.

  4. Nathan

    Sep 3, 2017 at 10:50 am

    http://www.stevewozeniak.com/2014/04/swinging-left-is-for-amateurs-2/

    Swinging left is an awful idea. Not sure what else to say…

    • Adam

      Sep 3, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Great find, Nathan, but what this reveals is that the followthru is different for different body shapes and sizes.
      A short stubby guy like Alistair abbreviates his followthru and carries the club around his body.
      The golfers in all the pictures in your linked article are taller and more slender and the momentum of the followthru pulls their arms and club outwards and not around.
      So it all depends on your body type.
      Both followthru styles are natural, however I’ll stick with Alistair because most amateurs and novice golfers tend to block their hips at impact and then come out of the shot. Alistair’s advice encourages the golfer to clear his hips and stay down resulting in the club coming around in the followthru.

      • Nathan

        Sep 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

        I don’t agree.

        Going left is just incorrect. Plain and simple.

        Golfers are not blocking their hips for the reasons you’ve mentioned before.

        Going left is just a ‘trick’ (a bad one) to get the hips around a touch more.

        It’s sad that golfing instructors are still pushing this BS.

        • Adam

          Sep 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm

          Your comments are just personal assertions with no explanations. I have explained why golfers block their hips and cause different followthru’s.
          Perhaps you can offer us a bit more detail for your reasons why golfers tend to block their hips, otherwise your views are unsubstantiated.
          I’ve told you the examples shown by Wozeniak are slim golfers who can fully rotate without body mass interference. Alistair shows us the only feasible followthru for his stout body type, and then he prescribes it for most golfers.
          And yes, I’ve seen golfers fling their arms and club into the followthru and then follow up with hip rotation, but that’s because they stall their hips going into impact and then restart the rotation after impact. Swinging around to the ‘left’ may unlock their hips from blocking, as Alistair demonstrates.

        • Hogan Fan

          Sep 3, 2017 at 8:41 pm

          He mentioned he was actually looking for a fairly neutral path. I’m not sure you are understanding what he is saying. I used to agree with you but in this case, I’m totally in agreement with the video. I watch a lot of Christo Garcia on YouTube and his MySwingEvolution. He has some great videos on this and I have found it to work like a dream. In addition, this would parallel what Jim Hardy teaches as an RIT (Right Arm Inward Throw) release. The wording sounds terrible but it is 100% correct. A large number of the best ball strikers in the world are One Plane swingers and RIT releasers. Buy Jim Hardy’s book “The Release”. You’ll probably love the other release he speaks of (LOP-Left Arm Outward Pull) but both are valid. I love this one for certain.

          • golfreality

            Sep 5, 2017 at 9:21 am

            the fact you actually watch christo garcia says alot he is completely clueless

            • Hogan Fan

              Sep 5, 2017 at 11:07 pm

              Have you watched Christo Garcia? What do you not like? Please be specific. I have studied the golf swing for about 35 years and taught for 25. I have learned a lot from many different people and Christo Garcia has many thoughtful insights into the golf swing. Much of what he says is dead on and although he is specifically pursing a “Hogan swing”, it is a highly efficient way to swing the club for those who are physically capable. Its easy to say someone is clueless without giving specifics. Please expound on your vast knowledge. In all seriousness, I am interested in why you believe what you believe.

    • Andrew Cooper

      Sep 4, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Agreed. There isn’t a good player in the world who’d get anywhere near hitting that inside stick. Even the pros on the video aren’t really doing anything more than letting the club take its naturally arc back to the inside after impact-they’re certainly not artificially pulling the club across themselves.

    • Highpro

      Sep 5, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      At no point in this rambling incoherent blog post does the author come anywhere close to a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having clicked this link. I award you no points, you know nothing of the golf swing, and may god have mercy on your soul.

  5. Adam

    Sep 2, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    What Alistair failed to say was that your arms and club will fling outwards if the body rotation stops and the hips block. The arms and club have no other path than down the line.
    Completing the hip rotation will carry the shoulders around together with the arms and club.
    Why do golfers block their hip rotation? It’s because they go erect into impact and their body stiffens up with hips extended open and no lateral torso tilt. This is the natural instinct but it is anti-golfswing.

  6. Caroline

    Sep 2, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    You will know you did this wrong when you hear the plate Glass patio window to the left (right Hand golfer) of the fairway shatter…be careful this idea is NOT fantastic for the weekend warrior…it is more for the real single digit player and the ones you see each week on TV.

  7. Firsttimeposter

    Sep 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Hey Alistair, cool video.. with the exit left, how would one work on hitting a draw..

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Instruction

6 things to consider before aiming at the flagstick

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One of the most impactful improvements you can make for your game is to hit more greens; you’ll have more birdie opportunities and will avoid bogeys more often. In fact, hitting more greens is the key to golfing success, in my opinion… more so than anything else.

However, there is a misconception among players when it comes to hitting approach shots. When people think “greens,” they tend to only think about the flagstick, when the pin may be the last thing you should be looking at. Obviously, we’d like to stick it on every shot, but shooting at the pin at the wrong time can cost you more pain than gain.

So I’d like to give you a few rules for hitting greens and aiming at the flagstick.

1) Avoid Sucker Pins

I want you to think about Hole No. 12 at Augusta and when the pin is on the far right side of the green… you know, the Sunday pin. Where do the pros try and aim? The center of the green! That’s because the right pin is by all means a sucker pin. If they miss the shot just a touch, they’re in the water, in the bunker, or left with an impossible up-and-down.

Sucker pins are the ones at the extreme sides of the green complex, and especially the ones that go against your normal shot pattern.

So go back to No. 12 with a far right pin, and say your natural shot shape is right-to-left. Would you really aim out over the water and move it towards the pin? That would be a terrible idea! It’s a center of the green shot all day, even for those who work it left-to-right. Learn to recognize sucker pins, and you won’t short side yourself ever again.

2) Are You a Good Bunker Player?

A “sucker pin,” or just a difficult hole location, is often tucked behind a bunker. Therefore, you should ask yourself, “am I a good bunker player?” Because if you are not, then you should never aim at a pin stuck behind one. If I wanted to shoot at pins all day, I’d make sure I was the best lob wedge player around. If you are not a short-game wizard, then you will have a serious problem attacking pins all round.

For those who lack confidence in their short game, or simply are not skilled on all the shots, it’s a good idea to hit to the fat part of the green most of the time. You must find ways to work around your weaknesses, and hitting “away” from the pin isn’t a bad thing, it’s a smart thing for your game.

3) Hitting the Correct Shelf

I want you to imagine a pin placed on top of a shelf. What things would you consider in order to attack this type of pin? You should answer: shot trajectory, type of golf ball, your landing angle with the club you’re hitting, the green conditions, and the consequences of your miss. This is where people really struggle as they forget to take into account these factors.

If you don’t consider what you can and cannot do with the shot at hand, you will miss greens, especially when aiming at a pin on a shelf. Sometimes, you will simply have to aim at the wrong level of the green in order to not bring the big number into play. Remember, if you aim for a top shelf and miss, you will leave yourself with an even more difficult pitch shot back onto that same shelf you just missed.

4) Know your Carry Distances

In my opinion, there is no excuse these days to not know your carry distances down to the last yard. Back when I was growing up, I had to go to a flat hole and chart these distances as best I could by the ball marks on the green. Now, I just spend an hour on Trackman.

My question to you is if you don’t know how far you carry the ball, how could you possibly shoot at a pin with any type of confidence? If you cannot determine what specific number you carry the ball, and how the ball will react on the green, then you should hit the ball in the center of the green. However, if the conditions are soft and you know your yardages, then the green becomes a dart board. My advice: spend some time this off-season getting to know your distances, and you’ll have more “green lights” come Spring.

5) When do you have the Green Light?

Do you really know when it’s OK to aim at the pin? Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help:

  • How are you hitting the ball that day?
  • How is your yardage control?
  • What is the slope of the green doing to help or hinder your ball on the green?
  • Do you have a backstop behind the pin?

It’s thoughts such as these that will help you to determine if you should hit at the pin or not. Remember, hitting at the pin (for amateurs) does not happen too often per nine holes of golf. You must leave your ego in the car and make the best decisions based on what information you have at that time. Simple mistakes on your approach shot can easily lead to bogeys and doubles.

6) When is Any Part of the Green Considered a Success?

There are some times when you have a terrible angle, or you’re in the rough/a fairway bunker. These are times when you must accept “anywhere on the green.”

Left in these situations, some players immediatly think to try and pull off the “miracle” shot, and wonder why they compound mistakes during a round. Learn to recognize if you should be happy with anywhere on the green, or the best place to miss the ball for the easiest up and down.

Think of Ben Hogan at Augusta on No. 11; he said that if you see him on that green in regulation then you know he missed the shot. He decided that short right was better than even trying to hit the green… sometimes you must do this too. But for now analyze your situation and make the best choice possible. When in doubt, eliminate the big numbers!

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Instruction

Is There An Ideal Backswing?

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In this video, I talk about the backswing and look into optimal positions. I also discuss the positives and negatives of different backswing positions.

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Build A More Consistent Short Game Through Better Body Movement

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So far in my collection of articles on GolfWRX, I’ve talked at length about the importance of posture, stability and movement patterns in the full swing, particularly utilizing the GravityFit equipment for feedback and training load. Many coaches use the same equipment to teach better movement in the putting, chipping, and pitching actions.

To help give some more insight into exactly how they do this, I have recruited Matt Ballard to co-author this article. Matt is an Australian-based coach and short game specialist who has been working with Adam Scott for the past year.

Matt Ballard (right) with Adam Scott.

According to Matt, the short game issue that the club players he coaches struggle with is contact and delivering consistent loft with their wedges.

“Most people tend to get steep, the handle comes in first and not enough loft is delivered,” he says. “This means that the bounce of the wedge isn’t being used properly, which makes control of contact, trajectory, and distance very difficult. ”

As Matt explains in the video below, this problem tends to manifest itself in chips and pitches that are either fat or thin, fly to short or not far enough, and either check up too soon or go rolling on past the pin.

The really frustrating part is the inconsistency. Not knowing how the ball is going to react makes committing to a shot extremely difficult. This has the unnerving effect of turning a simple task into something difficult… and pars into bogeys or worse. For the past few months, Matt has been using the GravityFit TPro to teach correct set up posture and body movement for chipping and pitching.

“I use the TPro to first of all establish spine and shoulder position,” Matt says. “I like my students to have the feel of their shoulders and forearms being externally rotated (turned out). From this position, it’s much easier to control the clubface (i.e. not getting it too shut or too open). The second benefit of using the TPro is controlling the golf club radius during the swing, with the radius being the distance the club head is from the center of the body. Controlling the radius is paramount to becoming an excellent wedge player. The third reason I use it is to help teach that pure rotation from the thoracic spine (mid/upper back), minimizing the excessive right side bend (for a right handed player) that gets so many people into trouble.”

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Nick demonstrating how TPro drills can be performed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essentially, Matt uses the GravityFit TPro to train a simple movement pattern that, once mastered, all but eliminate the typical problems normally associated with chipping and pitching.

“When (golfers) learn to turn using their thoracic spine and keep their arms in front of their body, it has a dramatic effect on how they deliver the club to the ball,” Matt says. “They are now able to maintain width or radius on either side of the ball, shallow out the club, and engage the bounce (sole) of the wedge to interact with the turf effectively, which is a key trait of all excellent wedge players. Doing this greatly increases their margin for error from a strike perspective and produces a far more consistent outcome in terms of loft, trajectory and distance control.”

Here is Matt’s 5-step process that you can follow with the TPro:

  1. Push handles out in front of your body, keeping slight bend in elbow.
  2. Stretch tall. Feel the green spikes in your middle/upper back and your shoulder blades on the paddles.
  3. Hinge forward into posture for pitching or chipping (the shorter the shot, narrower the stance.).
  4. Slowly turn chest into backswing, keep arms out in front of body, and maintain pressure on the spikes and paddles.
  5. Turn through to finish position using normal tempo, maintaining same pressure on the TPro and keeping arms in front of your body.

In summary, using the TPro and Matt’s drill can help you train a simple movement pattern that can give you far more control over the strike, trajectory and distance of your chips and pitches.

Click here to learn more about the TPro. To discover more pearls of wisdom from Matt, take a look at his website here and his social media activity here.

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