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How to Simplify the Arm-Body Connection

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Making an efficient, yet consistent golf swing is like painting a masterpiece. I don’t believe that anyone can master the golf swing… at least not with 100 percent consistency. Just as with the greatest painters in history, perfection is elusive. Physical inconsistencies, psychological distractions, fatigue, course conditions and weather conditions make it almost impossible to always perform at your peak in golf. But masterpieces aren’t meant to be perfect, and neither is your golf swing. That’s probably why we love golf so much.

With that said, we can still do some things to improve our consistency. I like to call it “damage prevention.” I’ve found that the fastest way to improvement is not to make your best shots better, but to instead to make your bad shots less bad.

The Building Blocks

There are many things that affect how you make your golf swing, but none are more important than what I like to call the building blocks: setup, posture, and grip. They are like the frame, the canvas and the paint that will assist you in creating your masterpiece.

To learn more about the building blocks, please check out some of my earlier content that I have produced for GolfWRX. I go into more detail and explain other factors such as how physical limitations and having the right mindset will affect your golf swing and your game.

My 2 Favorite No. 1 Tips to Improve Consistency

What does that even mean, right? Well, I like to give a little variety to my clients. What works for one golfer may not work for another, and vice versa. Therefore, I have two No. 1 tips to help with consistency. With a little luck, one of these two exercises will mesh well with your swing, too.

Golfers that are struggling with consistency are often all over the place with their body and their arms. The only way they can recover is by compensating — they’re trying to save the shot in some enormously awkward way to get back to the ball. This usually leads to inconsistency and — from what I hear and see on the course — the feeling of having it one day and losing it the next.

The two tips in the video are my favorites because they generally offer the most bang for your buck. They pretty much force you to use your body to move more efficiently in order to swing the golf club in balance. And moving your body more efficiently can only mean one thing… improved shot consistency.

The first exercise really simplifies how you make your golf swing. It should provide you with a certain feeling of confidence as you make a simple turn back and through with your arms connected to your body.

The second exercise is a real game changer. By trying to prevent the hinging of your wrist in your backswing, your instincts will take over and say, “Hey, if I can’t hinge my wrists I’d better use my body to swing the club back and up.” The wrists, as I mentioned in the video above, are an incredibly important part of the golf swing. I see more golfers struggling with consistency simply because they become too “wristy.” So by taking the wrists out of the swing, or at least making them more passive, golfers are simplifying the swing.

My personal experience when using this tip with clients is that the movement of the wrists becomes delayed, which is what I am trying to encourage. The wrists will set as the body transitions from the backswing to the forward swing, which usually leads to more consistent ball striking as the club follows the turning of the body through impact instead of the opposite happening.

If you like these tips and you want more, then be sure to follow my YouTube channel. My mission is to help you bring back the fun to your performance!

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Adam is a PGA Professional and TPI Certified Fitness and Medical Coach. He enjoys working with golfers of all ages and levels of expertise, and his approach is to look at every golfer as an individual to try to help them achieve their goals as effectively and efficiently as possible. He is also the author of two books: The Golfers Handbook - Save your golf game and your life! (available on iTunes and Amazon) And his new book, My Mind Body Golf Please visit the links below to find out more about Adams books. http://mymindbodygolf.weebly.com http://www.golfers-handbook.com "The golf swing may be built from the ground up, but the game of golf is built from the head down" - My Mind Body Golf Aside being an author, Adam is also a public speaker, doing workshops and lectures introducing concepts of athletic movement for golfers of all ages and levels of expertise.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. RBImGuy

    Jun 13, 2018 at 11:52 am

    to difficult

  2. Geohogan

    Jun 8, 2018 at 9:43 am

    In order for wrists to be ‘free hinges’, the thumb and index finger need to be loose on the grip.
    Using thumb and index finger like pincers will lock up the wrist.

  3. Kyle

    Jun 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Tip #1 = Jim McLean ‘connection’
    Tip #2 = Homer Kelley TGM

  4. acew/7iron

    Jun 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    My wrist are naturally resistant to becoming involved in my golf swing…Matter of fact, my swing has been as he described in the second drill for over a decade. Im playing more golf in retirement and trying to coax my wrist to be a bigger part of things by exercising them regularly with a weighted club and trying grip variations. My point is…when my wrist play along in tune to everything else the results are magical. Its like a watching a ball flight someone else hit and it soars many yards past my usual distance.
    Ill keep working on wrist movement because IMO it separates a great shot from a good one.

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Instruction

Gabe Hjertstedt teaches Doc Rivers how to hit the lofted chip shot

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In the first episode of this instructional series with Short Game Guru Gabe Hjertstedt and NBA Coach for the Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers, Gabe teaches Doc how to hit the lofted chip shot to get the ball to stop quicker on the green.

Look out for more videos this week including more from Gabe and Doc’s short game session, their full lesson, and our interview with Doc.

Enjoy the first video below!

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WATCH: How to hit your driver more consistently

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In this video, I share two great drills that will help you improve your driving today.

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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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