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Between clubs? Choking up is always the best strategy

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What should golfers do when they’re stuck between yardages? Alter their swing? Hit their shorter club harder? Hit their longer club easier?

The answer is neither. I recommended that most golfers simply “choke up.”

Think about it: If you shorten the club by choking up, your swing will shorten, your clubhead speed will decrease and the ball won’t carry as far. It’s an easy solution to a problem that almost all of us make too hard.

Of course, there are situations when golfers must alter their swings or hit the ball differently, but thankfully these situations are limited. That’s why I recommend choking up 100 percent of the time for most golfers. At the higher levels there are a few other options, but choking up is the easiest, most consistent solution.

In efforts to help you understand what “choking up” does, I hit a few shots on my Trackman so we could look at what happens to ball flight when you hit a shot full, choke up 1 inch and choke up 2 inches. Here’s the data.

Stock 7 iron swing

Stock7

  • Club head speed was 82.3 mph.
  • Ball Speed was 113.4 mph.
  • Launch was 17.2 degrees with a spin rate of 6836 rpm.
  • Height was 103.6 feet and the landing angle was 55.6 degrees.
  • Carry was 152.3 yards. Given its spin rate, height and landing angle, this ball is going to sit on the green quickly.

Stock 7 iron swing (Choked up 1 inch)

ChokedDown1inch

  • Club head speed was 79.0 mph.
  • Ball Speed was 107.9 mph.
  • Launch was 17.2 degrees with a spin rate of 6477 rpm.
  • Height was 80.5 feet and the landing angle was 50.9 degrees.
  • The ball carried 139.7 when choked up 1 inch versus my stock carry of 152.3. That’sa difference of 12.6 yards
  • What is interesting to note is that even with the height going down by 23.1 feet the landing angle only went down by 4.7 degrees. That helped the ball only chase forward 3.5 yards.
  • It’s nice to see that the ball will sit rather quickly when choking down 1 inch and that the spin rate stays within 359 rpm’s of my stock shot.
  • The Verdict? When choking down 1 inch you will see a lower clubhead speed, a flatter launch, a shorter carry and shots will stop on the green almost as quick as your stock shot.

Stock 7 iron (Choked up 2 inches)

ChoedDown2inches

  • Club head speed was 77.4 mph.
  • Ball speed was 102.3 mph.
  • Launch was 13.5 degrees with a spin rate of 5592 rpm.
  • Height was 61.5 feet and the landing angle was 45.3 degrees.
  • The ball carried 152.3 yards with my stock shot, 139.7 yards choked up 1 inch and 131.2 yards choked up 2 inches. It’s obvious to see that choking up can alter your distance by over 20 yards.
  • The spin rate dropped from 6936 rpm to 5592 rpm, a difference of 1344 rpms and this greatly influences the release of the ball on the green. With this shot, I saw a roll out of 6.8 yards (20.4 feet).
  • The Verdict? As the launch, height and spin rate decrease you will see a flatter landing angle on this shot at 45.3 degrees, which will cause the ball to run out a touch more. So choking up more than 1 inch will cause the ball to chase a touch more on the green.
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Tom F. Stickney II, is a specialist in Biomechanics for Golf, Physiology, and 3d Motion Analysis. He has a degree in Exercise and Fitness and has been a Director of Instruction for almost 30 years at resorts and clubs such as- The Four Seasons Punta Mita, BIGHORN Golf Club, The Club at Cordillera, The Promontory Club, and the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. His past and present instructional awards include the following: Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Golf Digest Top 50 International Instructor, Golf Tips Top 25 Instructor, Best in State (Florida, Colorado, and California,) Top 20 Teachers Under 40, Best Young Teachers and many more. Tom is a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 25 people in the world. Tom is TPI Certified- Level 1, Golf Level 2, Level 2- Power, and Level 2- Fitness and believes that you cannot reach your maximum potential as a player with out some focus on your physiology. You can reach him at [email protected] and he welcomes any questions you may have.

70 Comments

70 Comments

  1. Sodapoppin

    Sep 23, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Hi Tom,

    What exactly do you mean with “chokin up”? The logical explanation will be to “grip down” on the club, and would also make sense.

  2. Kevin Russell

    Sep 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

    A quick question on your article about choking down an inch with your stock 7 are you starting at the butt end of the club or how far down do you grip for a stock shot?

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Yes from the butt end. I grip it just on the edge of the grip personally

  3. Mike

    Sep 5, 2014 at 2:55 am

    Hi,

    Nice data with your story. How you manage the Lie-angle change when choking up? With 2″ the lie-angle is so much different which should turn the ball more fade.

    Thank’s for your good story.

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 5, 2014 at 9:03 am

      You need to practice a touch to manage the length changes.

  4. Jack F

    Sep 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Tom… interesting and helpful article. One thing that may need to be emphasized (which you already eluded to) is the importance of the quality of ball striking and how it relates to all this data and your test. Every experiment requires assumptions to be made. This experiment assumes equal quality of contact at impact, which many may not have. Some may actually INCREASE the quality of impact which could provide opposite results. For me, early in the season or after an extended break, thus method wouldn’t work, as my ball striking is lacking. I’m sure this happens to a lot of you.

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 4, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Centered impact for different players can be length dependent.

  5. Stewart

    Sep 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I enjoy going down the shaft on shots but for me they end up going the same length and often even further into the wind.
    This is due to me being a sweeper of the ball with my full swing and have around a 0* AOA but when I go down the shaft I tend to keep my weight towards the left and have around a 3-4* downward AOA which ends up a great flight for the wind but tricky to judge at times.

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      The downward aoa shifts path to the rt and this coupled with more shaft lean can cause some distance control issues.

  6. Fore!

    Sep 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    So when choking up, I should still try and replicate a full swing as if I was hitting it with a normal grip? I’ve gotten in the mindset that if I’m choking up, I swing easier too. But really it should be just a normal full swing and ‘shortening’ the club is what alters the club speed, not me?

    • tom stickney

      Sep 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      The swing will naturally be a touch tighter due to the shorter club

  7. slide13

    Sep 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Nice article, very useful, especially as I consider going out with a half-set in a Sunday bag for some casual rounds. I’ll experiment to see if this holds true. Great to see the numbers.

    I wonder how the yardage changes will hold consistent as one moves through the set. In other words, does choking down 1″ on a 4 iron yield a larger or smaller change in distance than doing so with a 7 iron.

  8. David Smith

    Sep 4, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Isn’t it choking down? I’ve actually never heard someone say “choking up” in this context. Either way, great tips! Always a pleasure seeing what 1-2 inches can do 😉

  9. Jacob

    Sep 3, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Isn’t the standard gap between clubs 10-15 yards? If so, by choking up 1″ and hitting it 12.6 yards less, why wouldn’t you just hit a full 8 iron?

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Not everyone has all standard gaps

      • Jacob

        Sep 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

        Good point. This would be handy if a player has a large gap between wedges. I myself have a 50* and 56* only and can think of a few occasions in my last round where I might have done well to choke up an inch on the 50* rather than hit 56*

    • eric

      Sep 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Choke up 1/2″

  10. Desmond

    Sep 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

    By the way, commend you for the subject, condensed presentation, and showing the stats. Appreciate it.

  11. Don

    Sep 3, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Tom, a very useful and straight forward article. Thank you! So if we keep this conclusion in mind and we apply it to a driver, can you help me with a conundrum. I am trying to find the optimum driver. My swing speed is between 95-98 mph. When I try to increase my launch, my spin jumps up to high and when I try to lower my spin the launch gets to low. I am considering trying a driver shorter than 45 1/2 inches, but if your conclusion holds constant than my launch will get lower and my speed will decrease. I am a scratch golfer and center impact is pretty consistent. I would love to know your thoughts.

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

      It sounds like a vertical impact problem. Hitting it low in the face gives you low launch high spin and vice versa in the upper part if the face. I’d schedule a fitting with a TrackMan and some dr scholl’s ASAP.

  12. Pingback: Between Clubs? Choking Up is Always the Best Strategy | Golf Gear Select

  13. CD

    Sep 3, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Nice, simple article, no need for all these technical questions, or to delve into the ‘why’, I just I liked the fact that interestingly you get to a point and it releases more, and I’m looking forward to feeling and seeing different shots.

    Amazing how often something simple you learn as a beginner gets over-looked with time.

    Thanks

  14. John

    Sep 3, 2014 at 5:04 am

    You guys kill me sometimes … Tom offered a very good tip and i thought it was worded very well and easy to understand and instead of just thanking the man for his work and very helpful advice you want to chastise him for the way he said it .. good grief can’t anyone just say thanks or say nothing at all??

    Thanks Tom for a very good tip that is very helpful !!!!

  15. B

    Sep 3, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Great article, thank you! I play with a lot of spin. I’ve been trying to reduce it through equipment changes, but ultimately, I know that a conscious effort to change course strategy is going to be the only effective solution. Basically, I can’t hold an 8I (and under) on greens that have a slight incline, due to the ridiculous amounts of backspin. This article has got me thinking… maybe the solution is to take two clubs extra (i.e. 6I instead of 8I), grip down 2″, take an extra 1000RPM spin off, and HOPEFULLY hold the green.

    • Joe

      Sep 3, 2014 at 1:30 am

      How about you play a lower spin ball…until the time when you plan on buying new clubs, at which point you can get fitted for lower spin shafts?

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

      You have too much spinloft at impact hence the reason why it’s spinning too much. Hit your shots a touch lower without digging down any deeper and the spin should come down.

  16. james

    Sep 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    My regular swing already incorporates quite a bit of choking down (ala Anthony Kim) and doing so has never altered my distance. In fact, distance has increased due to more consistent sweetspot-striking. Would you recommend I further choke down or would you recommend some other tip? Thank you for your articles, they have been wonderful for me.

    • tom stickney

      Sep 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Thank you…experiment…I’d say if you choke down further you might find that yardage comes off as well.

  17. Brian

    Sep 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I have been trying to improve my course management and making intelligent decisions this year. I tried this on Sunday whereby the pin was towards the back but if I hit my nine iron the proper distance I was flirting with back edge on a green where you do not want to go over the back. However the pitching wedge would be at front of the green and no way would get back there. I decided to choke down one inch and I nailed it pin high. Was wondering how to go about figuring out an approximate choke down yardage subtraction. Perhaps a simple rule of thumb for myself. Time to hit the simulator/good winter project.

    • tom stickney

      Sep 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Everyone is different….it’s a feel thing

  18. John

    Sep 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Something I noticed when you do this is I get a bit of a fade as a result of the club being held a fraction more toe down. Something to keep in mind. At first I thought I was putting a different swing on it, but it was happening too consistently to put down to anything else. It’s not a huge difference, but definitely a few yards.

    • tom stickney

      Sep 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      It can hang a touch if you are not careful

  19. John

    Sep 2, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I have found recently when I choke up on the club a 1/2 to 1 inch and take my stock swing, I almost always hit the ball more solid and consequently farther! The whole smash factor thing. Now I am consciously aware that I am taking my stock swing so I definitely believe your advice to be quite sound. So, I’ll either shorten my clubs (duh) or choke down a little farther and allow a smoother, shorter swing to happen. Thanks for the article. Simple and easy implement.

  20. Ken

    Sep 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Great article. Personally, I like to use the term ‘Grip Down,’ rather than ‘Choke Up.’ Just hate that “C” word.

    • tom stickney

      Sep 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      The word “choke” has no power unless you allow it to conjure up bad thoughts

  21. Peter Klemperer

    Sep 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve been doing this with my wedges on the advice of the Pelz book. Now I’ll do it with all my irons. Might even mark the yardages on the shafts!

    Thanks for doing this great work.

  22. Teaj

    Sep 2, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Great idea for those back pin placements that want the ball to roll out a little more. need to go find me a launch monitor to compare the choked down swing to the stock.

  23. kevin

    Sep 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    when you do choke down, you will have a tendency to hook the ball if adjustment to tempo and swingweight isn’t made. i usually open up the clubface just a touch.

  24. Jason

    Sep 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the information, it’s pretty enlightening since I seem to struggle with those in between shots. I’m fairly inconsistent with my decision as to how to hit that in between shot. Sometimes, I’ll play a draw/fade to adjust a couple of yards, and other times I’ll use an easier swing. The easier swings never works of course!

    Did you notice anything while you were performing this test around the swing weight and lie angle of the club? I know the clubhead would feel quite a bit lighter when choking down–did it have a noticeable affect on the swing? Also, I think the lie angle would get out of whack when choking down. Did you notice any issues with that?

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Not really

    • Desmond

      Sep 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

      If you are inconsistent with your decision, your shots will show it. You see Touring Pros grip down all the time without negative effect.

      Be confident, maintain a good rhythm.

      • tom stickney

        Sep 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

        It’s all about practice…after a few shots you will easily be able to control the face a touch

  25. Jeremy

    Sep 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Semantics aside, the data you’ve provided is great and will definitely help the decision-making process in the future. It’d be interesting to see the results of “going for it” with an 8-iron as well. Thanks!

  26. Mike

    Sep 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Glad to see I’m making the first rational comment/question…

    Tom, do you recommend people actually marking up their grips so they grip in the same location every time?

  27. Dan

    Sep 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I think the term “choking down” makes more sense here. I know it’s arguing semantics but I honestly clicked on your link because I thought you might have been introducing some new swing thought. You choke down on an iron/wood, with your hands becoming closer to the club head and moving down towards the ground. You choke up on a baseball bat because of the vertical position of the bat in your normal stance, completely opposite of the starting position of your golf club.

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Whatever. Just enjoy the tip.

      • Knobbywood

        Sep 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

        Haha Tom maintain your dignity like the professional we all know you are… There will always be people like this and they don’t merit a response from a respected instructor like yourself… Keep up the good work you are my favorite writer on this blog

    • sebastian

      Sep 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      ….that guy

    • Joe

      Sep 3, 2014 at 1:33 am

      Dork.

  28. Desmond

    Sep 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    The term should really be “grip down”.

    You do not want to use the term “choke” in any endeavor… especially golf.

    “Grip Down” also makes sense.

    • Tom Stickney

      Sep 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      I make sure I choke the club…tells it who’s the boss!

      • Jeff B

        Sep 2, 2014 at 7:29 pm

        This comment wins.

        • Desmond

          Sep 3, 2014 at 12:39 am

          Funny, I think “choking up” is confusing when you’re gripping down. I prefer the “golf whisperer” approach with my clubs, instead of violence against them.

          • Tom Stickney

            Sep 3, 2014 at 9:51 am

            Ha ha.

          • Knobbywood

            Sep 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

            Man I’d hate to work for you Desmond! Never satisfied… First it was don’t say choke, now it’s say up not down… Obviously you understand the concept so just shut up and go play… No need for your semantic criticisms

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Instruction

The Wedge Guy: Short game tempo

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One of my favorite things to do is observe golfers closely, watching how they go about things from well before the shot to the execution of the swing or stroke. Guess the golf course has become kind of like going to the lab, in a way.

One thing I notice much too often is how “quick” most golfers are around the greens. It starts with grabbing a club or two from the cart and quickly getting to their ball. Then a few short jabs at a practice swing and usually a less-than-stellar result at a recovery.

Why?

If you are going to spend a morning or afternoon on the course, why hurry around the greens? I tend to be a fast player and despise five-hour rounds, but don’t fault anyone for taking a few seconds extra to get “right” with their recovery shot. You can still play “ready golf” and not short yourself in the close attention to execution. But let me get back to the specific topic.

Maybe it’s aggravated by this rush, but most golfers I observe have a short game tempo that is too quick. Chips, pitches and recoveries are precision swings at less than full power, so they require a tempo that is slower than you might think to accommodate that precision. They are outside the “norm” of a golf swing, so give yourself several practice swings to get a feel for the tempo and power that needs to be applied to the shot at hand.

I also think this quick tempo is a result of the old adage “accelerate through the ball.” We’ve all had that pounded into our brains since we started playing, but my contention is that it is darn hard not to accelerate . . . it’s a natural order of the swing. But to mentally focus on that idea tends to produce a short, choppy swing, with no rhythm or precision. So, here’s a practice drill for you.

  1. Go to your practice range, the local ball field, schoolyard or anywhere you can safely hit golf balls 20-30 yards or less.
  2. Pick a target only 30-50 feet away and hit your normal pitch, observing the trajectory.
  3. Then try to hit each successive ball no further, but using a longer, more flowing, fluid swing motion than the one before. That means you’ll make the downswing slower and slower each time, as you are moving the club further and further back each time.

My bet is that somewhere in there you will find a swing length and tempo where that short pitch shot becomes much easier to hit, with better loft and spin, than your normal method.

The key to this is to move the club with the back and through rotation of your body core, not just your arms and hands. This allows you to control tempo and applied power with the big muscles, for more consistency.

Try this and share with all of us if it doesn’t open your eyes to a different way of short game success.

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Instruction

The Wedge Guy: The core cause of bad shots

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You are cruising through a round of golf, hitting it pretty good and then you somehow just hit an absolutely terrible shot? This isn’t a problem unique to recreational golfers trying to break 80, 90, or 100 — even the best tour professionals occasionally hit a shot that is just amazingly horrible, given their advanced skill levels.

It happens to all of us — some more frequently than others — but I’m convinced the cause is the same. I call it “getting sloppy.”

So, what do I mean by that?

Well, there was a USGA advertising campaign a while back feature Arnold Palmer, with the slogan “Swing Your Swing.” There’s a lot of truth to that advice, as we all have a swing that has — either frequently or occasionally – produced outstanding golf shots. While there is no substitute for solid mechanics and technique, I’ve always believed that if you have ever hit a truly nice golf shot, then your swing has the capacity to repeat that result more frequently than you experience.

The big question is: “Why can’t I do that more often?”

And the answer is: Because you don’t approach every shot with the same care and caution that you exhibit when your best shots are executed.

To strike a golf ball perfectly, the moon and stars have to be aligned, regardless of what your swing looks like. Your set-up position must be right. Your posture and alignment have to be spot-on. Ball position has to be precisely perfect. To get those things correct takes focused attention to each detail. But the good news is that doing so only takes a few seconds of your time before each shot.

But I know from my own experience, the big “disrupter” is not having your mind right before you begin your swing. And that affects all of these pre-shot fundamentals as well as the physical execution of your swing.
Did you begin your pre-shot approach with a vivid picture of the shot you are trying to hit? Is your mind cleared from what might have happened on the last shot or the last hole? Are you free from the stress of this crazy game, where previous bad shots cause us to tighten up and not have our mind free and ready for the next shot? All those things affect your ability to get things right before you start your swing . . . and get in the way of “swinging your swing.”

So, now that I’ve outlined the problem, what’s the solution?

Let me offer you some ideas that you might incorporate into your own routine for every shot, so that you can get more positive results from whatever golf swing skills you might have.

Clear your mind. Whatever has happened in the round of golf to this point is history. Forget it. This next shot is all that matters. So, clear that history of prior shots and sharpen your focus to the shot at hand.

Be precise in your fundamentals. Set-up, posture, alignment and ball position are crucial to delivering your best swing. Pay special attention to all of these basics for EVERY shot you hit, from drives to putts.

Take Dead Aim. That was maybe the most repeated and sage advice from Harvey Penick’s “Little Red Book”. And it may be the most valuable advice ever. Poor alignment and aim sets the stage for bad shots, as “your swing” cannot be executed if you are pointed incorrectly.

See it, feel it, trust it. Another piece of great advice from the book and movie, “Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days In Utopia”, by Dr. David Cook. Your body has to have a clear picture of the shot you want to execute in order to produce the sequence of movements to do that.

Check your grip pressure and GO. The stress of golf too often causes us to grip the club too tightly. And that is a swing killer. Right before you begin your swing, focus your mind on your grip pressure to make sure it isn’t tighter than your normal pressure.

It’s highly advisable to make these five steps central to your pre-shot routine, but especially so if you get into a bad stretch of shots. You can change things when that happens, but it just takes a little work to get back to the basics.

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Stickney: To stack or not to stack at impact?

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As you look at the impact positions of the best players in the world, you will find many different “looks” with respect to their body and club positions. Some of these impact positions might even appear unique, but don’t be fooled. They all have one thing in common: preserving the players’ balance throughout the impact interval! In fact, if you are not in-balance, then you will lose power, consistency, and have trouble controlling your launch dynamics from shot to shot.

This balance is a necessary key to playing well and one area that can be easily understood with a few graphics shown on GEARS 3D. As you examine the photo in the featured image, you can see a few things:

  • The player on the left has “fallen” backwards through impact slightly moving his head out of the circle established at address
  • The player on the right is more stacked at impact — meaning that his chest, zipper and hands are all in the same place at the same time (within reason)
  • The player on the left has reached this same position in the swing with different segments of the body reaching the ball at different times
  • There will be a difference of impact shaft lean between the two players due to one player reaching impact “together” and the other shoving his hands more forward as he falls back
  • The player on the right is more “connected” through impact…won’t be the longest hitter but will be able to find the ball in the fairway more often
  • The player on the left is putting more pressure on the rear portion of the lower back which could have a potential for injury if he’s not careful

Now, obviously there are pro and cons to both positions. Overall, if you want to be consistent and in-balance more often that not, I would suggest you try your best to focus on being “stacked” when you hit the ball.

Let’s dive in a touch deeper to show you what happens physiologically on 3D when you fall back through impact and I think it will really drive the point home.

  • At address notice the Vertical Spine Number 96.2, this is showing us where the spine is positioned at address
  • You can see the head is in the center of the bubble

  • On the way to the top of the swing you can see that the spine has moved “away” from the target laterally a slight bit to 98 degrees
  • The head has dropped downward and has also moved laterally as well- more lean over the right leg to the top

Now here is where the problem comes in…as you work your way to the top, it’s ok of your head moves a touch laterally but in transition if it stays “back” while your hips run out from under you then you will begin to fall backwards on the way to your belt-high delivery position.

  • We can see at the delivery position that the spine has continued to fall backwards as the hips rotate out from under the upperbody
  • When this happens the hands will begin to push forward- dragging the handle into the impact zone
  • Whenever you have too much spin out and fall back the hands move forward to accommodate this motion and this reduces your Angle of Attack and decreases your dynamic loft at impact
  • This will cause balls to be hit on the decent of the club’s arc and reduce loft making shots come out lower than normal with a higher spin rate and that means shorter drives

Now let’s examine impact…

  • The player on the left has reached impact in a more disconnected fashion versus the player on the right as you compare the two
  • The player on the right has a shaft lean at impact that is less than a degree (.75) while the player on the left has a much more noticeable forward lean of the shaft thereby reducing dynamic loft at impact

  • The player on the left’s spine has moved from 96.2 to 112.9, a difference of 16.7 degrees while the player on the right has only moved back a few degrees. We know this because his head has stayed in the bubble we charted at address
  • The hips have run out from under the player on the left in the downswing and this causes the head to fall back more, the hands to push forward more, and the impact alignments of the club to be too much down with very little dynamic loft (as also shown in the photo below)

Whenever the hips turn out from under the upper body then you will tend to have a “falling back effect of the spine and a pushing forward of the hands” through impact.  Notice how the hips are radically more open on the player on the right versus the left- 27.91 versus 42.42 degrees.

So, now that we can see what happens when the hips spin out, you fall back, and you fail to be “stacked” at impact let’s show you a simple way you can do this at home to alleviate this issue.

  

  • A great drill to focus on being more stacked at impact is to make slow motion swings with the feeling that the upper portion of your arms stay glued to your chest
  • These shots will be full swings but only 20% of your total power because the goal here is connection which allows everything to reach impact together and in-balance
  • The second thought as you make these swings is to pay attention to your head, if you can focus on allowing it to stay “over the top of the ball” at impact you will find that it will stay put a touch more so than normal. Now this is not exactly how it works but it’s a good feeling nonetheless
  • Once you get the feeling at 20% speed work your way up to 50% speed and repeat the process. If you can do it here then you are ready to move up to full swings at top speed

Finally, don’t forget that every golfer’s hips will be open at impact and everyone’s head will fall back a touch — this is fine. Just don’t over-do it! Fix this and enjoy finding the ball in the fairway more often than not.

Questions or comments? [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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