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In my last video, I overviewed what the setup looks like to send a ball to a target in Brandel Chamblee’s book, The Anatomy of Greatness.

Before we get to dynamic posture and begin to talk about how to start the swing, we first need to address one of the biggest short circuits of the golf swing that I see on a regular basis on our lesson tee: the dynamic grip

Instead of talking about positions of the hands on the club, we are going to talk about the PURPOSE of the connection of the hands around the grip and what it gets us ready to do with a golf club. Once you understand the purpose behind the grip, you will get how to hold the club and truly allow yourself to perform the task of hitting shots to the target. 

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Shawn Clement is the new Director of Development at the Royal Quebec Golf Academy in Quebec City, Canada and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee while Directing at the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre. He was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet in 2016 with 83 000 subscribers on YouTube and 36 millions natural views. Shawn has been writing for numerous publications since 2001 including Golf Tips Magazine and Score Golf Magazine. He also appeared of the Golf Channel’s Academy Live in July 2001 with Jerry Foltz and Mike Ritz. Shawn Clement has the distinction of being one of the only professionals fit by Ping’s Tour fitting centre where he was fitted with left and right handed clubs including 2 drivers with 115 plus miles per hour and 300 plus yard drives from both sides.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. pk20152

    Jun 13, 2017 at 7:21 am

    No fan of Brandel… I would love to take some lessons from you in person Shawn. I’ve always enjoyed your videos. You are probably the only teacher with a full size skeleton hanging around!

  2. BRI

    Jun 10, 2017 at 12:25 am

    I don’t like him but I just bought the book. I feel confused.

    • Shawn Clement

      Jun 12, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      More to come to sort this out! The book is still about the body parts; but at least they are the right ones! We are getting our students the right tasks that would bring all those body parts together without thinking! Stay tuned!

  3. Edge of lean

    Jun 9, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I’mvan overlapper. I’ve been told to keep the club for my lead more in the fingers, and to have a very “short thumb,” while maintaining a little distance on the bottom to make it look like the famous “trigger.” Problem is, this formation doesn’t allow me to get near as much wrist set, or lag, as I like or would need on the back swing. This clears up when I use a longer thumb. Also, I’ve always been told to keep the lead hand thumb at least mostly to the left (yes, I’m a leftie) of the grip. Any comments or encouragements would be very much appreciated.

    • Shawn Clement

      Jun 12, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Think purpose not finger or hand or thumb positioning when you grip; see my “stop destroying your golf glove shawn clement” video on youtube to address the issues in the lead hand; Shawn

  4. sam

    Jun 8, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    really super work! thanks very much!

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Instruction

How a towel can fix your golf swing

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This is a classic drill that has been used for decades. However, the world of marketed training aids has grown so much during that time that this simple practice has been virtually forgotten. Because why teach people how to play golf using everyday items when you can create and sell a product that reinforces the same thing? Nevertheless, I am here to give you helpful advice without running to the nearest Edwin Watts or adding something to your Amazon cart.

For the “scoring clubs,” having a solid connection between the arms and body during the swing, especially through impact, is paramount to creating long-lasting consistency. And keeping that connection throughout the swing helps rotate the shoulders more to generate more power to help you hit it farther. So, how does this drill work, and what will your game benefit from it? Well, let’s get into it.

Setup

You can use this for basic chip shots up to complete swings. I use this with every club in my bag, up to a 9 or 8-iron. It’s natural to create incrementally more separation between the arms and body as you progress up the set. So doing this with a high iron or a wood is not recommended.

While you set up to hit a ball, simply tuck the towel underneath both armpits. The length of the towel will determine how tight it will be across your chest but don’t make it so loose that it gets in the way of your vision. After both sides are tucked, make some focused swings, keeping both arms firmly connected to the body during the backswing and follow through. (Note: It’s normal to lose connection on your lead arm during your finishing pose.) When you’re ready, put a ball in the way of those swings and get to work.

Get a Better Shoulder Turn

Many of us struggle to have proper shoulder rotation in our golf swing, especially during long layoffs. Making a swing that is all arms and no shoulders is a surefire way to have less control with wedges and less distance with full swings. Notice how I can get in a similar-looking position in both 60° wedge photos. However, one is weak and uncontrollable, while the other is strong and connected. One allows me to use my larger muscles to create my swing, and one doesn’t. The follow-through is another critical point where having a good connection, as well as solid shoulder rotation, is a must. This drill is great for those who tend to have a “chicken wing” form in their lead arm, which happens when it becomes separated from the body through impact.

In full swings, getting your shoulders to rotate in your golf swing is a great way to reinforce proper weight distribution. If your swing is all arms, it’s much harder to get your weight to naturally shift to the inside part of your trail foot in the backswing. Sure, you could make the mistake of “sliding” to get weight on your back foot, but that doesn’t fix the issue. You must turn into your trial leg to generate power. Additionally, look at the difference in separation between my hands and my head in the 8-iron examples. The green picture has more separation and has my hands lower. This will help me lessen my angle of attack and make it easier to hit the inside part of the golf ball, rather than the over-the-top move that the other picture produces.

Stay Better Connected in the Backswing

When you don’t keep everything in your upper body working as one, getting to a good spot at the top of your swing is very hard to do. It would take impeccable timing along with great hand-eye coordination to hit quality shots with any sort of regularity if the arms are working separately from the body.

Notice in the red pictures of both my 60-degree wedge and 8-iron how high my hands are and the fact you can clearly see my shoulder through the gap in my arms. That has happened because the right arm, just above my elbow, has become totally disconnected from my body. That separation causes me to lift my hands as well as lose some of the extension in my left arm. This has been corrected in the green pictures by using this drill to reinforce that connection. It will also make you focus on keeping the lead arm close to your body as well. Because the moment either one loses that relationship, the towel falls.

Conclusion

I have been diligent this year in finding a few drills that target some of the issues that plague my golf game; either by simply forgetting fundamental things or by coming to terms with the faults that have bitten me my whole career. I have found that having a few drills to fall back on to reinforce certain feelings helps me find my game a little easier, and the “towel drill” is most definitely one of them.

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Instruction

Clement: Why your practice swing never sucks

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You hear that one all the time; I wish I could put my practice swing on the ball! We explain the huge importance of what to focus on to allow the ball to be perfectly in the way of your practice swing. Enjoy!

 

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Clement: This is when you should release the driver

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The golf teaching industry is slowly coming around to understand how the human machine is a reaction and adaptation machine that responds to weight and momentum and gravity; so this video will help you understand why we say that the club does the work; i.e. the weight of the club releases your anatomy into the direction of the ball flight.

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