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In this video, I give you the appropriate foundation for transitioning from the backswing to the downswing correctly. Hope this helps!

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Find him on YouTube at: 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.



  1. stephenf

    Dec 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Hate to nitpick, but this isn’t nitpicking: It really isn’t a matter of “torso then arms,” or “torso then arms then club.” In a good swing the arms are swinging across the front of the body as the upper body turns back toward the ball. This is seen in the swing of _every_ great player in how the arms are swinging down at a rate actually outpacing the turn of the body on the downswing — increasing distance between hands and trailing shoulder, etc. I’m not sure anybody’s improved much on John Jacobs’ ideas of how this happens, and how it’s typically the single most critical thing in the development of any player — learning to feel the timing of the arm-and-club swing and how it relates to the turn of the upper body, how the arms swing by the body as it turns, etc.

    But the “think target” advice — as in, swing to the target, and only _through_ the space the ball happens to occupy (not _to_ it) — is critically important and will improve many swings just on the strength of that thought alone.

    So yeah, the torso has to move. It’s dynamic. Torso and shoulders have to move. But it’s not torso-then-arms. In fact, if the torso and shoulders drag the arms around, it’s completely destructive to a swinging motion.

    Put another way, all the insanity about “rotation rotation ROTATION” these days is way too much emphasis. The truth is that the turn (or rotation) adds some degree of power, but not nearly as much as people think it does, and increasing “rotation” for somebody who’s already dominating the swing too much with the upper body and shoulders, and who’s likely already getting steep and outside, is just going to kill the swing.

    Not saying that’s what Alastair is advocating here. I’m talking about if people misunderstand the “sequence” (it’s not 100% of one thing followed by 100% of another) and overemphasize rotation in general. For anybody who hasn’t seen it already, the club-throwing exercise described by Fred Shoemaker in Extraordinary Golf is essentially the same as you see here, but with high-handicap amateurs who, when put to the throw-the-club-to-the-target task, pretty much instantly lose many of their flaws and take on a real swinging motion. It’s something to see in photos, and it’s good to see the same principle addressed here.

  2. geohogan

    Nov 5, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    If we understand the kinematic sequence, then we will know that it is the deceleration of the arms
    that is the CAUSE of the acceleration of the golf club. It is not a conscious throwing of the trail arm or straightening of the right arm or a flick of the trail hand.

    The power from body rotation is transferred from proximal to distal(deceleration of proximal causing acceleration of distal) until the clubhead is whipped by radial acceleration, through the wrists acting as free hinges. What is commonly called release is actually the acceleration of club lever as a reaction to, a result of, deceleration of the arms.

  3. geohogan

    Nov 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Begin the DS with a throw and the club will be buried in the ground behind the ball. That has been a fact since time immemorial. Its basis is in our genes. Scoff at genetics at your peril.

    Genetics control the hands, unless we make the conscious effort to interfere with that genetic
    predisposition to OTT. Palm facing the sky at start of DS, worked for Ben Hogan and it will work for everyone in the same way, for the same reasons.

  4. geohogan

    Nov 4, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    The Throw starts at P6(club parallel to the ground), not from the start of the DS.

    From top of DS (aka transition), intent has to be to keep the palm of dominant, trail hand facing the sky.

    The balance of the DS happens too quickly(less than 1/4 second)for conscious control.

    With dominant, trail hand palm facing the sky as intent at top of DS, the arms will fall(gravity move) positining club, arms and hands for the throwing position at P6. The throw, like skipping a stone and the side arm throw from short to second base happens whenever the dominant palm is facing the sky.

    Ref. The Hogan Manual of Human Performance: GOLF, 1992

    • Tiger Noods

      Nov 4, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Ben Hogan was a good golfer, and the first person really able to describe things in a publishable manner. That doesn’t mean things don’t get honed and improved. There were people good at golf that would have scoffed at that newcomer Hogan, too.

      • geohogan

        Nov 5, 2018 at 1:05 pm

        Arguably Ben Hogan was the best ball striker we have seen. This is not my opinion, but judgement of many of the best golfers in history.

        “People good at golf” are a dime a dozen and their opinions mean nothing, unless backed by facts. False equivalency is a weapon of the articulate these days.

      • Tartan Golf Travel

        Nov 5, 2018 at 6:16 pm

        I will have to save you lost all credibility when you said “Ben Hogan was good at golf”. I guess that’s a step up from so so but that has to be the biggest understatement in history.

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The Wedge Guy: My top 5 practice tips



While there are many golfers who barely know where the practice (I don’t like calling it a “driving”) range is located, there are many who find it a place of adventure, discovery and fun. I’m in the latter group, which could be accented by the fact that I make my living in this industry. But then, I’ve always been a “ball beater,” since I was a kid, but now I approach my practice sessions with more purpose and excitement. There’s no question that practice is the key to improvement in anything, so today’s topic is on making practice as much fun as playing.

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the range, and always embrace the challenge of learning new ways to make a golf ball do what I would like it to do. So, today I’m sharing my “top 5” tips for making practice fun and productive.

  1. Have a mission/goal/objective. Whether it is a practice range session or practice time on the course, make sure you have a clearly defined objective…how else will you know how you’re doing? It might be to work on iron trajectory, or finding out why you’ve developed a push with your driver. Could be to learn how to hit a little softer lob shot or a knockdown pitch. But practice with a purpose …always.
  2. Don’t just “do”…observe.  There are two elements of learning something new.  The first is to figure out what it is you need to change. Then you work toward that solution. If your practice session is to address that push with the driver, hit a few shots to start out, and rather than try to fix it, make those first few your “lab rats”. Focus on what your swing is doing. Do you feel anything different? Check your alignment carefully, and your ball position. After each shot, step away and process what you think you felt during the swing.
  3. Make it real. To just rake ball after ball in front of you and pound away is marginally valuable at best. To make practice productive, step away from your hitting station after each shot, rake another ball to the hitting area, then approach the shot as if it was a real one on the course. Pick a target line from behind the ball, meticulously step into your set-up position, take your grip, process your one swing thought and hit it. Then evaluate how you did, based on the shot result and how it felt.
  4. Challenge yourself. One of my favorite on-course practice games is to spend a few minutes around each green after I’ve played the hole, tossing three balls into various positions in an area off the green. I don’t let myself go to the next tee until I put all three within three feet of the hole. If I don’t, I toss them to another area and do it again. You can do the same thing on the range. Define a challenge and a limited number of shots to achieve it.
  5. Don’t get in a groove. I was privileged enough to watch Harvey Penick give Tom Kite a golf lesson one day, and was struck by the fact that he would not let Tom hit more than five to six shots in a row with the same club. Tom would hit a few 5-irons, and Mr. Penick would say, “hit the 8”, then “hit the driver.” He changed it up so that Tom would not just find a groove. That paved the way for real learning, Mr. Penick told me.

My “bonus” tip addresses the difference between practicing on the course and keeping a real score. Don’t do both. A practice session is just that. On-course practice is hugely beneficial, and it’s best done by yourself, and at a casual pace. Playing three or four holes in an hour or so, taking time to hit real shots into and around the greens, will do more for your scoring skills than the same amount of range time.

So there you have my five practice tips. I’m sure I could come up with more, but then we always have more time, right?

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The Wedge Guy: Anyone can be a better wedge player by doing these simple things



As someone who has observed rank-and-file recreational golfers for most of my life – over 50 years of it, anyway – I have always been baffled by why so many mid- to high-handicap golfers throw away so many strokes in prime scoring range.

For this purpose, let’s define “prime scoring range” as the distance when you have something less than a full-swing wedge shot ahead of you. Depending on your strength profile, that could be as far as 70 to 80 yards or as close as 30 to 40 yards. But regardless of whether you are trying to break par or 100, your ability to get the ball on the green and close enough to the hole for a one-putt at least some of the time will likely be one of the biggest factors in determining your score for the day.

All too often, I observe golfers hit two or even three wedge shots from prime scoring range before they are on the green — and all too often I see short-range pitch shots leave the golfer with little to no chance of making the putt.

This makes no sense, as attaining a level of reasonable proficiency from short range is not a matter of strength profile at all. But it does take a commitment to learning how to make a repeating and reliable half-swing and doing that repeatedly and consistently absolutely requires you to learn the basic fundamentals of how the body has to move the club back and through the impact zone.

So, let’s get down to the basics to see if I can shed some light on these ultra-important scoring shots.

  • Your grip has to be correct. For the club to move back and through correctly, your grip on the club simply must be fundamentally sound. The club is held primarily in the last three fingers of the upper hand, and the middle two fingers of the lower hand. Period. The lower hand has to be “passive” to the upper hand, or the mini-swing will become a quick jab at the ball. For any shot, but particularly these short ones, that sound grip is essential for the club to move through impact properly and repeatedly.
  • Your posture has to be correct. This means your body is open to the target, feet closer together than even a three-quarter swing, and the ball positioned slightly back of center.
  • Your weight should be distributed about 70 percent on your lead foot and stay there through the mini-swing.
  • Your hands should be “low” in that your lead arm is hanging naturally from your shoulder, not extended out toward the ball and not too close to the body to allow a smooth turn away and through. Gripping down on the club is helpful, as it gets you “closer to your work.
  • This shot is hit with a good rotation of the body, not a “flip” or “jab” with the hands. Controlling these shots with your body core rotation and leading the swing with your body core and lead side will almost ensure proper contact. To hit crisp pitch shots, the hands have to lead the clubhead through impact.
  • A great drill for this is to grip your wedge with an alignment rod next to the grip and extending up past your torso. With this in place, you simply have to rotate your body core through the shot, as the rod will hit your lead side and prevent you from flipping the clubhead at the ball. It doesn’t take but a few practice swings with this drill to give you an “ah ha” moment about how wedge shots are played.
  • And finally, understand that YOU CANNOT HIT UP ON A GOLF BALL. The ball is sitting on the ground so the clubhead has to be moving down and through impact. I think one of the best ways to think of this is to remember this club is “a wedge.” So, your simple objective is to wedge the club between the ball and the ground. The loft of the wedge WILL make the ball go up, and the bounce of the sole of the wedge will prevent the club from digging.

So, why is mastering the simple pitch shot so important? Because my bet is that if you count up the strokes in your last round of golf, you’ll likely see that you left several shots out there by…

  • Either hitting another wedge shot or chip after having one of these mid-range pitch shots, or
  • You did not get the mid-range shot close enough to even have a chance at a makeable putt.

If you will spend even an hour on the range or course with that alignment rod and follow these tips, your scoring average will improve a ton, and getting better with these pitch shots will improve your overall ball striking as well.

More from the Wedge Guy

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Clement: Don’t overlook this if you want to find the center of the face




It is just crazy how golfers are literally beside themselves when they are placed in a properly aligned set up! They feel they can’t swing or function! We take a dive into why this is and it has to do with how the eyes are set up in the human skull!

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