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Shanks A Million

Keeping the hands close.

14 posts in this topic

I have had a problem for a long time where my hands move away from my body as I go back, and stay there. This results in a steep swing, and an ugly one at that. My backswing is flat, and my downswing is steep. I used to have a severe problem, my backswing was nearly parallel with the horizon, and my downswing was about 12° too steep. I worked it down through the last year, and now it's almost tolerable.

It's not really too bad, I strike most shots pure and straight, but on bad days, it can get frustrating.

Before you look at my swing, be warned, it is ugly ! (so am I.)

http://www.swingacademy.com/videoplayer.aspx?id=5025

Also, I'm a bit too hunched over, and my chin is too low in this video, I've since fixed that, so just ignore it. My physical size (even excluding my weight) is a factor. I really just want to get the backswing looking like everyone else's.
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I have had a problem for a long time where my hands move away from my body as I go back, and stay there. This results in a steep swing, and an ugly one at that. My backswing is flat, and my downswing is steep.

Your backswing really isn't too flat its just that your hands aren't in or deep enough. Feel like the hands go much more inward onto the arc that is established by the golfer's bend at address (not the clubhead...the HANDS). Golf is played to the SIDE of the ball, bent over, which means on an inclined plane. It is not a straight back, straight through game...its all about a circle. To do this I want you to do 2 things: 1) be sure your hips continue to turn all the way to the top (it looks like the hips turn enough but your camera angle gives that impression)...and 2) increase the pressure on the point where your left bicep meets your chest all the way to the top of the backswing. Also, at the same time keep the connection at the point where the lowest part of the right bicep meets your rib cage throughout the backswing. To fix this your swings will need to feel VERY short and SLOW as I want the backswing to stop the second your pressure points feel like they are going to come off of your torso. Do this with the camera on and in a mirror and you absolutely WILL see the difference.

See a past post of mine in the blog for a drill to get the inward/deep hands: http://thesandtrap.com/forum/entries...ep-Hands-Drill Don't worry about being "hunched" over and chin too low...that looks good actually. The golfer needing to be erect with the chin up is bad advice IMO. It is not necessary and not comfortable. Dave
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Your backswing really isn't too flat its just that your hands aren't in or deep enough. Feel like the hands go much more inward onto the arc that is established by the golfer's bend at address (not the clubhead...the HANDS). Golf is played to the SIDE of the ball, bent over, which means on an inclined plane. It is not a straight back, straight through game...its all about a circle. To do this I want you to do 2 things: 1) be sure your hips continue to turn all the way to the top (it looks like the hips turn enough but your camera angle gives that impression)...and 2) increase the pressure on the point where your left bicep meets your chest all the way to the top of the backswing. Also, at the same time keep the connection at the point where the lowest part of the right bicep meets your rib cage throughout the backswing. To fix this your swings will need to feel VERY short and SLOW as I want the backswing to stop the second your pressure points feel like they are going to come off of your torso. Do this with the camera on and in a mirror and you absolutely WILL see the difference.

This is actually more or less what I had guessed I needed to work on, but I'm glad to get conformation. I practiced this a bit, and am now on my way to the range, film at 11. (or maybe 5?)

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Before you look at my swing, be warned, it is

Pretty swings are overrated

.
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Update:

I worked on this today, and did the drills. I hit 120 balls on the range, and made reasonable contact with about 20 of them. The rest were shanks, skulls, smothers, and the like. I take it this is normal when making a huge adjustment. I'll keep it up. The video from the day looks good though, so I'll post that as soon as I process it.
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Here is what I think.

Couple of faults I saw. Were you hitting many shots thin that day? Because your standing up more at impact than at address. I used to do the complete opposite and hit some fat shots. your feet are also aiming further left than where the club is aiming. And what's with your right foot sliding back when you start the follow through? I was looking at it and your feet are aiming straight. I guess that's one of your main problems
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Beginning of the backswing looks better but then the lifting takes over and you still lose the pressure on the points I mentioned. In these swings you do appear to have moved closer to the ball (I know shorter club) so move away a bit and stay bent over to give yourself some space to get your hands into. Bottom line - this will likely take WAY more than a few days to PERMANENTLY ingrain but that is OK. You can see differences the first day if this is done correctly. Again...to do this right you will need to stop hitting balls full speed and hit very SLOW and soft. Think half speed or less when you shoot the video especially if you want to see the difference. When your left arm reaches parallel to the ground and your pressure points start to disconnect make THAT the end of your backswing. If you do this and feel it is really done slow and really an extreme difference you will like what you see - I guarantee it.

There is a post below discussing downswing and there are some things there but one thing at a time...and you had specifically asked about the backswing. Dave
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Here is what I think.

The stick was simply there, that shot was not in line with where I was aiming. That's all because this range is about as level as Gary Beusey's temper. It's very uphill and the ball is way below my feet, hard to stay level, so I move around as I hit to avoid getting bad habits. I do lift up as I swing through, but that's not uncommon for me. It's a problem to address down the line.

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Beginning of the backswing looks better but then the lifting takes over and you still lose the pressure on the points I mentioned. In these swings you do appear to have moved closer to the ball (I know shorter club) so move away a bit and stay bent over to give yourself some space to get your hands into. Bottom line - this will likely take WAY more than a few days to PERMANENTLY ingrain but that is OK. You can see differences the first day if this is done correctly. Again...to do this right you will need to stop hitting balls full speed and hit very SLOW and soft. Think half speed or less when you shoot the video especially if you want to see the difference. When your left arm reaches parallel to the ground and your pressure points start to disconnect make THAT the end of your backswing. If you do this and feel it is really done slow and really an extreme difference you will like what you see - I guarantee it.

You're correct. I did it again today, and about half of my shots were shankesque. I'm working it back nicely, getting some good right triangle looking positions at the top. I was making tiny swings, at least for me, and making sure my hands stuck to my body like glue. Like you said, it's hard to force yourself to do it, so I was only able to stay down for that half of the shots. Needless to say, things will be ugly for a while to come.

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First thing noone mentioned but was the very first thing i seen in your swing is you take the club inside on the backswing. On your backswing you are not in the zone. Your coming inside then when you get to the top your making a over the top move and then your downswing is coming through the zone. You want to take the club back on the same plane as your down swing. The way it goes back is the exact way you want it to go down. You lose alot of of distance and accuracy doing this. When you take the club back on the proper plane, drop your hands and then downswing. The move at the top to get back on plane is going to make you hit incosistant shots and lose power. If i hand you a 20lb bag and tell you to throw it as far as you can, your going to swing it back and to the top and right down and forward. You wouldnt swing it around your hips, then up then over and back down. The best drill for that is to put a chair or anything on a slant behind you and take practice swings. So if you go to take the club inside you will hit it. It will train your arms to go back and down on the same plane to avoid hitting it. The rest are easy things to fix. Your posture. You can just stand infront of a mirror. You will never see any good golfer bent over with a slouched back. You want to bend the knees a little bit, stick your butt out and up and straighten your spine. Also your hip rotation. Your starting your backswing and your downswing with your arms and not your hips. You want to turn your back right pocket back "Right Hip" to start your backswing and then your arms follow. When you get to the top you want to drive your lower body forward and then your arms will follow. You want everything to look fluid and effortless. Last but not least you look a little off balance. Heres a website with some drills for tempo and balance. http://golf.about.com/od/golftips/a/balance_drills.htm Hopefully this helps and good luck with improving your golf game. May all your balls fly far and straight.
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First thing noone mentioned but was the very first thing i seen in your swing is you take the club inside on the backswing. On your backswing you are not in the zone. Your coming inside then when you get to the top your making a over the top move and then your downswing is coming through the zone. You want to take the club back on the same plane as your down swing. The way it goes back is the exact way you want it to go down. You lose alot of of distance and accuracy doing this. When you take the club back on the proper plane, drop your hands and then downswing. The move at the top to get back on plane is going to make you hit incosistant shots and lose power. If i hand you a 20lb bag and tell you to throw it as far as you can, your going to swing it back and to the top and right down and forward. You wouldnt swing it around your hips, then up then over and back down. The best drill for that is to put a chair or anything on a slant behind you and take practice swings. So if you go to take the club inside you will hit it. It will train your arms to go back and down on the same plane to avoid hitting it. The rest are easy things to fix. Your posture. You can just stand infront of a mirror. You will never see any good golfer bent over with a slouched back. You want to bend the knees a little bit, stick your butt out and up and straighten your spine. Also your hip rotation. Your starting your backswing and your downswing with your arms and not your hips. You want to turn your back right pocket back "Right Hip" to start your backswing and then your arms follow. When you get to the top you want to drive your lower body forward and then your arms will follow. You want everything to look fluid and effortless. Last but not least you look a little off balance. Heres a website with some drills for tempo and balance.

One of my problems has always been that my hand/eye coordination is second to none. This allows me to hit the ball very well with a flawed swing. Distance and consistency have not usually been a problem. Ugly swings have. I hit it pretty darn well, but don't like the way it looks, and know it could still be better.

What appears to be an over the top loop is actually quite tame compared to what it used to be. I originally had a big slice, like most, then came too far from the inside! I had hook problems for a long time, but now try to come a little from the outside with some longer clubs to fight hook. On a quick check, I think you're totally spot on on the fact that I start back with the hands. My upper body has always taken too much of a dominant role in the swing. I'll try this on the range tomorrow.
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OK, worked on Nicky's ideas today, and combined them with Dave's ideas. Wow, what a huge change. These little tiny "chips" were flying pretty far. I was really focusing on using almost no hands, and just letting the body turn. I actually used to be quite a good bowler, so I took that same image of thrusting a heavy ball underhanded to swing. I'm not worried about my downswing for now, that's going to be steep, and that's easy to fix. I'm focused on the backswing, and getting the takeaway correct.

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Here's a better video.

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