I find dropping the hands comes with smoothly initiating the downswing. I don't think it's necessary to think about dropping the hands if you don't tighten up the arms and try to hit instead of swing. That's what I think about for my swing and it seems to work.
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Dropping hands to initiate downswing - Page 4
I remember seeing a Jack Nicklaus vhs tape (Golf My Way?) where he stated he believed "you can't release the club too early so long as you move to your left side (for righties)."
Seems a little simplistic but applicable.
I focus on shifting my weight to my right side at the start of the downswing and usually I make a good/decent pass at the ball.
Just a quick note regarding this thread - if you want to read more about "dropping you arms", take a look at Jim McLean's book "The Slot Swing". It spends a lot of time breaking down the thought of finding the right slot for your swing and talks about your hands "dropping" into the slot as you initiate your downswing. For me, it has really helped my game!
Went for a lesson on Friday to see about my "power fade" and the pro tells me my swing path is out-to-in coming over the top, causing loss of distance, etc. I guess I already knew this but it was good to hear it confirmed.
He advised that my takeaway was good and wide and that to get on the right downswing plane, I need to "drop" my hands at the top of the back-swing to get in the slot for an in-to-out swing plane.
I totally understand this concept and the reasons behind it. However, as I've had the same swing since I started 10 years ago, I'm struggling to implement the change. I can do it in slo-mo, but as soon as I go back to normal speed, I lose it. I've managed to get down to a 9 handicap with the same swing and the rest of my game is pretty good.
Does anyone have any other tips for instilling this move into my muscle memory?
In my experience, the reason it's so difficult to make any swing change is because it's difficult to feel it when just "swinging" (especially at full speed) as opposed to half speed swings which really aren't swings at all, just manipulations. One of the most effective ways I've found to feel the position of the club, the body, and their positions relative to each other, is to use something with more weight. And the best training aid I've found for that purpose is a Momentus Power Hitter Iron hittable club.
Now you still should NOT swing at full speed with the Momentus Power Hitter or you'll risk injury, but at least you can make an actual swing and allow the weight to give the feedback, affirming whether or not you're executing the swing as you intended.
I can't explain why I've found that it matters I'm using a weighted club as opposed to a regular club. It just feels like I'm ingraining a particular motion, or developing muscle memory, under "swinging" conditions as opposed to "manipulating" a regular club at half speed.
Now a word of caution using a weighted club like the Momenuts Power Hitter iron. DO NOT attempt to swing it at full speed. If you do, your upper body (shoulders and arms) might become detached from your lower body (hips and legs), likely causing a muscle pull. I made the idiotic mistake of thinking I was going to build strength using it, not being aware that the upper body muscles are not strong enough to keep pace with the lower body when holding something that heavy. The consequence was a chronic case of tendonitis that lingered the entire season and wreaked havoc on my index. However, I didn't stop using the Momentus training aid,but I did switch to the lighter "senior" version even though I have a 6 iron swing speed of 89 mph.I found the lighter version to be just as effective for my purposes.
Also, while you're using the Momenuts Power Hitter, you may also start developing a more deliberate tempo, which is actually the primary purpose of it. The weight would probably make it easier to "drop" your hands into the slot with less effort, or more naturally (that is, without needing to make a manipulated move).
Final thought: swing changes can take a very long time to ingrain, depending on the particular change. So don't grow impatient. But do keep going back to your PGA Teaching Pro so your progress can be monitored by a trained eye. And in between visits, use video to monitor the change yourself. Failed changes are usually a result of doing something other than you intend but without knowing it.
Dropping your hands on going into the swing maybe what you need to do, but it may not be the swing thought that works for you. Find a different teacher with different ideas.
Here are some different approaches, keep your front arm straighter through the backswing and push the club grip away from your body in the backswing. keep your backswing on a lower plane, put your weight more toward your toes, take a backswing that feels like you are pulling the club toward you butt and feel like you swinging toward the left.
All these swing thoughts will work for different people. A good instructor will work with you to fine a way to get you swinging right. Many instructors get caught up in a cookie cutter approach and don't get into the head of the head of their student enough.
I drop the hands (which sometimes feels like digging the right elbow into the hip, or pulling the butt of the club downward) to initiate the downswing for only my short irons. For 7 thru 5 iron I actually try to pull the butt of the club not straight down (too steep) but out toward the ball. For 4 iron thru Driver there is no pulling or lowering or dropping the hands. The arms are completely passive and all I do is try to slowly clear my left hip. The longer clubs are too hard to control with just your arms and hands, centrigal force is far too strong---the club weighs 70 lbs on the way down---so all you can do is try to time the hip clearing move---open the hips too violently and you can can get "stuck" and block it to the right or try to "save it" with a wrist flip that gives you a duck hook. I know the orthodox view is that you make the same swing for all clubs but that just doesn't work for me. I am a stocky guy with legs and arms strong enough to make an arm swing with the short and mid irons and try to delay the inevitable hip clear (with these irons) as long as possible. But I'm not so strong that I can make an "arm swing" with the 4 iron, 3 wood and driver. The clubs are too long and heavy and centrifigal force is too strong---especially if you're making an inside to square to inside swing. The hip clearing pivot squat will shallow out the longer clubs.
Although Sergio and Tiger (and others) seem to use a pivot squat move which lowers the entire power package assembly thus delaying the left hip clear so that amazing amounts of lag can be created (90 degree angle between club shaft and left forearm). I would love to be able to make that move but I don't think I'm flexible or coordinated or strong enough. And why I will be shooting in the 70's for the next 20 years instead of the 60's.
Just getting back into the game after leaving it for 10 years to Coach Baseball..600 + games later, I joined a club last year and hit 1000's of balls to get the feel of my swing back, retraining muscles, etc.. Just last week I saw a you tube video that emphasized dropping your hands straight down from the top, My current tendencies are the same as yours... short - mid irons are good, the longer clubs I have been hitting over the top.. I made the adjustment, which felt like a radical change, but on film, it became obvious that I was just barely inside out.. I spent 3 days, swinging half swings from the inside..dropping the hands down.. and then yesterday went live at the range and the long clubs started to slightly turnover and the big cut was gone.. hopefully for good...muscle memory I believe is the key.. over emphasize the move, for the first 300 swings ansd you'll be left with a slight correction that feels natural.. I hope to get back to a 10 this year.. My short game needs love.
Hacker you are 100% correct. Its exactly the same. If you bump your hips then hands drop automatically. If you drop your hands the hips bump forward automatically. I was trying to initiate the downswing by bumping my hips and I was completely out of whack. I reversed it and let my hands drop via gravity from the top into the slot and it automatically bumped my hips forward. It has made my swing so much smoother. Its a personal preference. Neither is right or wrong. I found this video online to perfectly describe what Im doing now successfully:
- Dropping hands to initiate downswing
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