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"Secrets of the Short Game" by Phil Mickelson


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I'll start by saying that I thought the video was good overall. I haven't had a chance to take it to the course yet but the foundation element is the "hinge and hold" and is loosely similar to the Utley method but with an open stance and club face. I did notice that there isn't a lot of talk about what is going on in the lower body other than weight distribution which may confuse some folks as to what to do with that part. There is very obviously a "pivot" going on but Phil doesn't really talk about that, as Utley does, so my advice is to get the Utley book on the short game and follow what goes on with him from a lower body perspective while incorporating Phil's alignment principles.

I loved Phil's dialogue. It adds an element of humor that is sorely missing in many of these videos but may rub some folks the wrong way. Having grown up playing some high school and junior golf with Phil, I recognize that this is just his personality but the comment at the end where he tells people that now they have all the shots he uses and not to ask him how he hits them anymore may come off as arrogant to some.
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I'll start by saying that I thought the video was good overall. I haven't had a chance to take it to the course yet but the foundation element is the "hinge and hold" and is loosely similar to the Utley method but with an open stance and club face. I did notice that there isn't a lot of talk about what is going on in the lower body other than weight distribution which may confuse some folks as to what to do with that part. There is very obviously a "pivot" going on but Phil doesn't really talk about that, as Utley does, so my advice is to get the Utley book on the short game and follow what goes on with him from a lower body perspective while incorporating Phil's alignment principles.

From reading Stan's book and watching these videos, I got a totally different swing out of the deal. Maybe I misunderstood Utley's method just by reading it, but "to me" they are not the same swing.
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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I just won an ebay auction for $14 for a copy of this DVD. My decision was based on the good reviews here. I will make a full report when I had a chance to watch it.

I watched both discs and like what I see. The best part of it is that I finally have a system instead of a collection of random shots. Once I get this down pat, I will be much more consistent.
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From reading Stan's book and watching these videos, I got a totally different swing out of the deal. Maybe I misunderstood Utley's method just by reading it, but "to me" they are not the same swing.

What I'm referring to mainly is that the idea of the "hinge and hold" is very similar to what Utley is wanting to happen with the hand/arm action. Phil even says in one part of the video something about he's able to take the clubhead well back but his arms have hardly moved at all (because of the "hinge"). This is almost exactly what Stan teaches as well as the delofting of the club through impact by lagging or "holding" as Phil would say it. So, you make the hinge and hold that angle through impact by pivoting. If you watch Phil, he may not say this but his action is showing it. Utley is definitely more "around" in his method especially in the area of tucking the respective elbows back and through (right and left for a righty). This produces a more pronounced open to closed motion but to me still similar in look as Phil's.

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I got this DVD a couple weeks ago and watched it immediately. I really enjoyed it and it wasn't too different than what I'm doing now, but I have much more solid idea of what I need to be doing and not just stumbling around in the dark hoping to figure it out (what I was doing before).

Video was very well done and easy to watch.
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We tried his 2-ball trick shot from the bunker yesterday. It was awesome...I went first and the impact ball shot up high....hit and sucked back like yo-yo on a string.

My buddy had to try next.....his impact ball went unbelievably high and sucked back a ton.

Fun shot. No practical use but it is certainly the most fun I've had in a bunker in a while.



I've watched both discs on time now. Yesterday I was presented with a short (20 yd) shot to a pin carrying a bunker. I used my lob wedge and hinged early and held the angle, boldly swinging and keeping my hands moving through. The ball came in with authority and zipped to a stop 3 ft from the cup. Thanks Phil .


Later on in the round on our last par 5, I hit 3 wood left of the fairway under a tree branch. I was 100 yds out and slightly up hill. I used PW and drove down on the ball with the same shaft angle--hands leading the entire swing....ball came out low and rose nicely....hit several feet behind the pin and zipped back behind it. I made the only birdie of our round...the hole was a 2 & 3 shot swing for me against the buddies in my group. I finished up 5 strokes ahead of them for the round. Again, Thanks Phil .

Certainly worth a look. I had a few lag putts that were uphill....I tried the method he suggested and they all worked out very well.


You can rent the DVD on Netflix and others.
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  • 3 weeks later...
I just ordered this DVD set on ebay for $10. Can't wait to watch it. My short game is the weakest part of my game. I have been practicing it more recently and I'm getting much better but this DVD should help. I respect Mickelson's touch around the greens.
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you can get phil mickelson secrets of the short game from netflix. just got done with both of them, great videos, a lot of info on them!

now i am going to reduce the size of the dvds and i will convert them to a format most likely .mov and will put them on my iphone so i can refer to them while practicing!!!
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you can get phil mickelson secrets of the short game from netflix. just got done with both of them, great videos, a lot of info on them!

i just watched it today and what a great instructional dvd! it reminds me of "golf my way" by jack that was the first video i used when i started to play golf. i've always been a big phil guy but i was impressed with how he was able to teach what must have taken him a lifetime to learn. he made everything seem so easy to understand and i'd never get this information without this. NO ONE teaches the short game like this. go get this dvd now!!

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Does Phil talk at all about judging different lies and how to play them?

he does talk about all the differents lies and its one of the best parts of the dvds. for each lie, he tells you step by step how to hit the shots with slo-mos to show you. i love the fact that with the dvds, they include a booklet with all the lessons in outline form that you can bring to the range or the course for easy reference. i recommend you pick up this dvd, i got it on ebay new for $10.

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Hi guys,

Just got the DVD last night.. definitely seems like a very good instruction video.. however.. i am a little unclear on the hinge and hold method still .. can someone please educate me a bit more

so Phil advocates hinging the wrist.. and hold that angle and rotate to come down.... with a steeper angle of attack

however.. when you hinge your wrist.. doesn't that make your club way open?? by holding the wrist.. hence the open clubface..... you are relying your body to rotate back to square the clubface ?? that doesn't sound like it can consistently be done ??

or does it simple hinge while keeping the face relatively square.. like bowing the wrist?

or do you actually unhinge a little bit to return back to impact position? please advise...

thanks!
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Hi guys,

i'd have to go back to the dvd again but i understood it as hinge back and hold the finish. i think the key to this method is most instruction tells you to use an arm swing with no wrist when you chip but phil teaches to hinge those wrists immediately on the backswing and then use full acceleration through the release to the finish and hold that finish. the length of the backswing will be used to judge the distance.

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Just got this off eBay, and it's pretty great. The presentation of information is simple and effective, and it completely removes the sense of random 'feel' shots that I was relying on. Everything is mechanical in nature, just requires practice to dial everything in.

His character was fine, if a little forced at times. Some of the attempts at jokes were a little awkward at best, but some of them came off great. His insistent outrage at alternative methods did make me laugh, I have to say.

Overall, I'd advise buying this to anyone considering it, or even anyone who wasn't considering it. Fantastic use of £10

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I have had this dvd all summer and have some form of hinge and hold method and don't have a problem missing to the left (Left handed).

One of the keys for me is to not release it. If you do the ball goes too far. When practicing look at your club face at the finish. It should be pointing almost straight up. If it isn't you are not "holding". This is a big key for me and being successful and creating the trajectory I want.

I also play with a open club face almost all the time around the green. I like the way the club reacts with the turf/rough more.

This is a great way to pitch the ball and create spin and hieght.
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I could tell he definitely respects Utley, and even refers to him once indirectly. i.e. the "one other" [good short game specialist besides Pelz]. The parallels between Phil's dialog and Utley's approach are definitely interesting. Utley calls it "fold, turn and hold" and Phil calls it "hinge and hold". (in case you hadn't noticed this post tends to focus on Utley) I suspect that in Utley's books he may have avoided (maybe due to editorial suggestions) emphasizing the use of the wrists in chipping, perhaps out of fear that people would label him as "wristy" but he does definitely advocate the use of hands and wrists when you chip, pitch and putt. Phil on the other hand has no qualms telling you to use your wrists when you chip. As someone already aluded, I also noted that Phil uses a definite lower body pivot when chipping but doesn't mention it at all. Utley is a lot more detailed there. They both advocate playing the ball 'up' in the stance. It's a similar approach, at least when it comes to the basic chip. Of course it changes when you want to hit it higher. For that, Utley wants you to you keep a square clubface but alter the shaft angle at address and release it sooner --whereas Phil wants you to keep the shaft and release constant but open the face to the right, the stance to the left, and then regrip. Obviously they are both valid approaches... both approaches have been used by big f-in pros to win big f-in majors. Whichever method you choose you'd better practice it or it wont matter much anyway. Finally, I feel that that there are many subtleties in the Utley methodology that I appreciate... his discussion of minimizing the arm swing, keeping the energy in the clubhead, using lag to deloft, keeping the arms soft and keeping the shaft plane flat via the folding of the elbows. And swinging around the body and following through to the left. I think that Utley's basic chip is quite a bit a more beautiful thing to behold and technically more sound, but I also think that Phil could probably use the very worst technique there is and still win a tournament with it, whereas Utley couldn't keep his tour card. So there you have it. There is more to golf than good technique. The other thing is I think that video is so superior a medium to a book with still pictures that if I didn't have all the Utley videos on the web I would have never gotten it at all. I wish Stan would do a full DVD. So that is that. Buy Phil's DVD. I also found it interesting that the famous "clock" that Peltz teaches for pitches Phil didn't mention, and he went into a big shindig about "curve" vs "straight back and through" and finally concluded that Utley is right and Pelz is pretty much a wash up in that department.. at least that's how I took it. That being said I do think that the putting allignment discussion and the break reading section is pretty much classic pelz and true to the pelz "bibles", so it's interesting to see which of pelz theories "took" in the technique of this great champion. I especially liked the putting drill sections.. possibly the best part of the DVD for me. That is all.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I totally agree with Shortgamewiz about the similarities between Utley and Phil. Phil teaches a very similar method for the basic chip shot as in Utley's book. Phil doesn't mention the lower body pivot but he deffinetly pivots around his leading leg, where he maintains the most weight throughout the swing.
Highly recomended to anyone who wishes to understand and improve in the short game. It would be great to have a DVD from Utley but Phil's DVD is a great material and it complements Utley's method.

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  • 1 month later...
Just wanted to revive this thread to say... I just ordered a copy from Amazon for $13 including shipping a few days ago. I will post my thoughts after I watch it.

Also... anyone read the book as well... advantage to having both?
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