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Fixed my slice/pull by doing the opposite to Hogan!


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This isn't an anti-Hogan post, far from it, but I thought I'd share my variation on the Hogan set-up because it really has done wonders for me. My "bad" shot has always been a pull slice or if I leave the face open (rarely) a normal slice. I'm self-taught but have used the fundamentals as as my main source of guidance. Hogan set up his swing to guard against the hook, his bad shot. That got me thinking isn't a pull slice/normal slice basically the polar opposite of a hook?

Keeping the same stance (that is my right foot is about 6 inches behind my left foot, set-up for a draw) exactly the way Hogan suggested. I did the exact opostite of what Hogan said to do with my feet. That is, I turned my right foot away from me about 20 degrees (to encourage a full hip turn) and:

This is the biggest discovery I would urge all slicers to try, instead of fanning out my left foot, I have it pointing slightly inwards so its almost trying to point at the ball. It feels like there's quite alot of tension but that's the key to it. If you concentrate on keeping it there through impact (basically just hitting into your new hard left side) then I guarentee you wont drag the club inside through impact like slicers do, its basically impossible to do!

I'm hitting a consistant mid-height draw EVERY time! Had to share this with you guys because I figured if it could help me then it could help someone else in the same boat (I'm given to understand there are a few slicers out there!)

Shot a 76 yesterday, never been so excited about golf!
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I've seen golf digest and golf magazine suggest that. It's because we're all not as flexible as professionals. Flaring your back foot a little encourages (and helps) a good turn back away from the ball.

in fact it's page 101 of this months golf digest.

I'm not flexibile at all.. I flare my right (back) foot
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This isn't an anti-Hogan post, far from it, but I thought I'd share my variation on the Hogan set-up because it really has done wonders for me. My "bad" shot has always been a pull slice or if I leave the face open (rarely) a normal slice. I'm self-taught but have used the fundamentals as as my main source of guidance. Hogan set up his swing to guard against the hook, his bad shot. That got me thinking isn't a pull slice/normal slice basically the polar opposite of a hook?

This will probably start a huge argument and I apologize in advance but that is why I consider Hogan's book and generally a lot of other books by very famous golfers extremely flawed.

When people buy these books to learn how to do things "Hogans Way" or "Jack or Tiger's Way" they are generally wasting their time. If you wanted to learn how to play basketball would you buy Kobe Bryant's book or Bobby Knights? Take this problem for example, most amateur golfers have an over the top swing and won't roll their hands at finish giving them a huge slice. Hogan suffered from a pull hook so he cupped his wrist at the top of his back swing (which is generally a bad idea but worked for him). If amateurs started mimicking that move their slice would get A LOT worse. I just don't get it.
I've seen golf digest and golf magazine suggest that. It's because we're all not as flexible as professionals. Flaring your back foot a little encourages (and helps) a good turn back away from the ball.

The problem with this is it will increase your shoulder turn and increase your back swing radius but further limit your forward swing.

Achieving a wider and longer back swing isn't going to do much for you if you can't turn and maintain your posture, pivot, turn, and thus club head acceleration through impact and the longer and wider your swing is the HARDER it is to maintain these things. You are better off opening your stance a bit (see Trevino and Boo Weekley) making a shorter back swing but being able to maintain your turn (aka acceleration) going forward. All that added swing length is a COMPLETE AND TOTAL waste of effort if your body starts seizing up before you reach the ball. JB Holmes seems to generate plenty of power with a 2/3rds swing we aren't all built like Sergio but trying to swing like him when we have the body of Craig Stadler is pretty damn futile.
This is the biggest discovery I would urge all slicers to try, instead of fanning out my left foot, I have it pointing slightly inwards so its almost trying to point at the ball. It feels like there's quite alot of tension but that's the key to it. If you concentrate on keeping it there through impact (basically just hitting into your new hard left side) then I guarentee you wont drag the club inside through impact like slicers do, its basically impossible to do!

Would also like to point out that dragging the club inside at impact isn't what causes a slice. What causes a slice is coming "over the top" in your down swing which leads to hitting outside in or down the line on the golf ball rather than inside out. If your club is inside at impact it is actually impossible to slice a ball.

The left shoulder is basically the center point of the golf swing. In relation to the center point the proper plane line is that a club moves up and in on the back swing and should obviously move down and out in the forward swing. But for a slicer the club goes up and in going back and then down and in coming forward. So basically you get over the top of the plane. By severely closing your stance you aren't really solving your problem, you are simply putting a band aid on it by changing the plane line. Basically you are setting up for a huge draw which means when you get over the top in your downswing you are going from WAY inside to on the proper plane. What you have basically discovered is slice fix #1 which is aim way right and then when you swing way left it goes generally straight most of the time. I'm not trying to be negative but I can assure you that you haven't fixed anything in your swing and that fix that you found won't cure your problems. On those rare swings that you swing on the proper plane rather than over the top you will 100 yards out of bounds right and all it takes is that creeping up in your swing once or twice a round to put up a huge number.
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Interesting to hear your comments on the right foot, but I'm eager to hear what people think about the idea of not fanning out your LEFT foot; instead having it pointing straight ahead or slightly inward. Is that something you've ever heard of, do you think it will have any negative effects down the line?

I havn't posted on technique before but this one change had such a dramatically positive effect I thought I'd see what you guys thought. In case I haven't explained it properly I've attached a crudely drawn diagram of what I mean.

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Would also like to point out that dragging the club inside at impact isn't what causes a slice. What causes a slice is coming "over the top" in your down swing which leads to hitting outside in or down the line on the golf ball rather than inside out. If your club is inside at impact it is actually impossible to slice a ball.

Thanks for the input, you obviously have a firm grasp of swing dynamics, but I think you patronise me slightly. A slice/pull slice categorically IS caused by dragging the club excessively inside AFTER impact (the out-to-in move with the emphasis on the "in"). That was the problem I set about trying to solve, I've had a modicum of success getting the club arriving from the inside (although nowhere near consistantly). My shortcoming has always been I'm too eager to drag the clubhead inside after I've made contact and have tried countless tips and fixes to chase the ball through impact and properly extend through the ball. For some reason none of them worked, but the move I've made with my left foot has really had a huge impact, probably because it quietens/slows down my over-active hip turn. As for the aiming right comment, that wasn't really what I was excited about, just something I've done for a while because it probably helps lessen that over the top move you describe so vividly. I think If I set up with a perfectly straight stance but still made the left foot adjustment I would still hit drastically straighter shots than if I didn't. I reluctantly agree that it probably is a "band aid" move, but as yet its proved to be a decidedly durable band-aid!
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If you flare your left foot, for me its my right foot, it adds balance, and a better follow through, also helping with the draw. If you want to hit a draw, try as hard as you can to push the ball into right field. Push push push. I can hit a fade by doing the inside out swing, and its a fade, not a slice, and I can draw it by pushing it, but really getting my hands through. You should literally try and hit a snap hook, you'll probably hit a draw. I change my swing path, and my stance, but never my grip. And I always flare my right foot.
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Thanks for the input, you obviously have a firm grasp of swing dynamics, but I think you patronise me slightly.

Sorry, I was not trying to be mean. Just trying to make sure you get what I was saying.

A slice/pull slice categorically IS caused by dragging the club excessively inside AFTER impact (the out-to-in move with the emphasis on the "in").

Yup, but if you stop and consider for just a moment you will realize it is not possible to be on plane all the way to impact and then drastically drag the club inside at impact and freeze the wrist to such a degree that you have a pull slice. It simply is not possible.

Hitting a pull slice means you hit outside in on the ball with a frozen left wrist. How is it possible to be on plane swinging outward the entire downswing and then at the moment of truth rearrange all that stuff into an over the top pull slice? If you think that's possible (which some may) then it must also be possible to be over the top throughout the swing and then at the moment of truth rearrange the club back onto plane and hit a big right to left hook? These things are not humanly possible with a driver traveling 90+ mph. So what I'm getting at is that the problem starts at the top and/or the start of the downswing.
That was the problem I set about trying to solve, I've had a modicum of success getting the club arriving from the inside (although nowhere near consistantly). My shortcoming has always been I'm too eager to drag the clubhead inside after I've made contact and have tried countless tips and fixes to chase the ball through impact and properly extend through the ball. For some reason none of them worked, but the move I've made with my left foot has really had a huge impact, probably because it quietens/slows down my over-active hip turn.

You have the idea right of what you need to be doing by arriving from the inside but 100% without even seeing your swing I can guarantee you it isn't because you are yanking the club inside at impact.

I can assure you that you are hitting a pull slice because your first move at the start down of your swing is over the top. You can achieve an inside out swing by feeling the club drop when you start your down swing. You keep it going by sending your right shoulder straight down plane to impact. This is what slicers do not do so let me clarify: You keep it going by sending your right shoulder straight down plane to impact. See this video and look at both Tiger and Adam as their right shoulder heads straight down plane to the ball from :10 to :18 in the clip: Both of their shoulders hold steady for a moment as their lower body begins to coil and then their shoulders TILT like crazy. The right shoulder drives downward and the left shoulder fires upward and the club head just starts chasing like crazy. A slicer doesn't tilt he turns. If you could look straight down at the top of your head (assuming you are right handed) you would see your left shoulder and right shoulder moving counter-clockwise rather than up and down. The left shoulder pulls backwards and the right shoulder lunges forwards and the plane immediately goes from a diagonal line to the ball to a line straight down on top of it.
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A slicer doesn't tilt he turns. If you could look straight down at the top of your head (assuming you are right handed) you would see your left shoulder and right shoulder moving counter-clockwise rather than up and down. The left shoulder pulls backwards and the right shoulder lunges forwards and the plane immediately goes from a diagonal line to the ball to a line straight down on top of it.[/QUOTE]


I noticed you are an advocate of the "Golf Machine", I've watched everything Brian Manzella has put on youtube (a fantastic Golf Machine instructor you've probably heard of). I tried one of his tips which was along the lines of what you explained; namely trying to get the right shoulder dropping so its lower than the left, while simultaniously coming down "on plane". There's no question that this straightened out my divot and got me approaching from the inside but I found that I hit an auful lot of shots fat, which was so frustrating I reverted back to type. I found it really hard to drop my right shoulder without also dropping my head, any ideas how to fix that?
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I noticed you are an advocate of the "Golf Machine",

I'm mainly a fan of TGM because it teaches you why not just how.

I play with a lot of guys many of whom are a lot better than me that really don't have any idea what they are doing, they just do it really well. My instructor actually walked a practice round with Jack Nicklaus when he was paired with one of his students for a tournament and he was so excited because he couldn't wait to pick Jack's brain about a few things. He said Jack honestly didn't really understand the golf swing that well he was just really freakin good at executing what he didn't know he was doing.
I've watched everything Brian Manzella has put on youtube (a fantastic Golf Machine instructor you've probably heard of). I tried one of his tips which was along the lines of what you explained; namely trying to get the right shoulder dropping so its lower than the left, while simultaniously coming down "on plane". There's no question that this straightened out my divot and got me approaching from the inside but I found that I hit an auful lot of shots fat, which was so frustrating I reverted back to type. I found it really hard to drop my right shoulder without also dropping my head, any ideas how to fix that?

Well its one of two things.

Either you were actually dropping your head which is a possibility or you were activating your right hand. If you activate your right hand the club head immediately tries to overtake the left hand which bends the left wrist, throws away lag, robs you of power, and everything else bad. Another thing that it happens to do is make you hit fat shots. I would be willing to bet you are actually activating the right hand because you over accelerated rather than you dropped your head down. Without seeing a video I couldn't tell you either way but if you had a problem dropping your head then that would show up anytime you swing not just when you swing on plane.
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When the slice creeps into my swing, all I have to do is not cock or turn my wrists in the backswing. Keeping a flat left wrist and swinging on the club plane. Even if I do come over the top, with a square clubface, the ball will drop down not far from where I was aiming, usually a bit shorter.

If I start hitting fat shots, I'll focus on weight shift, moving the hips forward before the downswing and making sure my head does not follow the hips. I imagine my feet and head are locked in place, at least until after impact. Through the swing, they stay still, at least close to, most importantly on the downswing. If my head gets out of position, normally forward, the shot is ruined. Once I get this movement right, I take a divot after the ball every time, from 3i to 58º wedge. Also works for chipping. If I hit it fat, I've looked up too fast and dropped the right shoulder, or moved the head forward.

A lot of bad things start with poor weight shift, at least for my part. With the good hip movement and head staying still, I can swing easy and knowing I'll get the distance. That's where I get my effortless power. It also helps on pulling the shoulders down the swing plane. Without the weight shift, the arms must travel out and come over the top.
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