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ProStuart

Dropping hands to initiate downswing

65 posts in this topic

Hey all,

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 backswing 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?

Appreciated

Stu
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All manipulation should be done at setup, not during the swing.
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All manipulation should be done at setup, not during the swing.

How is the OP supposed to correct a swing path error during setup??

I would think that the only way to instill a change into muscle memory is with repetition.
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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 backswing to get in the slot for an in-to-out swing plane.

He wants you to put a loop in your swing.

Go for it if you want, but I'd prefer to see you trying to get closer to the proper plane from the start. That means your hands go up, back, and IN. "dropping it" from the top means you're over the plane. How has Tiger's driving been lately?
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I've been working on the same issue. I haven't set up the camcorder to confirm yet, but the return of a draw seems to confirm that things are working right. For me, I have been focusing on initiating the swing with my left hip, rotating it back. This seems to make my hands drop automatically. If I focus on dropping my hands, that seems to activate smaller muscles in the arms. Perhaps some of the more accomplished swing doctors can confirm my thoughts, or tell me I am nuts.
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Go for it if you want, but I'd prefer to see you trying to get closer to the proper plane from the start. That means your hands go up, back, and IN. "dropping it" from the top means you're over the plane.

Assuming I take the club away on the right path (ie. plenty of width and on the correct path), are you saying I could get into the correct plane by bringing my hands further in towards my body after say 2-3 feet of takeaway?

It's obviously very difficult to visualise the correct path - do you know of any good images that show this? Stu
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I did this as a drill many years ago. Practice is the key. Do it enough times (exaggerate it even) and the move becomes apart of your swing and you dont consiously worry about your hands. But it takes time.
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Assuming I take the club away on the right path (ie. plenty of width and on the correct path), are you saying I could get into the correct plane by bringing my hands further in towards my body after say 2-3 feet of takeaway?

Never in towards your body, no.

If it's a righty in a down-the-line view, "in" is to the left. "Depth." From that view, the hands should always be moving up, towards the camera, and LEFT on the backswing. You get a loop if you do too much of the "up" and/or not enough of the "left" and then try to correct it on the downswing. Lots of people do it. I just said I don't advise it... I don't see the tradeoff as being a valid one for 99% of golfers.
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Takeaway plagued me until I found a way to keep it consistent.

I reach for the target with the left side of the body while forcing my hands inside as much as possible in the takeaway. You will find that the hands can't go any further inside than the right pocket - the clubhead stays outside. The club follows a virtual 'wall' all the way to the top. Arriving at the same spot every time.

Slinging the club back from the ball insures enough initial momentum to propel the club to the top without further manipulation. The momentum of the sling automates the lateral shift to the target.
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All these pro's trying to teach people, you must be on plane 100% of the time is just impossible. Its alright to have a loop in the swing, fred couples had a loop in his swing, he would raise his hands up and have a very high position and drop the club down into the slot. Furyk, one of the most accurate golfers in the past 10 years get is on plane with a wierd backswing. Don't be too caught up in the backswing, its over-rated. There are a few death moves that will kill the swing, but they can be fixed.

A good drill, step up to the golf ball like your going to hit a normal shot, close your stance to about chipping stance, and step back with your right foot about a foot and a half. Start taking swings to get the feeling you are comming from the inside. make sure to keep your shoulder square to the target at address, don't start aiming right with the shoulders, then you will just be like your aiming right instead of trying to get your body to get the feeling of comming from the inside. Basically your blocking your self from comming over the top with the left side of your body.
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All these pro's trying to teach people, you must be on plane 100% of the time is just impossible.

If you allow for a reasonable (a few inches, a few degrees) of wiggle room, then you're 100% wrong.

Its alright to have a loop in the swing, fred couples had a loop in his swing,

Yes, let's use a freak of nature (in a positive sense) who has hit roughly 100x as many golf balls in 2009 as the average poster here has hit in his lifetime. Great example.

Don't be too caught up in the backswing, its over-rated.

Funny, but I consider it under-rated. The point of the backswing is to put you into a position from which you can hit the club reliably. What's one of the most common fixes for Tiger Woods? To fix his backswing to help eliminate that loop that either results in him spinning out and coming over it or, when he loops too much, dropping it too far under and getting stuck.

If the world's best golfer can't do the move very often, how should we expect the average amateur to do it? Saevel, you aren't that far away. We're having a school on June 12. You should come to it - you'll be a better player at the end of the day and you'll know more about the golf swing than you do now. And for the record, I don't see the problem with "all these pro's [sic] trying to teach people" when you're a 10.0 index and you're trying to teach people. P.S. Forgot the URL: http://thegolfevolution.com/blog/95/...ay-school-erie .
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an assessment of what is causing the initial over the top move will also give you an idea of how to ingrain the fix. Is it a premature lower body move that is pulling things across the line? If you have an over active lower body than the step back drill is very helpful.
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I've been working on the same issue. I haven't set up the camcorder to confirm yet, but the return of a draw seems to confirm that things are working right. For me, I have been focusing on initiating the swing with my left hip, rotating it back. This seems to make my hands drop automatically. If I focus on dropping my hands, that seems to activate smaller muscles in the arms. Perhaps some of the more accomplished swing doctors can confirm my thoughts, or tell me I am nuts.

In my opinion, this is some good advice. Initiate the downswing by rotating the left hip back and bringing the right elbow into the body, allowing the hands & wrists to enter into the "slot" position. (Be careful not to over-exaggerate the hip move)

Also, practice these techniques with a weighted club to ingrain muscle memory into the swing.
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Update to my progress.... NONE ..... this is the MOST frustrating thing I've ever tried in my life!!!

I'm trying to drill the inside-out path by putting a ball 6-8 inches in front of my target ball on the inside by about a ball and a half. I'm then trying to ensure I do not hit the second ball at impact. I hit 120 balls last night - I can do this fine at 50% swing speed, but put me back to 80-90% and I hit the second ball every time!!!!

Is this something in my subconcious that's stopping me performing this simple action? Is there going to be a "click" moment if I hit another 120, and another 120 and another 120.....

Any feedback from others who may have gone through this would be truly appreciated......

Desperate......
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I feel your pain friend. I am trying to do the same thing right now. Have faith. Hang in there. Be patient. We will get it in time! I have been at it since the season started (roughly 2 months) and just now starting to have some success. No improved scoring (a little worse actually) but inside-out is starting to become more natural.
I might also suggest changing your drill by putting the object your are trying to miss (a second ball, towel, whatever) behind the ball rather than in front of it.
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Maybe I'm missing something in the discussion, but I don't see how dropping the hands creates a loop. I had a much more upright swing until about five years ago, and the loop problem came in from overswinging on the takeaway.

I have a flatter swing now, and my pro has been working with me on dropping the hands to start the downswing. The drop just precedes the left hip kick.

The Hogan swing as Hogan did it actually involves kicking the left hip a split second before you set at the top, which creates tremendous slinging power from the top. I tried it some early this spring, but I'm not gifted enough athletically to pull it off consistently. Ball went all directions.

Anyway, the hand drop also helps keep the hands set, creates lag, and prevents early release and casting when I make contact. I hit the ball really well when I do it, with less effort than in my old swing. (And, my back isn't super sore at the end of the round.)

Comments, analysis is appreciated. After all, I am a 21 HDCP, and I'm trying to improve my understanding of the overall swing. People are defining swing concepts and moves much better than even 10 years ago.

ProStuart: You may be worried subconsciously about hitting the shot superfat with the hand drop. Not really a problem, as long as you keep your spine angle and don't dip a shoulder or something like that.

Remember, you are a 9 HDCP, and if it doesn't work for you, try something else.
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Maybe I'm missing something in the discussion, but I don't see how

I'll put it two ways to you.

a) you don't come down to the ball on the same plane as you take the club away - you come back under it. b) your right elbow is off your chest/rib cage at the top of the backswing but close to it at impact. Those two things are related but individually they explain why a steep backswing will produce a loop. You ALWAYS loop if your backswing plane is too high (or too low, but very few people take their hands back too low).
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I'll put it two ways to you.

I don't claim to be very knowledgeable about the swing, but when I watch good players they say they drop theri hands, but what I usually see is their hands actually move back away from the target as their arms drop, if you try to drop them down I would think you would almost always get stuck. I see this sometimes with people who are trying to increase their lag by conciously trying not to release their hands, when they do this their arms, especially the right never seem to straighten or they get stuck. If your arms start down on the right path, your hands must follow I would think, or is this just a feel, not what actually happens?

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