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Handicap Index

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  1. Y'know, I see post after post after post on here where people either complain about their hip slide and their lack of rotation near impact or people recommend that you rotate more. You know what a lot of pros work on that you never hear them talk about? Getting their hips to slide forward, to push forward all the way to impact. It's easy to be misled, too. Even Hogan's Five Fundamentals book talks about "bumping" the left hip and then rotating through the ball, but that's not really what Hogan did. It's not what Tiger does. It's not what Sergio Garcia does. Contrary to what Golf Magazine and Golf Digest will tell you, better players are often quite a bit more open at impact than amateurs: around 40° or so with their hips, and 15-20° or so with their torsos. Amateurs are often square or even closed with both of those numbers. Here are a bunch of images for everyone. We'll start with one I've used a few times already: Here's Tiger hitting a 9-iron of all things. Took the photo with my iPhone and I apologize for the DVR banner being in the first one, but the position is nearly exactly the same and it wouldn't really matter - the camera position didn't change: And remember, that's a 9-iron. This is a big one so I'll just link to it: Tiger and Geoff posted up on their left side at the follow through . Nick Faldo in his prime: Some others (Baddeley, Scott, Faxon, Howell III, Montgomerie, Duval, Els): Note also Kenny Perry's rolled right foot. He's not a short hitter either. Click this for a final image showing the impact positions of quite a few pros. Check that out and compare them to the hip and shoulder positions of most amateurs at impact. You'll notice a few things: Pros hips are open to the target line at impact. Amateurs tend to be either (rarely) open quite a lot at impact or very close to square to the line (far more common) because they've pushed their butts toward the golf ball and are straightening up, which slows down pivot speed. The left hip of the pros is much higher than the right (because it's pushing towards the target as it rotates). Amateurs tend to have very flat, level hips at this point. Their shoulders are closed relative to their hips. Even Chris DiMarco - a pronounced fader of the golf ball - has his shoulders closed relative to his hips. Amateurs often (not always) reverse this and get the shoulders more open than the hips. This all ties into the hip slide. The longer you push your hips forward towards the target line, the longer your hands can remain on plane to deliver the clubhead on the plane. The instant your hips start spinning open without going forward, the hands, clubhead, and shoulders all kick out over top of the plane, leading to a pull, a cut, a slice, or even a fade if you have absolutely perfect timing, but good luck with that. Drill for this: put something (a little tripod perhaps between your knees, closer to your right knee than your left, and just towards the ball. Hit balls moving your right knee towards the target, not out towards the ball. You want to feel the right foot roll over onto the instep, the knee to bank inwards (again towards the target), and not to go out towards the ball where it'll hit the tripod or stick or whatever you've got positioned there. FWIW, here I am demonstrating this: I've circled and drawn lines on a few things. As with all of the above, they're not super-precise, but they're close. First note the right heel and the knee. In the left photo the heel is lifting because the knee is kicking in. The hips are open and the shoulders, pre-impact, are already open. The hips and shoulders are the second thing to notice. The last thing to notice is what it did to my club. Clearly the position on the right is a better position. The tripod is visible in the image on the right.
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