Winter Practice #1

Was reviewing what I wanted to write about this month – and realized we have not really talked about Winter Practice yet.

As it is definitely getting cooler outside and for many, the golf season has ended or is definitely slowing down, thought it would be a good time to review some winter practice again.

I’ll be honest with you – for many (if not everyone), it is quite possibly the best time of year to fix/repair or change issues in your swing. Why? Because, this time of year we are not worried about playing tomorrow or in the near future, or how the changes will affect or next round, or that the changes may “feel funny”… This time of year we have time to work on changes and give them time to “stick” or become permanent.

Let’s review our Winter Practice and talk a little more about some specific points.

Also threw in a couple pointers on each Picture you might want to try…

Picture # 1 – You will see a picture of a golf club against a leverage bag.

Picture # 2 – Notice Todd’s set up. In particular the lead arm above (higher than) the trail – the wider (than conventional) stance and the tilted triangle.

(Triangle is described as the angles between the arms and shoulders. Triangle formed between the arms and shoulders). The tilted triangle is the description of the lead shoulder being above the trail at set up.

Pointer – Set up over a golf ball or the leverage bag and have someone take a picture of you (face on). Many do this by using their cell phone (having a camera option) and have someone take a picture of your set up. Look at the picture – compare to this set up.

Picture # 3 – Compare Picture #2 (left side) and Picture #3 (left side) – notice – Todd’s head DID NOT move. It did not go back, forward, up, down, etc… It remained VERY still.

Work on this in your takeaway. Too often we see the head move in this part of the backswing. Your head MUST and needs to stay very still in order to maintain proper spin tilt which leads to a proper take away.

Pointer – Shadow Test. On a sunny day, or you can do inside with the right lights – set up to a leverage bag/ golf ball. Make sure your shadow is in front of you. In other words, you are looking at your shadow (sun/light will be at your back). Look at your shadow – focus on your head (shadow). Start your backswing – your head/shadow should not move. GREAT check.

Picture # 4 – Check your hinge. The angle between your lead arm and club shaft. Create as much as possible working on keeping your lead wrist (left wrist for right handers, etc..) as flat as possible. Remember – you hit the ball with a flat wrist – much easier and more consistent to keep flat wrist (as flat as possible) throughout the swing.

Pointer – Stop when your lead arm is parallel to the ground – check the angle (amount of hinge). If you want more – do VERY slow – hold the position, do this over and over – get the body used to the feel of more hinge.

Picture # 5 – Down the line view of hinge. Focus on trail elbow position. It is NOT against the side (not touching), but close. Make sure your elbow is in this position and not “flying” out (or bent outward, etc..).

Picture # 6 – Again focus on the trail arm – this picture is in the downswing. Notice how the elbow is in front of Todd and tucked close to his side. Also notice how the trail forearm is up (Moe called this “sunny side up”) and the club shaft is pointed down the line.

Pointer – Go to this position VERY slow and work on pushing club as far forward as possible WITHOUT letting the shaft drop past parallel. This will help increase your leverage and angles and DRAMATICALLY increase distance (ball flight) if done right.

Picture # 7 – Notice – the hands are LEADING the club. In other words, the hands are already to the bag (and ahead of the leading edge) before the club makes contact with the bag. Also notice how Todd’s head is still in the same position as where he started. Compare picture # 7 to picture # 2. Your head can drop (slightly) due to your trail shoulder dropping, but your head SHOULD NOT go forward.

Picture # 8 – Again – check your hands are leading. Notice the straight line from the lead shoulder to the club head – same as your set up.

Picture # 9 – Exaggerate the hands going forward (the leverage bag will stop the club head). Make sure your lead arm is HIGHER than your trail arm. This is practicing your IMPACT position. Critical to practice this often – make sure your lead arm is higher than your trail arm and your trail arm is BENT.

Pointer – Try to “push” the bag around with your club. Ben Hogan used to push a car tire around the range… use a leverage bag – easier on you and your clubs…. This will strengthen your swing and get you the feeling of a strong impact position.

Picture # 10 – At impact, make sure knees are flexed and feet are down. If your lead knee is not flexed, there is a STRONG probability you will come over (outside/in path) your golf shots. When the lead knee straightens, lead shoulder pulls out – thus outside/in path.

Pointer – Check to make sure your lead knee is flexed. Flex twice as much as you think… exaggerate the flex – get the feeling of a flexed knee at impact.

Picture # 11 – Review – feet are on the ground (square to ball), knees are flexed (square to the ball), hips are OPEN – up to 15 to 20* – the hips ARE NOT square at impact. The shoulders are also square at impact.

Pointer – DO NOT try and keep your hips square to the ball at impact. Keeping them square is NOT correct. This hips must open to allow the hands and arms to get back to impact.

This may be difficult for some due to lack of flexibility. Something EVERYONE can and should work on over the winter. Increasing their flexibility, and with this increased flexibility, the ability to make better impact, hit the ball further and hit “required” positions in the golf swing. It is NOT hard to increase your flexibility if done correct – to see more specifics, please go to:

Picture # 12 – Repeat the drills over and over again – holding the positions to get used to the NEW feeling.

Pointer – Can not stress this enough – DO THESE DRILLS VERY SLOW – try them with your eyes closed, get used to the new positions and feelings.

Getting used to these and creating more hinge and better angles will give you a much more consistent and STRONGER golf swing.

We have had many new golfers sign up for our newsletter in the past few weeks – WELCOME.

Remember – Always Practice with a Purpose.

Also Remember – A little improvement every time you practice adds up to a lot of improvement over time.

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