American Idol or GolfGuruTV?

In this blog you will often see me leveraging some of the great golf content on the web and giving you my perspective on it. Anyone can post a video explaining their view of the swing, and believe me, there are a lot of kooks out there that think they have the magic tip that will drop your handicap like a rock! Just buy their DVD and all your problems will be solved!

Well, I encourage you to be selective and skeptical on what you watch, but be open as well because otherwise you may not find the “tip” that actually works for you. For me, one of the pros I follow is Jason Sutton (aka Guru) at the Dana Rader Golf School in Charlotte, NC. Jason is “the real deal” when it comes to knowing the game. And believe me, he is not only an excellent instructor; he can also play with the best of them!

He has started a series on the web where he shares his knowledge on the golf swing. You may ask yourself, like I do: why do pros like him do this? Why would you “give away” all your hard found knowledge for free? Let me propose a response: it is because no matter what the technique that is demonstrated on the web, at the end of the day there is no substitute for visiting a pro and having him or her work with your specific swing in order to improve. So, my advice is to watch all the content you can, but find a local pro that you can share this content with and work with you to incorporate it into your particular swing.

Jason recently posted a video describing two types of releases for the pitch shot. This is great content and I urge you to watch the video in full.

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In this post I am going to talk about the first release, which is the hit and hold release. Basically, by this he means there is no rotation of the forearms as you swing through the ball. The swing is basically done with a body turn.

What I do when I watch a video is I get in front of a mirror and see how my swing compares with the video. I will also videotape my swing and do the same thing. When I used this technique, I found the biggest difference was that I don’t hinge my wrists nearly as much as Guru does in his video. Note this position which is at the transition of his backswing to the forward swing:

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Notice above how much wrist hinge there is here. The club is practically vertical. For me, I have flipping tendencies with my wrists and I would be terrified on a short pitch like this to hinge the club this much.

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Notice above a little further into the downswing that his wrists are still hinged. There is still a lot of “lag” in this swing. The right elbow is very close to his body. If we were to take a picture of my swing, the clubhead would be much closer to the ball because I tend to flip the clubhead towards it rather than maintain the wrist hinge.

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Wow! Here, his left hand is actually past the ball; the hands are practically at the level of his knees, and he still has maintained most of this wrist hinge and still has lots of lag. My clubhead would probably be at the ball at this point, and the unappetizing chili-dip in my recent blog post would be coming into play!

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Notice just past impact here the clubhead has not really passed his hands (it hasn’t flipped). Rather, it is aligned perfectly with his left arm. This is what we need to look like when we are pitching the ball!

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Finally, here is his finish. Again, the club perfectly in line with his chest; no flip of the club; body turned; a picture perfect finish. There is little to no rotation of the forearms and wrists. You can see the glove on his left hand is pointing towards the sky and the toe of the club hasn’t rotated much. This is what he calls the hit and hold release.

We’ll review his rotational release in an upcoming post. In the meantime, let’s see if we can’t work on duplicating these positions in our short pitch shot swings. I can feel my handicap dropping already. Guru could be my American Idol if this turns out to work!

Matt




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