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Hello all,

 

Took a few videos today, trying to understand why my friend hits it fat so often. He has struggled with it, taken a few lessons, but it keeps coming back. Will be hitting the ball ok, and then hit it 4-5 inches fat. On the range, will take a nice shallow 4 inch divot before the ball. Other times, he hits it thin. I think they may be related, he has a very shallow bottom of the swing

 

I am curious if anyone can see anything glaring as to why he would struggle hitting behind the ball.

 

Thanks in advance

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Superficially he actually has a decent looking swing, but he is contorting his body terribly in order to make contact with the ball that it is no wonder he is struggling with his low point (alternating fat and thin shots). 

SevereEE.gif.522f5bb51ac8d6a28f1571fe2722bbd1.gifScott.gif.ad1d6a4bade50559099f42a2f9324d30.gif

His lower body is flying out towards the ball when he should be rotating and driving towards the target. To his credit, he is somehow delivering his hands back to a very similar spot (most people come way over the top with this move) but they have so little room to clear through the hitting area that I wouldn't be surprised if his brain is sending emergency "don't hit yourself!" messages that make it hard to release the club consistently. You can see above how Adam has both his hips and shoulders cleared and ahead of the club at impact, whereas your friend is locked up with square shoulders and barely cleared hips. He needs to learn to rotate properly, especially in transition, to keep things in sequence and find his low point consistently. 

A lot of the rest of his swing looks quite good though, which is why he is still able to hit the ball well at times, but he is playing russian roulette with this lower body action. 
 

 

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3 hours ago, Valtiel said:

Superficially he actually has a decent looking swing, but he is contorting his body terribly in order to make contact with the ball that it is no wonder he is struggling with his low point (alternating fat and thin shots). 

SevereEE.gif.522f5bb51ac8d6a28f1571fe2722bbd1.gifScott.gif.ad1d6a4bade50559099f42a2f9324d30.gif

His lower body is flying out towards the ball when he should be rotating and driving towards the target. To his credit, he is somehow delivering his hands back to a very similar spot (most people come way over the top with this move) but they have so little room to clear through the hitting area that I wouldn't be surprised if his brain is sending emergency "don't hit yourself!" messages that make it hard to release the club consistently. You can see above how Adam has both his hips and shoulders cleared and ahead of the club at impact, whereas your friend is locked up with square shoulders and barely cleared hips. He needs to learn to rotate properly, especially in transition, to keep things in sequence and find his low point consistently. 

A lot of the rest of his swing looks quite good though, which is why he is still able to hit the ball well at times, but he is playing russian roulette with this lower body action. 
 

 

 

Nice visuals. Spot on here IMHO.

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LOL at the early extension gif.  I've never seen that done before and it's hilarious.  

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Thanks for the replies! I was seeing something with his left knee, but I couldn't articulate or figure out why it looked wrong. I think hip depth and learning to rotate are hitting the nail on the head for the next steps to improvement. Thanks @Valtiel!

 

Will also take a look at the grip, thanks @GolfTurkey ! I always tell him his clubface seems open to be, but he disagrees. It is interesting that you see the same thing!

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5 hours ago, theguitarman said:

Thanks for the replies! I was seeing something with his left knee, but I couldn't articulate or figure out why it looked wrong. I think hip depth and learning to rotate are hitting the nail on the head for the next steps to improvement. Thanks @Valtiel!

 

Will also take a look at the grip, thanks @GolfTurkey ! I always tell him his clubface seems open to be, but he disagrees. It is interesting that you see the same thing!

 

You're welcome! 

 

His clubface does fan open a bit in his takeaway, but he's square at the top of the backswing so I didn't think that was an issue. 

Edited by Valtiel

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8 hours ago, Valtiel said:

Superficially he actually has a decent looking swing, but he is contorting his body terribly in order to make contact with the ball that it is no wonder he is struggling with his low point (alternating fat and thin shots). 

SevereEE.gif.522f5bb51ac8d6a28f1571fe2722bbd1.gifScott.gif.ad1d6a4bade50559099f42a2f9324d30.gif

His lower body is flying out towards the ball when he should be rotating and driving towards the target. To his credit, he is somehow delivering his hands back to a very similar spot (most people come way over the top with this move) but they have so little room to clear through the hitting area that I wouldn't be surprised if his brain is sending emergency "don't hit yourself!" messages that make it hard to release the club consistently. You can see above how Adam has both his hips and shoulders cleared and ahead of the club at impact, whereas your friend is locked up with square shoulders and barely cleared hips. He needs to learn to rotate properly, especially in transition, to keep things in sequence and find his low point consistently. 

A lot of the rest of his swing looks quite good though, which is why he is still able to hit the ball well at times, but he is playing russian roulette with this lower body action. 
 

 

I admire his hip thrusting ability. 

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17 minutes ago, tthomasgolfer605 said:

I admire his hip thrusting ability. 

That’s what I was thinking. His hip flexors must be strong. 

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I have an update based on everyone’s feedback. Worked on following that AMG video on hip turn and I think it is a better position than before during the backswing, and impact position is looking better, curious to hear everyone’s thoughts. 
 

My analysis is that the hips and shoulder still stop turning and stay square at impact, instead of clearing. This creates less space (and less power) and is resulting in inconsistent fat and thin shots, depending on how the arms/body compensate for the crowded impact position.

 

Thanks everyone for the feedback!

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4 hours ago, theguitarman said:

I have an update based on everyone’s feedback. Worked on following that AMG video on hip turn and I think it is a better position than before during the backswing, and impact position is looking better, curious to hear everyone’s thoughts. 
 

My analysis is that the hips and shoulder still stop turning and stay square at impact, instead of clearing. This creates less space (and less power) and is resulting in inconsistent fat and thin shots, depending on how the arms/body compensate for the crowded impact position.

 

Thanks everyone for the feedback!

IMG_3274.mov IMG_3277.mov IMG_3276.mov


Excellent in terms of hip depth now, the hump is virtually gone:

GuitarManUpdate.gif.074a3ecf0656e808d964b6c6cb91ee8a.gif

However we still have an early extension/rotation problem which i'll break down in sequence:

GuitarManHips1.gif.3138199f23c8a4fe57192c12a2eaee73.gif

This is a great start. Lower body initiating the downswing, don't change this. 

GuitarManHips2.gif.e6266004a001be38e3dd7762c3e0e070.gif

This is still good, left hip is turning back....however

GuitarManHips3.gif.3ff65a6ba12d8679d82657f8992df6d3.gif

Here the rotation starts to stall early and we can see the right hip moving up and towards the ball. This is extension that is happening early, hence "early extension". Your hips should be clear of the ball before this extension occurs, and that should be happening very close to impact, but here it is happening halfway down the backswing. 

GuitarManHips4.gif.d9c6d2030aec959cede5872f7d478dcf.gif

Here we see the right hip continuing to work up and to the right with minimal rotation. This is basically the "stall and flip" coming in to the ball. 

GuitarManHips5.gif.85cba4867ff23976a1944e1ab7913cdd.gif

Working through impact we see the hips only rotating slightly while the hands flip through the ball. 

Let's do the same with Rory to see what we're aiming for:

RoryHips1.gif.af7854b2fb474f5bdd1b75c21bb08a3a.gif

Crouching and rotating while the hands are very passive, similar things here albeit with more crouching. 

RoryHips2.gif.59e58bb40c82bdf2e3cddcd400c54a27.gif

Here we see Rory powering his hips all the way clear of the ball only halfway through the downswing. The final frame here has his hips in the same position that yours are at impact. 

RoryHips3.gif.3b255fb79a106e63657894a6660d2740.gif

Only now with the hips clear completely clear of the ball does the extending start. This is part of what pulls the arms through the hitting zone which creates both power and low point consistency. 

RoryExtension.gif.9234fcd56a36129d3cea9887f5cd6e0f.gifGuitarManHips3.gif.3ff65a6ba12d8679d82657f8992df6d3.gif

This is where Rory extends (right into impact) vs. where you are extending (middle of downsing)

I hope that helps as a visualization!

Edited by Valtiel
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2 hours ago, Valtiel said:


Excellent in terms of hip depth now, the hump is virtually gone:

GuitarManUpdate.gif.074a3ecf0656e808d964b6c6cb91ee8a.gif

However we still have an early extension/rotation problem which i'll break down in sequence:

GuitarManHips1.gif.3138199f23c8a4fe57192c12a2eaee73.gif

This is a great start. Lower body initiating the downswing, don't change this. 

GuitarManHips2.gif.e6266004a001be38e3dd7762c3e0e070.gif

This is still good, left hip is turning back....however

GuitarManHips3.gif.3ff65a6ba12d8679d82657f8992df6d3.gif

Here the rotation starts to stall early and we can see the right hip moving up and towards the ball. This is extension that is happening early, hence "early extension". Your hips should be clear of the ball before this extension occurs, and that should be happening very close to impact, but here it is happening halfway down the backswing. 

GuitarManHips4.gif.d9c6d2030aec959cede5872f7d478dcf.gif

Here we see the right hip continuing to work up and to the right with minimal rotation. This is basically the "stall and flip" coming in to the ball. 

GuitarManHips5.gif.85cba4867ff23976a1944e1ab7913cdd.gif

Working through impact we see the hips only rotating slightly while the hands flip through the ball. 

Let's do the same with Rory to see what we're aiming for:

RoryHips1.gif.af7854b2fb474f5bdd1b75c21bb08a3a.gif

Crouching and rotating while the hands are very passive, similar things here albeit with more crouching. 

RoryHips2.gif.59e58bb40c82bdf2e3cddcd400c54a27.gif

Here we see Rory powering his hips all the way clear of the ball only halfway through the downswing. The final frame here has his hips in the same position that yours are at impact. 

RoryHips3.gif.3b255fb79a106e63657894a6660d2740.gif

Only now with the hips clear completely clear of the ball does the extending start. This is part of what pulls the arms through the hitting zone which creates both power and low point consistency. 

RoryExtension.gif.9234fcd56a36129d3cea9887f5cd6e0f.gifGuitarManHips3.gif.3ff65a6ba12d8679d82657f8992df6d3.gif

This is where Rory extends (right into impact) vs. where you are extending (middle of downsing)

I hope that helps as a visualization!

That is very helpful, thank you so much! I can definitely see the differences.

 

Do you have any good suggestions for drills or how to learn the stop the extension and clear the hips? There are a million “solutions” out there, I was wondering if you  might point me in the right direction to start fixing it. 
 

thanks again!

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1 hour ago, theguitarman said:

That is very helpful, thank you so much! I can definitely see the differences.

 

Do you have any good suggestions for drills or how to learn the stop the extension and clear the hips? There are a million “solutions” out there, I was wondering if you  might point me in the right direction to start fixing it. 
 

thanks again!


I'm glad that is helpful! You're right in that different people recommend different things to get this feeling and IMO you first have to look at what is causing the rotation to stall. Sometimes it is just a learned behavior that you need to unlearn, in which case doing a simple drill like leaving your arms behind as long as possible in the downswing, either as a rehearsal or as an actual feeling when hitting the ball, can be all that is necessary. However, sometimes there is something else stopping you, normally something that you are buying time to "fix" in the downswing. Early extension/stalled rotation is like a "panic" switch that is thrown when something feels/is out of position since our brain "knows" when we're creating a bad downswing situation. Most often it is related to a steep downswing path with the stalled rotation/early extension employed as a means to keep the club from digging straight into the ground. For others it is a club in a weird/bad position at the top of the swing that needs extra time to get back into position. And for others (maybe you?) it can be related to clubface rotation. You get the clubface working open pretty early in the backswing. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it could be that you're feeling you need more time to square it coming down. You also come down slightly steep, but not overly so, so that combined with a slightly open clubface could be causing you to bail out a little early. 

It could also just be that you need some time to get used to rotating a little differently since you made this pretty big jump in only a few days. Keep at it! Much of the rest of the swing looks pretty textbook IMO. 

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On 6/16/2021 at 8:04 AM, Valtiel said:


You also come down slightly steep, but not overly so, so that combined with a slightly open clubface could be causing you to bail out a little early. 
 

 

Thank you so much, very useful information!!

 

I am curious what defines steep vs shallow. Looking at the elbow plane (favored by AMG), the club is slightly shallow of the line on the way down, so I thought the delivery was slightly shallow, more than steep. Am I looking at this correctly?

IMG_3369.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks again everyone for the great feedback. Posting a progress update. I really struggle to discern between hip rotation and early extension in the downswing. Please ignore keeping the right foot on the ground during follow through, it is a remnant of part of a drill we were working on for hip depth/rotation

 

@Valtiel I am still curious what you see that is slightly steep. I don’t know enough, I only see him shallowing the club and keeping it below the elbow plane. 

Edited by theguitarman
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18 hours ago, theguitarman said:

Thanks again everyone for the great feedback. Posting a progress update. I really struggle to discern between hip rotation and early extension in the downswing. Please ignore keeping the right foot on the ground during follow through, it is a remnant of part of a drill we were working on for hip depth/rotation

 

@Valtiel I am still curious what you see that is slightly steep. I don’t know enough, I only see him shallowing the club and keeping it below the elbow plane. 

 

IMG_3885.mov 14.07 MB · 0 downloads IMG_3888.mov 12.02 MB · 0 downloads


Club path is actually fine in these videos, but I would like to see it without that scary looking drill, because this impact position is very strange:

theguitarmanChange.gif.f79a555252003fa6fafc571d83715bf2.gif

I suppose if this leads to better left hip clearing in the downswing then that is fine, but this in a vacuum makes me nervous, hah. 

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