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Thursday, February 2, 2012

More About One-Piece Takeaways

If you saw Martin Hall on GC's School of Golf last night, you heard him talk about something I harp on all the time. I often take instructors like Martin to task for telling viewers to do things that I say are wrong, but then they do shows like this one that prove they know how things really work. Clearly some of the bad advice is meant as a quick fix for a symptom rather than a lasting fix for the problem. When those teachers do a show like this, it's almost enough to make me forget the bad quick fixes.

Almost. Smiley Faces

Martin was talking about wrist action, something he explains better than anybody I've ever heard. Although he didn't call it a one-piece takeaway, that's exactly what he was talking about.

He talked about the importance of having the bottom of your swing arc in the same place every time you swing. And he made this very important point: Many people think their wrists twist the club away from the ball and then twist the club back to hit it. Martin said THAT'S WRONG. Your wrists only hinge straight up and down, so they only move the club straight up and down -- like hammering a nail. The side motion -- your hands traveling along the swing plane, if you will -- is created by turning your shoulders.

Do you understand that? Your wrists only hinge straight up and down. There is no forearm rotation. If you twist your forearms -- which Martin demonstrated and said was incorrect -- you mess up the bottom of your swing arc.

When I write about one-piece takeaways I want you to turn your shoulders early to start your backswing. When your wrists start to cock, I want you to feel as if you're cocking them straight up.

"But then my club won't be on plane," you may say. (Go ahead. You may say it.) But your club will be on plane, and here's why: When your elbow bends during your backswing, it will cause your wrists to cock and it will tilt the club onto the correct plane. Your forearms don't twist when this happens; rather, the shoulder joint of your straight arm rotates. That means your entire straight arm rotates, not just your forearm. And because the whole arm moves, your forearms and wrists will feel as if they're in pretty much the same position they were at address.

Then, when you make your downswing, you don't have to untwist your forearms and hope you return them to their address position. All you have to do is straighten your bent elbow. Since bending it created all the "tilting" that happened during your backswing, straightening it returns everything to the starting position.

Result: More consistency in your swing.

So if you want to hit the ball more solidly and consistently, make a one-piece takeaway and don't twist your forearms. Martin says so, and I'm holding him to it. Smiley Faces

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