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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Basics of Waggling

Waggles have once again become a topic of conversation on TV since Jason Dufner won Sunday. I did a post about waggles last year that focused on Hogan's waggle as well as a post focusing on Dufner's swing the year before that, but there's certainly a lot more available on waggles now. Here's some more material to help you decide if a waggle is for you.

It appears that Jason's waggle is different from Hogan's, despite Jason being a real Hogan fanatic. That fact has become clearer to me since I wrote the post on Hogan's waggle mentioned above. There are two distinct methods of waggling:
  • a method that uses the entire arm (Hogan's)
  • a method that focuses on the wrists (Dufner's)
If you were watching Morning Drive on Monday, you heard Charlie Rymer describing the second one. It's the simpler way to do it.

Here's a Swing Fix show that Michael Breed did right after Jason got his first Tour win in 2012. (Yes, the entire show. It was only a half-hour long back then -- without commercials, just over 21 minutes.) The first 6 minutes are about waggling.



And here's a brief description of Hogan's waggle from Five Lessons. I've edited it slightly, as Hogan wrote for right-handers and I know many of you are lefties; I've substituted the terms lead and trailing for left and right. Also, a large part of this is in ALL CAPS in the book, but it's easier to read in regular print:
In the waggle, the lead hand is the controlling hand. The trailing works along with the lead. Each time you waggle the club back, the trailing elbow should hit the front part of your trailing hip, just about where your watch pocket is. When this takes place, the lead elbow, as it must, comes out slightly, the lower part of the arm from the elbow down rotates a little, and the lead hand moves three inches or so past the ball toward the target. As the hands move back to the ball on the forward waggle, the lead hand also moves an inch or two past the ball toward the target. During the waggle, the upper part of the arms remain rooted against the sides of the chest. As we stated earlier, there should be no turning of the shoulders. (p66-67)
In the Hogan waggle, there's a BIG movement and a LITTLE movement, and they alternate. (That's why he mentions a 3-inch move and a 1-inch move of the lead hand.) The trailing hand doesn't move from side to side -- the lead hand does all the moving and the trailing hand just turns. In addition -- and this is a big difference from Dufner's waggle -- the trailing elbow moves back and bumps the trailing hip, then returns to its setup position. At the same time, the lead elbow moves away from your body, then returns to its setup position.

In both types of waggle, the hands stay in roughly the same spot in front of your body. The head of the club does most of the noticeable moving. One other thing the two types of waggle have in common: Jason says he has no set way to waggle, and Hogan says you shouldn't try to "groove" your waggle. The idea is that waggles just happen and help reduce tension.

Hopefully this will clear up any confusion the TV discussions of Dufner's waggle might have caused you.

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