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Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to Hit a Draw for Lefties 3

Welcome to Lesson 3 on how to become a hooker, class! (Yes, I know. Live with it.) A reminder...

Each day has 2 posts -- one for righties and one for lefties -- and will be identical except for the diagrams and some instructions that might be clearer if I write them specifically for each type of player. The posts will be scheduled one minute apart so both posts will show up at almost the same time. Any of you who have questions can leave them in the comments of the appropriate "handedness post," which should eliminate a lot of confusion. And yes, this is the post for left-handers.

Today we take our practice swing out to the range and hit some balls. Remember, we're going to use our driver since this is the club most players want to draw. That also means I want you to tee the ball up. This post has a lot of info in it -- not because it's difficult but because I want you to understand what we're trying to do. I'm linking to a couple of older posts although I'm including the videos in the body of this one; it won't hurt you to go back and read the originals, but I'll try to get the main points here.

First, from this older post on drawing the ball, is a video by Jimmy Ballard on how to do the very thing we're working on today! (And again I apologize for the videos, but they're right-handed so I don't have a choice here.) I won't repeat all the info, but you'll hear him tell you how to aim the ball, etc. The main thing we're going to worry about is setup. Watch the video and then I'll fill in:



Now let's bring back the last diagram from yesterday's post.

Setup position

For today, don't worry about most of the aiming info Jimmy gives you. If you just aim the butt end of the alignment club at the target -- if your range doesn't have flags you can aim at, find some other suitable target -- and do your setup the way we did it in practice. Only this time, we're going to place a ball down to hit it.

Note that Jimmy said you don't have to angle your shoulders to match your swing path or move the ball position. (You'll also note that Jimmy's trailing foot looks like it's 6 inches or so back from its square position. Like I said yesterday, there's no set amount.) Again, I chose to teach you this method because it is so simple to use.

If you're using my instructions on how to make a one-piece takeaway, you know I don't want you to twist your forearms during your swing. The same thing holds true on your swing here. Since we're finally hitting a ball, I need to make sure you understand why you don't need to twist your forearms to get this ball to draw. It will make it much easier to hit the ball where you want it to go.

Here's a link to another old post, one with K.J. Choi's teacher Steven Bann explaining arm motion during the swing. And here's the video:



Okay, I'm going to give you a little more insight into what's happening. There IS some arm rotation during your swing, but it doesn't happen down at the wrists and forearms. It happens up at the lead shoulder joint. Without going into great anatomical detail, the way your shoulder is designed means it has to rotate when it moves across your chest... and it does move across your chest. Although Bann doesn't show it in the face-on view, your hands actually move about halfway across your body, from roughly in front of your crotch at setup to just outside your trailing shoulder at the top of your backswing. (You can see that in his down-the-line view.)

In yesterday's post, remember how I stressed keeping your upper arms connected to your chest during the practice swing? That not only made your swing path more consistent, but it forces this lead shoulder roll to happen in a very consistent way! (In fact, as long as you remain connected, both shoulders will roll at the appropriate points in your swing.) As you make your practice swing, this motion will virtually force your hands to square up at impact. That's what we want.

That's about it except for one last reminder: Don't forget to tee the ball up for this session. And since you aren't changing the ball position you're going to hit the ball with a slightly flatter plane than normal, which should make it even easier to hit a draw.
Mr. Phelps... your mission today, should you decide to accept it, is to start hitting draws at the range with your practice swing. This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good luck, Jim. [sound of tape hissing as it bursts into flames]
Since tomorrow is the Limerick Summary, and since I have a couple of new fashion posts and would like to post one of them, and since I haven't done this month's RGWR yet because I'm having to rebuild the database with a new program (which I'm having to learn), I'm not going to post the next lesson until later in the week. This is a good time because you guys need to do some work on the range BEFORE you move to Lesson 4... and this way you won't be tempted! Now go out there and make me proud!

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