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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Martin Hall on Rickie's Swing Changes

Since Rickie is defending this week, I thought I'd post this short piece Martin Hall did for Morning Drive about the changes Butch Harmon made to Rickie's swing.

Rickie had a problem with an unpredictable hook, caused in large part because he got the club too far behind him in the backswing (in other words, his downswing plane came too much from the inside). The three tips are very simple:
  • When the club shaft is parallel to the ground in the backswing, the shaft is also parallel to his aimline and the toe of the club points straight up. (In other words, a basic one-piece takeaway.) Note that because Rickie tended to swing outside his target line originally, Butch exaggerated this new takeaway move a bit so he felt as if he was bending his trailing elbow slightly on the way back. Starting his backswing too much to the outside started the chain of events that put the club too much behind him on his downswing.
  • He shortened Rickie's backswing a little. Rickie tended to overswing, which caused him to drop the club too much behind him on the downswing. That made him come at the ball too much from the inside, so he flipped his wrists to square the clubface, which was the cause of those wild hooks he used to hit.
  • He got Rickie to make sure he finished his followthrough. Rickie would stop turning toward the target too soon after hitting the ball, and that also contributed to those flip-hooks.
These are useful tips if you're having trouble with overhooking the ball. And the one-piece takeaway helps almost everybody because, if you start back on plane, you're more likely to come down on plane.

The tips definitely worked for Rickie.

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