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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Some Thoughts from Ross duPlessis

Ross duPlessis is a PGA Professional who I think lives in Albuquerque NM. I was doing some research (photos, etc.) for these posts on "keeping your hands in front of you" and stumbled across his website, which is really cool. I found another post there that I'll be referring to soon, but he has a video on his front page that covers so many good things that I'm just going to link to it. This video shows an excellent example of "keeping your hands in front of you."

Thie duPlessis video is an overall look at just how simple a golf swing can be. He explains pretty clearly why I recommend setting up with the clubshaft in a straight line with your lead arm rather than pointing the butt of the club toward your belly button. It's all about squaring up the clubface at impact. It's not that it won't work, just that it adds the need for a compensation to your swing. If you don't make the compensation, you won't square the clubface. And unless that compensation is a natural move for you, that means you'll need more practice.

Ross does say some different things from what you'll read here, but they aren't things I have any trouble with. Unless I misunderstand what he's saying, he'll have you setting up like Fred Couples and you'll hit a very slight (and very consistent) fade. I know a lot of you think fades don't travel as far as draws, but that's not true; distance is determined by ball trajectory, not shot shape. A low fade travels as far as a low draw.

Be sure to read the comments below the post. He adds some important info there that explains some of his setup advice.

Ross has quite a few sample lessons that you can access from his website. Just click the "Sample Lessons Videos" button at the top of the page.

Finally, this video is on the main blog page but I don't know if it stays there all the time. If you check and it's gone, here's the url for the video itself.


  1. i'm not sure how ross's setup anywhere resemble's fred couples. couples sets up with his hands and the grip of the club pointed to his belt buckle. in fact, he does EXACTLY what ross says NOT to do. i don't disagree with the straight line approach. i think that works best. but it is certainly NOT the way fred couples sets up to the ball. check this:

    fred has ALWAYS had his hands behind the ball.

    peter in olympia

  2. I understand what you're saying, Peter, but I wasn't thinking about his grip as much as his body setup. Fred does set up a little open and swings across his body with the clubface aimed toward his target. Most teachers focus on getting you to swing down the target line, but duPlessis doesn't. That's what I had in mind when I wrote this.

    Freddie's hand position actually encourages a fade, which is probably why duPlessis recommends the straight left wrist position. (That's why I like it, anyway.) Fred tends to overuse his hands at times and flips the club left; pointing the butt of the club at his belly button helps minimize that. And since he has a fairly strong left hand grip, he needs all the help he can get to avoid a hook.

    Quick explanation: Most people, regardless of how they set up, have their hands leading the clubface when they come into the hitting zone. If you set up with the butt of the club pointing at your belly button and the face square, the face will be slightly open when your hands lead it into the hitting zone. If Freddie flips his hands from this position, there's a decent chance he'll only square the face rather than close it, causing a straight miss rather than a hook.

    Most weekend players will hit a slice using Fred's hand position.

    BTW, you referred to a video that's nearly 20 years old. Fred doesn't really swing that way now, although he still points the club at his belly button. Check out this much more recent video with Fred explaining his swing:

  3. Thanks for the nice comments. Just happened by and saw you talking about my approach. Half the battle is setup. Must be Athletic and the ball left so you can rotate into it with large muscles. I've also got some drills on YouTube (DUPLESSISGOLF) or my blog Move Less...Get Good! ... Ross

  4. Thanks for dropping by, Ross! And I really appreciate you putting some good instructional material up on your site. I love finding sites that I feel good recommending to my readers!

  5. Great article! Glad to find you and plan to follow on twitter. I've been practicing RossDuplessisGolf since 2008. I've since moved from Alb, NM. But, luckily his site very much reveals the things we worked on. Thanks, Ross and thanks Mike for recognizing, Ross' talent to see and explain how easy the golf swing can be.

  6. Thanks for the follow. I try to keep a lookout for any simple instruction I can find. We really do make this game too hard.

  7. I am a second time practitioner of The Ross Method...I understand it better now and it is working better for me now. I was way to handsey when I first tried it. When I do it right the swing seems effortless and I don't feel all beat up when I leave the golf course. It's a real body friendly swing.