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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Since We're at Jack's Place This Week...

I thought it might be nice to look at some basic Nicklaus technique.

Jack has always been a believer in keeping your swing simple. He believes you make the same swing for every shot -- draw, fade, high, low -- and just make minor adjustments. Clearly, this is a great approach for weekend players who don't have lots of time for practice. There is more than one "basic swing" method but we're going to focus on Jack's since the Memorial is this week.

This first video is ancient! But it's a nice intro to Jack's approach. (Please note that an ad for a Nicklaus channel appears when you start the video. If you mouse over it, a small circled "x" will appear in the upper right hand corner of it and you can close it.)

And here's a more recent one that goes into more detail about the specifics of adjusting for each type of shot. It seems as if it was made to follow the first video, doesn't it?

I'm not going to transcribe these videos -- they're both short and very clear. But I will sum up the only changes Jack says he made to shape each shot:
  • The draw: Close your stance slightly and close the face slightly.
  • The fade: Open your stance slightly and open the face slightly.
  • Low shot: Move the ball back in your stance slightly and close the face slightly.
  • High shot: Move the ball forward in your stance slightly and open the face slightly.
Pretty doggone simple, eh? This is a simple approach that will work for almost anybody. The only thing I would add is that you need to pay attention to your shoulder line when playing fades and draws. Your shoulder line should match your foot line when you open or close your stance; otherwise your shot may not go where you expect. That's part of the reason Rory's been having problems lately; a closed stance and open shoulders (or an open stance and closed shoulders) is a recipe for chaos.

These videos together take less than three-and-a-half minutes to watch. It's worth watching them several times until you're sure you understand them.

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