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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Chris O'Connell's Three Swing Fundamentals

Chris O'Connell's students include Matt Kuchar and Scott Piercy, and he was GC's Golf Channel Academy Coach of the Week this past week. Here's a quick video he did with three basics he feels all golfers should know. (Hey, he said beginning golfers but fundamentals are the same at every level!)

Three very simple basics:
  1. Grip the club primarily in your fingers, not your palms. Some instructors differ on exactly what this means. Some swing methods put the club more in the palms, like the Natural Golf method (the one based on Moe Norman's swing). Some want the club cradled diagonally across the palm and fingers (the butt end is more under the heel pad), which is more Hoganesque. O'Connell puts it mostly in the fingers; there's a very clear view at the :18 second mark.
  2. Your swing plane shouldn't be too upright or too flat. Note that he doesn't give you a specific angle that it should be, although I'm sure he has a specific plane he looks for in his pupils. (He teaches the Plane Truth method a la Jim Hardy.) But the fundamental is to avoid extremes. His 'ferris wheel / merry-go-round' image is pretty cool.
  3. Finish with your weight on your lead foot. Again, note that he doesn't give any particulars about how to move your lower body here. He just wants you to make a forward weight shift -- that is, move from your trailing foot to your lead foot during your downswing -- so you don't fall backward when you swing. You make better contact with the ball this way.
These are dirt-simple basics that allow for a lot of different types of swings among players, but it's amazing how often swing problems are the result of not following one of these fundamentals.

Keep it simple, folks. Always check your basics first when something goes wrong in your swing, and you'll find it's easier to keep your swing working correctly.