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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jim Hardy on How Not to "Get Stuck" (Video)

If you watched School of Golf Wednesday night, you saw teacher Jim Hardy and he talked a lot about using your hands. I'll be coming back to that soon -- it's something I've been really passionate about lately -- but for now I'm posting this extra video they did about how Hardy helped David Duval recently stop "getting stuck" during his downswing.

This particular case of "getting stuck" is caused by a relatively flat swing plane, as opposed to a more upright swing plane. (Hardy calls it being "horizontally loaded," which is just another way of saying the swing plane is flat.) Depending on how you try to solve it, you can either leave the clubface wide open and hit a slice OR flip your hands and forearms and hit a hook.

You need to understand that both bad results are caused by not continuing to turn all the way from the top of your backswing to your finish. When you keep turning your shoulders, you almost have to straighten your trailing elbow at impact, which causes you to uncock your trailing wrist. If you're not squaring up the face, you're slowing down your turn as you near impact.

On the other hand, if you're flipping your hands to square up the face, you're almost completely stopping your turn as you near impact. That's the only way your trailing hand can gain enough time to speed up and pass your lead hand.

What should happen is that your trailing wrist uncocks as you strike the ball -- which means your lead forearm and the club shaft form a straight line just past impact -- and then the lead forearm/club shaft combo stays in that straight line until your wrists "re-cock" as you finish the swing. It can only do that if your shoulders keep turning all the way to the finish.

So -- not to belabor the point -- you need to make sure you turn all the way through your shot, all the way to the finish.

One last thought here, which is about the difference between modern and classic swings:

Getting stuck isn't something that the early players using hickory shafts had to deal with. Getting stuck is a problem caused by trying to load stiff shafts so you can transmit power at impact. A modern swing would have overloaded a hickory shaft, so the problem of uncocking your wrists at impact was solved totally with rhythm and tempo.

Does rhythm play a part in getting unstuck in a modern swing? Yes... but not as much as in a classic swing because rhythm can't create as much power as sheer force can, so pure rhythm can't load a stiff shaft as much as we require. A modern swing takes more muscle to uncock the wrists.

In practice, this simply means that you use Hardy's advice to solve the problem of getting stuck -- that is, you have to use your trailing hand more at impact. The classic swinger, on the other hand, would have corrected the problem with a tempo change at the top of the backswing.

If that last bit confuses you, don't worry about it. Just make sure you keep turning all the way through to the finish and you should be just fine.

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