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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kyle Morris on Chipping VS Full Swing (Video)

On a previous post about swinging, I mentioned some things that Dana asked me to expand upon if possible. Here's my first post to try and help explain them. This chipping video from GC instructor Kyle Morris talks about how chipping is different from your full swing.

One of the things I mentioned in the classic swing post was that modern pros have to learn two different swings because good short game players use classic technique for their short game instead of the modern swing techniques used in their full swings. The reason is that full swings focus on generating power while short games focus much more on touch. The short gamers use the bounce more while the long gamers are using the leading edge of the club.

I'm not telling you anything new here. I've done numerous posts on how you use the bounce and how to use the leading edge, as have almost every instructor you've watched on GC's shows. And if you're using stiffer shafts -- which you need to use if you use a modern swing for your full game; otherwise the shaft will flex too much and you'll lose accuracy -- you have to consciously change your technique as you go from one to the other. The process of creating power to flex the shaft requires different timing, as Kyle demonstrates in the above video.

However, Dana's teacher is a disciple of the late Manuel de la Torre, who taught a more classic technique based in the Ernest Jones method. In their more classic swing, there is no difference between long and short swings. I know you're wondering how that can be, especially given Kyle's explanation.

The classic swing isn't dramatically different in terms of technique, but it's a different mental approach. Perhaps the best way to explain it is to think of using a flyswatter, which is an image I use frequently. Flyswatters are very flexible, so you create more speed by "flicking" the swatter rather than trying to "hit" the fly with it. In fact, if you try to "hit" with an old metal flyswatter, you'll actually bend the handle and never hit the fly at all.

That's because you can't "flick" with power. The soft shaft requires you to do it with technique.

The classic swing, for lack of a better term, uses a softer shaft and a "flicking" motion to create clubhead speed. And as the swing lengthens, the speed of the clubhead increases. Now, here's the trick: That speed increase, coupled with the "flicking" motion, means that the conscious change Kyle is demonstrating between long and short swings is automatically created by the speed increase in a classic swing.

Modern technique requires a firmer grip and therefore less flexible wrists. You have to consciously relax your wrists at the right moment, which is why it takes so much practice to create consistency.

Classic technique, on the other hand, uses a more relaxed grip and therefore your wrists act more like unpowered hinges. The sequencing of the change of direction in a full swing is therefore different than the sequencing of the change of direction in a short swing. AUTOMATICALLY. And if that's hard to understand, don't feel bad. Like I said, it's a different mental approach and it's harder for many if not most people to understand. (It gave me problems too. But once I got it, it seemed dreadfully simple.)

Just for the record, my Quick Guides are sort of a halfway house. They use a more modern approach, but I've removed much of the exaggeration required in a modern technique. In other words, I've incorporated some very fluid Sam Snead moves into the more mechanical Hogan techniques. That way, you can get some of the benefits of both without having to relearn things. (Pure classic swing uses that slight difference in hand technique, coupled with that different mental approach which actually changes how the swing feels. I'm planning a book on it, but it's going to be a while.)

So anyway, I hope that gives you folks a start at understanding how classic swing and modern swing, while using basically the same techniques, can work so differently. I'll be doing more on this topic in the future, because we now have the equipment to use either swing effectively... but modern instruction apparently hasn't realized it yet.


  1. Wow, Mike. When you said give you some time, I figured that meant a few weeks, not 2 days. These comparisons are very helpful to understanding the different ways to approach the swing, both short and long.

    1. It would have taken longer, Dana, but I found the video and realized I could use it. I'll be looking for other ways to help too. Like I said, just give me some time. ;-)