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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Brandel Chamblee on "the Magic Move" (Video)

I know many of you don't care for Brandel Chamblee, and you know I don't agree with him on everything either. But this short video he did on what he calls "the Magic Move" is a good explanation of what many successful pros have done to get distance.

I want to focus on that "straight right leg" he mentions. (And add that Arnold Palmer may have been the best example of it.) Bear in mind that you aren't necessarily "locking" that knee; it may have a slight flex in it. But it's a very slight flex -- slight enough that it almost feels locked, but without the stress you feel in a locked knee joint. It's straight enough that it doesn't bend easily.

If you let your trailing knee straighten during your backswing, it may sound as if it will limit your ability to launch into your downswing. What it actually does is stop you from "spinning out" at the top as you start down:
  • That straightness makes a fuller hip turn feel more natural, and it almost doesn't require any extra thought on your part. (Automatic moves -- when they're correct -- almost always improve your ballstriking.)
  • It makes it easier to stay relatively still over the ball (no sway during your backswing) without putting extra stress on your back.
  • Since you have to turn your hips to start the downswing rather than pushing hard with your thigh, it smooths out the start of your downswing.
  • You don't have to "drive" forward to get a weight shift to your lead foot -- a straight trailing leg forces you to "fall onto" your lead foot. Instant weight shift!
  • And once your upper body begins to turn with your hips during your downswing, your trailing knee will start to bend automatically. That puts you in position to start using the ground to push up at impact, but it keeps the "push up" under control so you don't overdo it and mis-hit the ball.
This straight trailing leg thing isn't for everybody. But once you get over the unusual feel of it -- and let's face it, this is a move that's rarely taught these days -- it's amazing how easy it is to repeat with each swing. It's also a move that can work with a large number of modern swing methods, without having to make major changes to what you already know.

And as Brandel points out, it's really hard to argue with the success of the players who have used it. It's one of those techniques that I put in the "it's worth a try" category, because if it won't work with your swing, you'll know pretty quick and won't have to waste a lot of time trying it.

But if it works for you... well, Arnie had a pretty good record.