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Sunday, July 29, 2018

A New Use for an Old Drill (Video)

Martin Hall originally did this Extra Credit video to teach how Nick Faldo hit a draw that would hold its flight against a stiff wind on the links. I'm going to use it to help those of you struggling to control your clubface.

At around the 1:20 mark Martin demonstrates the drill. He uses his trailing hand to hold his lead elbow against the side of his chest at impact and during the finish. I've written about this "flying lead elbow" problem before. If your lead elbow moves away from your body at impact, you can get a chicken wing move... and that's bad for clubface control. It's why a number of you can't draw the ball.

Obviously, Martin's drill will help you develop a draw if you don't have one now.

But it may be less obvious why this 'chicken wing' can also interfere with any effort to hit a fade, especially if you've seen Jordan Spieth using just such a move to create a fade. Those of you paying attention may have also noticed, however, that Spieth has a tendency to hit out-of-control banana balls as well... and that also comes from that chicken wing maneuver.

Here's why: When your lead elbow starts moving away from your side, it doesn't always move the same amount. That's a problem, people. For example, if it moves toward the ball a bit more than usual, you'll get more of an in-to-out swing than you expect... and if you're hitting a fade, you'll end up with a push-fade that can head out-of-bounds. It can also cause you to leave the clubface more open than you planned, which can create the same result.

By the same token, if your lead elbow doesn't move out as much, you might get too much forearm rotation and VOILA! instant duck-hook. If you were expecting your little fade, you get the classic double-cross. Neither of these is good for your score.

If, however, you keep your lead elbow close to your side all the way through your downswing, you create a more consistent rotation that happens in the big muscles of your lead shoulder. Unlike the smaller muscles in your wrist and forearm, you get far less variation with your shoulder movement, and that minimizes the range of variation in your clubface position.

Martin's drill can help you, regardless of whether you struggle with a hook or a slice. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean.