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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nick Clearwater on Setup Basics (Video)

The Vice President of Instruction at GOLFTEC's video on setup is interesting because he doesn't address things like ball position. Instead, he focuses on body position.

His three keys are:
  • Feet parallel to aimline
  • Club shaft aimed at belt
  • Trailing arm lowered -- that is, the elbow is a bit closer to your body
I'd like to focus on his second key. Many players don't realize that the higher you hold your hands -- that is, the more vertical your shaft is during your swing -- the less pronounced your release is at impact. As a general rule, high hands encourage a fade while low hands encourage a draw.

In case you don't know what I mean by "a more pronounced release," a player who swings with his hands lower (closer to the ground) is more bent over and tends to position the ball farther from their body, which tends to create a flatter swing with more hand action, and that encourages more of a hook.

Likewise, higher hands mean you stand taller, with your hands farther from the ground, and you tend to have a more upright swing with the ball closer to your body and with less hand action. That makes it easier to hit a slice.

That doesn't mean you can't hit a draw with high hands or a fade with low hands. It just means that those shots are less likely to happen unintentionally.

Keegan Bradley is a good example of a player with low hands who tends to hit a draw. If you use Clearwater's key of aiming the shaft more toward your belly button, you'll probably lean forward a bit more, stand a bit farther from the ball and make a flatter swing. You probably won't bend over as much as Keegan does, but you'll probably have that flatter swing.

It sounds to me as if Clearwater is trying to help players create a somewhat flatter swing to help counteract a slice. Combined with the lowered trailing elbow, this setup should encourage a flatter swing. If you're trying to learn how to hit a draw, this is a setup that just might help you.

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