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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Brandel Chamblee on Chicken Wings

You may have seen this already but I thought I'd post it here, just in case. The move Brandel focuses on here is what we normally call a chicken wing finish, and other players besides Joaquin Niemann (like Jordan Spieth) also do it.

Since I'm focusing on "the big picture" this year -- that is, how you hit the ball rather than what your swing looks like -- let's take a moment to understand why Chamblee and others like this move.

The simplest reason is that it mostly prevents a big hook, which a lot of the pros deal with. If you tend to rotate your forearms a lot during impact, having your lead elbow point at the target puts a limit on just how much your forearms can rotate.

If you don't have a lot of forearm twisting at impact and you chicken wing, you'll tend to hit big slices because you'll leave the clubface open.

Many people might consider this a swing bandaid. But I don't think swing bandaids are necessarily a bad thing. In one sense, swing thoughts are typically just bandaids because they provide a temporary fix for a swing problem... and yet instructors often recommend you find a swing thought to help you correct a flaw in your swing.

But what if the bandaid becomes a permanent part of your swing and it makes your swing work? If it does, why not use it? Why spend months, maybe years trying to change your swing if a bandaid gives you immediate and lasting results?

I think that's the key. "Immediate and lasting results" means your swing works and, unless your goal in the game is to have a textbook swing, the ability to play the game well enough that you enjoy it is a good enough reason to use a swing bandaid.

Over the next few months I'll be looking at unorthodox swings that may draw criticism from instructors but have proven to work well for many people -- and in the case of the pros, often made them Hall of Famers.

Because if golf really is like life, then success is less about being textbook and more about making the most of what you have. As my blog tagline says, "it's all about the score."

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