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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Mike Malaska on Making Room for Your Swing (Video)

This short video from Mike Malaska explains how Jack Nicklaus 'made room for his hands' in his swing, and compares it to how modern swings differ.

Although he doesn't call it by name, Malaska does mention how maintaining connection during your swing can prevent you from creating room to swing and, consequently, reduce clubhead speed. And if you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I believe connection is an important part of a good swing.

The trick, as with anything, is realizing that you can overdo a good thing just as easily as you can overdo a bad thing.

If you try to maintain connection all the way through your swing, you'll end up with a very flat swing. It will likely be very accurate but you won't hit the ball very far with it. Connection is important during the hitting zone of your swing; let's call it waist high to waist high. You longtime readers also know I favor swings that are more upright over getting too flat -- assuming your body will allow you to make that kind of swing. You have to create a swing that works with your body, and there have been many great players with flat swings.

But as a general rule, you want to be somewhere between flat and upright to get the best balance of distance and accuracy you can.

To create a wide swing arc and get get some height to your swing, your trailing arm will eventually have to separate (or disconnect, if you prefer that term) at some point above your waist during your backswing. Your lead arm can retain some connection almost all the way back, and your lead arm will help you get your trail arm back in position  (reconnected) on the way down so you can make solid contact with the ball.

Making room the way Jack did gives you more freedom of movement and more speed in your swing, while the more connected position during impact -- which should happen pretty naturally since your lead shoulder is turning toward the target during your downswing -- will help you create the accuracy you need.

Just remember that you don't have to swing as upright as Jack did -- back in the 80s he found he had overdone that 'reach to the sky' motion and actually had to flatten his swing a bit to regain his form. Golf, like life, is a balance... and you need to find what that balance is for your body and your swing. Experimenting with what Malaska talks about in this video may help you with your search.

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