Posts Tagged ‘shoulders’

Back to Basics, Getting your Shoulders and Elbows Aligned!

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Today I started hitting balls at the range and totally lost it.  I was hitting a 50-yard sand wedge but couldn’t hit it at the target.

No matter what I tried, my swing just felt out of it and literally hooked or sliced my sand wedge 15-30 yards CONSISTENTLY!

But no worries, this has happened to me more than I can remember and it does happen to even the best golfers in the world.

After doing that for about 30 minutes, I finally realized what I was doing wrong, my shoulder alignment was off (it was way open) and my elbows were open too.

These two things had radical effect on my backswing as I couldn’t “feel” my usual, correct backswing, or at least the swing I was comfortable with.

As soon as I consciously started aligning my shoulders square to the target and making sure my right elbow is a bit bent, I started hitting the golf ball miraculously well.

In golf, these small mistakes can be costly, especially if you are playing on the golf course.

One more note about your elbow alignment.  If your elbows are aligned square and parallel to your target line, your right elbow should be bent a bit naturally.  Otherwise, your elbows are a bit open and this can cause havoc, make you hit hooks and slices but never straight.

So, just another reminder that in golf, basics is everything.  Like I said yesterday, alignment is where it happens.

I remember countless days of practicing on the range, except I was aligned way right.  Now, I did this for months and by the time I realized I had been aiming 30 yards right of  target, I had developed this swing that pulls the ball in order to correct it.

When that happens, it takes me just as long to correct it.

Nowadays, I make sure to put a club down when I practice, at least in the beginning so I know I am aimed correctly.

It’s nearly impossible to develop a good, consistent swing if you don’t aim first.  It’s like shooting a gun but you aim 30 yards left of your target then try to move your hands 30 yards right, right before shooting it.

Anyways, if you ever fall into a blackhole like I did where you cannot find your swing, go back to the basics, start with alignment, mostly like that is the reason.

PING Hoofer Golf Bag Review!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009


Even after I turned pro, my favorite golf bag is still the PING Hoofer bag.  it’s been part of my golfing career ever since PING came out with it 10+ years ago.

I am not a really fan of ugly, oversized PING golf clubs, but I am an avid fan of their golf bags since like 1992.

I got my Hoofer bag back in around 1998 I think and it still looks new and definitely recommended over all other stand-up bags out on the market today.

The simplicity of PING bag stands never break and will stand well on any slopes on the golf course whereas other stand-up bags I’ve had either fell or broke within couple months of use.

Another feature of PING hoofer bags is that they are super-light, lighter than most other stand-up bags out there.

Hoofer bag’s double strap is also great for your shoulders and very, very comfortable.

If you are thinking about buying a new golf bag, I highly recommend this PING Hoofer bag, no exceptions!

Price: $189.95 on Amazon

Will McKenzie Driver Stack and Tilt Swing Analysis

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Will McKenzie is leading today over at John Deere Classic.  He shot 65 yesterday and 64 today.

Let’s look at his stack and tilt swing to see what makes him “tick”.

First of all, I’d like to say that Will has a really simple looking swing, it looks really good.

At address, you will notice that Will stays real “balanced” in the center, not tilting his shoulders much.  This is great way to swing.  Now, pay attention to the triangle formed by his arms and the club.

At takeaway, Will breaks his wrists slightly early but that’s not a problem as his triangle looks great.

At top of Will’s swing, Will looks really good, with little or no backswing weight transfer (his head stays in the same position as at address) and he has a really great “width”.  Notice how far above his head the hands are.

At half-way down, Will looks pretty good again although his right foot could be more relaxed.

At impact, will really gets his hands ahead of the ball but stays in perfect balance.

After impact, WIll’s follow-through is a mirror-image of his takeaway.  Again, great stuff.

Will’s finish is probably one of the best I’ve seen.  His standing almost perfectly vertical as you can see the line formed by his legs and upper body.  This is really good for playing golf when you get older and also helps your back.  (no straining your back when you finish like this)

Overall, I am really impressed at Will’s swing because of his rhythm and simplicity.  He makes it look “easy”.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he won this weekend, good luck Will.

Here’s Will McKenzie’s Driver swing in action:

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Here’s Will McKenzie’s Driver swing in action from the back, it looks really good:

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Fred Funk Driver Swing Analysis

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

For many years, Fred Funk has always been one of the straightest drivers on the PGA Tour and his swing has never changed. (probably because of that)

Let’s look at what makes his swing “tick”.

At setup, Fred looks pretty good.  Notice that his sets with his ball outside the ball.  Kinda unusual but some pros do this to hit inside-out.

At takeaway, Fred is doing pretty good, maybe slightly inside the plane. (Plane is a little off here because the camera angle is slightly closed)

At half-way, Fred looks pretty good.

At top of Fred’s swing, his in perfect plane except that his clubface is really shut.  This isn’t great for hooking the ball but let’s find out how he manages to hit the ball straight with this backswing.

At half-way down, Fred is lookin’ good.

At impact, notice how much his hips have turned (maybe 45 degrees) and his shoulders.

Fred must really drive his hips in order to hit the ball straight but he hits straight alrighty.

After impact, Fred is in good shpae.

Fred’s swing requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and lots of lower body movement to hit it well.  Fred might need a hip surgery when he gets older due to the fact he must really drive his hips.

Don’t swing like Fred if you want to play golf for a long time but Fred is still one of the straightest drivers on the tour.

Here’s Fred Funk’s funky swing in action:

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Robert Allenby Driver Swing Analysis

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Robert Allenby is one of those guys who don’t win often but ALWAYS finishes up at Top 10 at most PGA tournaments.

Let’s look at the Aussie’s swing.

At address, Robert looks pretty good with a textbook setup.

At takeaway, Robert is in perfect plane.

At half-way, Robert goes slightly upright but it’s okay.

At top os Robert’s swing, he is slightly upright again but it’s acceptable.

Half-way down, Robert is poised nicely for an inside-out hit.

At impact, Robert looks perfect.  I love this position where hips and shoulders are just slightly open while the left arm and the club are very straight with the right elbow bent slightly.

After impact, Robert’s club is on perfect plane, standing very tall.  All great stuff, no wonder this guy’s always on the leaderboard.

Finish looks great.  Now, Robert Allenby’s swing really reminds me of Stuart Appleby’s swing.  Is that because they are both Aussies and the fact that both of their last names end in “by”?

Lol… we never know but Robert Allenby must be a distant cousin of Stuart Appleby for sheezy.

Here’s Robert Allenby’s Driver swing in action:

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Tim Herron Iron Swing Analysis

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Tim Herron Iron Swing Analysis

I remember when Tim Herron won his 1st PGA tournament.  Tim Herron has always been one of those players who could win a PGA tournament any day.  Let’s look at his swing.

At takeaway, Tim is in perfect plane.

At half-way, Tim is again in perfect plane, maybe slightly inside.

At the top, Tim’s slightly outside the plane, which is perfectly acceptable.

At half-way down, Tim is in good position, maybe slightly outside the plane.

After impact, notice how tall Tim stands and the triangle formed by his arms and shoulders, nice….

What I like most about Tim’s swing is his finish, his body perfectly straight.  This type of finish is very good for your back.

Here’s Tim Herron’s swing in action:

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Rod Pampling Driver Swing Vision Swing Analysis

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Let’s look at Rod Pampling’s driver swing here.  He has a swing that “over-rotates” during the backswing and the follow-through.

At address, Rod is a little bit too much over the ball but sitting very tall.

At takeaway, Rod’s club is nicely on-plane except notice that even his clubface is on-plane. (Normally, you want the clubface edge pointing up at the sky at this point)

At half-way point, Rod is in perfectly on-plane, nice….

Again, at the top, Rod is doing really well.

At half-way down, Rod is doing great again, pretty much on-plane.

At impact, notice how much Rod’s hips and shoulders have turned.  This is because he “over-rotates” his body on the backswing.  It’s not an easy swing to repeat.

After impact, Rod is slightly inside the plane, meaning he used his wrists a little to square the club.

Again, this is probably due to his over-rotations.

At finish, Rod looks pretty good.

Rod Pampling could really benefit from swinging with less rotation.  Then again, if he has been swinging like this for last 20 years, I wouldn’t change it, just go working on my putting more.

Here’s Rod Pampling’s swing in action:

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Jim Furyk Driver Swing Analysis

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Jim Furyk has always been one of my golfing heroes due to the fact that he’s swing is probably the weirdest on the PGA Tour yet he is so successful.

Although Jim Furyk might breaks all rules of physics and textbook teaching, I will prove today that he does have one of the best after impact positions in golf.

At setup, Jim’s hands are pretty much “glued” to his thighs and he stands very very close to the ball.

On takeaway, Jim’s clubface is shut and a little inside the plane.

At half-way, Jim is actually on-plane with the hands but his club is very upright.

At the top of the swing, Jim is pretty much trying to get his hands as vertical as he can.  This is not a bad thing as even Jack Nicklaus tells you to do this at one point in his career.

Vertical swings have been great for hitting the ball very high.

Now the greatest part about Jim is that he re-routes his club back into perfect hitting position as seen here.

He’s actually slightly inside the plane, allowing a perfect setup for inside-out swing.

At impact, Jim must turn his hips, shoulders, head, and everything except the club in order to square the clubface.   Not the easiest way to swing but watch for the next action.

Check out how perfectly Jim’s club is on-plane.  This is something that almost every top golfer does regardless of how they swing the club back.

This is why Jim is on the PGA Tour.

Great finish, and another legendary swing that no one will ever be able to copy.

Here’s Jim Furyk’s driver in action:

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Swing Faults At Impact – Being Too Square with the Shoulders

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Swing Faults At Impact - Being Too Square with the Shoulders

I did go out to the range the other day and took a small video.  Although I was hitting the ball fairly good, my impact position was too sqaure.

Here’s my impact position compared to Ben Crane and Adam Baddeley:

If you look carefully, both of these guys have their shoulder slightly open.

Now, what I’ve found out is that, I tend to get my lower body too close to the ball near the impact, causing me to hold on to my release, thereby causing an open shoulders and also annoying hooks once in a while since I have to “flip” my wrists slightly after impact.

But the most interesting thing I found was in my practice swing.  As you can see, this is a snapshot of my practice swing impact position.  The shoulders are slightly open and the hands are exactly where I want them.

Next time, I will try to stand a little taller during the swing and that should help me fix the kink.

Darn, if I could only swing like my practice swings…

Ben Hogan Iron Knockdown Swing Analysis!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I have been studying Ben Hogan’s swing for about 20 years now and I’d have to say he’s the best ball stiker in the world.

Here’s some analysis into his iron knockdown swing, which he was very good at and Tiger Woods has copied his moves.

Ben’s takeaway is simply rotation of his triangle formed by his shoulders, arms, and hands to the right. (sorta like shaking hands with person on the right)

There’s no “visible” weight transfer whatsoever here. His belly or the stomach, also turns along with his triangle.

This is probably the most important takeaway you can learn from Ben.

To put it simply:

Rotate your triangle and belly together to the right from a fixed single axis.

At top of Ben Hogan’s swing, you can tell that he’s almost doing a “reverse-pivot” by traditional teachers’ standards. In my opinion, he’s proving to you that there’s no need for a visual weight transfer to the right side. Hey, this picture proves that point.

This might be why there’s so much buzz with the tilt and stack swing when in reality, they are all derivatives of Ben Hogan’s swing.

On the downswing, you can notice Ben’s head has “dipped” 2-3 inches compared to position at address and top of his swing. This proves that the “dip” is actually a necessary natural action to a golfer’s swing provided the golfer doesn’t dip too much. Look at every top player in the world, they “dip” their head a little because it’s human nature.

Do note the fact that Ben’s lower body has aggressivly cleared to his left side while his spine tilt is actually a little straighter, meaning his upper body “moves” toward the target.

This move is inevitable to Ben’s swing in order to hit the ball square, you need to feel like you are on “top” of the ball on the way down in order to extend your arms correctly through impact.

After impact, notice how straight both of Ben’s arms are and the club dissecting between the two arms. This is something Ben is really good at.

At finish, notice how straight Ben’s lower body is and his upper body is pretty straight too. What impresses is how much his whole body is stretched on his finish while he remains in perfect balance with no sign of extra force exertion.

Bloody Ben Hogan, he’s the greatest golfer with the greatest swing ever. Even Tiger has great swing but won’t come close anywhere near Ben Hogan in my opinion.

Now, this is way back in the 50-60s when they had no cameras or any type of visual feedback for the pro golfers. How amazing is his swing when you think of that?

Very amazing indeed that Tiger’s still trying to copy Ben’s moves.

Even after 50 years, every tour pro including Tiger is trying to copy Ben Hogan’s moves, not Jack Nicklauses, not Arnold Palmer, but Ben and only Ben Hogan.  That my friend, IS amazing.

Here’s Ben Hogan’s Iron Knockdown Swing in action:

(Mind you, Ben Hogan was the first master of these knockdown shots, not Tiger. Tiger only copied his moves.)

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