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Move Less ... Get Good!

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Anthony225
Ross,
I am having difficulty with short SW wedge shots using half swings or less around the green. I routinely hit the ground behind the ball even when I feel like I am keeping my front arm in line with the shaft and my back wrist bent. I just can't seem to figure out why I do it about 30-40% of the time on short shots. When I take the club back further, I don't seem to have this problem. I want to use the body rotation on shorter shots vs chipping, but this is giving me a lot of problems.
Ross
This is common while learning my method, when something is "missing" or something is being "added".  We will dial in on it right now.

Scenario #1 (The most common cause)
You setup correctly and have the shaft inline front arm, and have the ball on the front foot or just inside it, and have 60% (or more) weight on the front foot, and are holding the arm/wrist shape through impact,... BUT you "think" you're rotating through impact, but actually your body stopped and the arms took over trying to help hit at the ball.  Your arms are passing the body right at the ball.  You MUST let the body's rotation continue through impact "dragging" that arm shape (template) around to the left (right hander).  The body must move the arms! This will "trap" the ball and you can play almost any lie once learned.

Scenario #2
You are turning through impact, but the wrists/hands try to help by "flipping" or "releasing".  This will hit the ground or skull the ball.  Many times the flip is subconscious, because the ball is too far back in the stance, and if you don't flip, you'll shank it.  You also can't rotate when the ball is too far back.  Play the ball on the front foot of just inside.  Learn to maintain the setup shape completely through impact to the finish.  Let the body's turn move the arms/club...NO FLIP.



Move Less ... Get Good!   

DUPLESSISGOLF
Anthony225
As far as my body rotation goes, I am having trouble turning and pulling the elbows back in front. On a half or full swing, it is easier for me to turn and pull my arms back in front because me arms have moved further and my turn seems connected with my elbows. But on shorter pitch shots, such as the example in one of your training videos, I feel disconnected. Your chipping technique is working better for me currently around the green, but I want to have both in my arsenal.
Ross
My first thought is, you are moving your hips and shoulders together on the backswing.  You won't get the feeling of bringing the arms/club back down using the body's rotation, if the shoulders did not get a head start on the takeaway.  The shoulders must move first to take the "slack" out of your back muscles.  This is the windup from "top down".  Like a rubber band.

If you turn both together on the takeaway, on the downswing, the hips will start to unwind and leave the arms/club behind because of the slack.

You should practice a very short pitch shot, using only your shoulders (hold the hips), on the backswing.  You do use the hips on the downswing to unwind bringing the arms/club back down in front and around to the left (right hander). Make sure you finish your downswing ALL THE WAY.  Finishing the downswing is crucial for consistency.  If you're worried you'll hit too far, you're taking it back too far with the shoulders. SHORTEN THE BACKSWING NOT THE FINISH!

This is a very powerful and creates a continuity throughout the windup, so all pieces are connected correctly.  This will then allow you to unwind as fast or slow as you need and not disconnect.

Move Less ... Get Good!   

DUPLESSISGOLF
Anthony225
Ok. I will pay special attention to my hips on the takeaway. Currently I feel like on short swings I am not taking if back far enough to take the slack out but I will make sure my hips aren't moving with my shoulders on the takeaway.
Ross
Oh... one other important part it you MUST keep your weight forward.  Practice with 80% (and keep it there on the backswing), so the shoulders have something to turn against to create torque.  If the hips turn or you slide towards the back foot, it ruins the windup.

This is only for this practice drill to learn to start the shoulders.  The hips do eventually get turned a little bit on a longer swing, but still no slide.  If you're close to the green and the hips are not needed, the shoulders can suffice.  As you're farther away, you may need the hips to turn a little on the backswing.  You will ALWAYS start and use the hips on the downswing, unless you're chipping or putting.

Move Less ... Get Good!   

DUPLESSISGOLF
DaveF
Ross,
I made every mistake you are pointing out.
I have to mention the straight to straight drill has been a game changer for me in this regard. When my arms disconnect they cause me to hit the ground or shank it.
I was just moving my arms on those short backswings and with some subconscious weight shift.
Now I start my backswing like I'm putting, since I'm good at moving only my shoulders when I putt - i.e. Zero lower body movement to start the backswing.
This weekend I hit dozens of lob wedges off of super thin AstroTurf (over concrete!) and muffed maybe three of them. Great fun. Thanks Ross.


Ross
Good to hear!  Yes learning to use the shoulders is a HUGE deal.  It is so easy for the arms to take over and lift ... or the hands help lift... just let the shoulders move the arms/club (on the backswing).  Remember, the shoulders turn around the spine (not up and down).

Move Less ... Get Good!   

DUPLESSISGOLF
Ed_Blackburn1
I had to use a little mantra to get this.

Shoulders - pause - hips - turn to target

[biggrin]

Thanks Ross
DaveF
Working on it. Applying your principles, I noticed a while ago that even with a short putt as small a movement as the shoulders were making, there was still muscle movement below my shoulders, in my legs, even my feet.. Also discovered my shoulders weren't turning around my spine through the ball. Like a small version of the full swing "when the shoulders stop turning the arms/hands take over". I have overcome my fear of turning left through the ball with my putter and most chip shots. Still need many many more reps on the full swing. My short game has been always been my strength, but nothing like it is now. I thought I had another mediocre round last week because I hit maybe a dozen good full swings, and was in almost every green side bunker. However I got up and down half the time I did, had a few tap ins for par, and my putting was terrific. Without realizing it, I had one of my better rounds. My expectations have indeed changed!
Ross
Great.  Two things...

1.  I may have misunderstood you, but I want to make sure you and others know... in putting, the shoulders do not turn around the spine.  The front shoulder pushes straight down... then pulls straight up.   This is like the chipping move also.  These are the only times the shoulders  do not rotate around the spine.

2.  To help keep you really solid and stop other muscles from moving while putting... pinch your knees together and hold it pinched during the entire stroke.  Makes for very solid contact (as long as there's no flip)

Move Less ... Get Good!   

DUPLESSISGOLF
Ross
Ed I really like the "mantra" idea.  I call them "Keywords" in the pre shot routine.  You can also say them at the speed needed to perform the shot you see.

Move Less ... Get Good!   

DUPLESSISGOLF
DaveF
Sorry about that. I was trying to say I wasn't moving my shoulders symmetrically, so the hands had to intervene. Much better at it now.
It's pretty amazing how the ball goes where you want it to when let your mind see the target and body mechanics don't get in the way (making a pure stroke).
I'm thinking with time I can do that with my full swing.

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