Swing Analysis Videos
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In this analysis video, we discuss what makes a quality release movement, and what are the signs that something critical is off. We will cover the movements of the body, and the arms, and how they work together to correctly and consistently deliver the club through impact to the follow through position.
Tags: Release, Analysis, Concept, Intermediate
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In this analysis video, we're going to look at the release.
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Now, the release is basically what happens after transition and takes you all the way until the
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And we're going to discuss it from the arms perspective as well as from the body's perspective.
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But we'll start with the body, which is a simple mechanism.
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The body is just going to brace in order to transfer energy into the arms.
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Now, this isn't a conscious action.
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This isn't something that someone is going to be trying to do.
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But in order to create maximum speed in the hands, the body must be bracing.
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So to clarify what I mean by bracing, the lower body is going to be pushing in the ground.
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So the legs and the pelvis are going to straighten and come up.
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And the upper body is going to go back and away from the target.
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Here I'll show you a couple of different golfers.
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And we'll take a look at what the body's doing.
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So here's a line in this delivery position.
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And here's a line.
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You can see that he's roughly in a squat position with his body.
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His shoulders are roughly parallel to the golf ball as pelvis is a little open, but
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side tilt-wise, roughly parallel to the golf ball.
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Now, as he goes to release, you will see if you look at his head compared to the tree.
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And some you'll see in the head, but the place where we measure is more it's T3,
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which is kind of the center of the rib cage, but with a virtual center.
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So it's kind of the center of the rib cage.
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You could also look at the shirt buttons, but you'll see that upper body moving away from
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the target as the belt line increases or raises.
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So you can see how I had this line right where the belt or the top of his pelvis was.
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And now the top of his pelvis has raised a couple inches.
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Usually it's two inches or so, nothing too dramatic.
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But the combination of those two movements, the upper body moving backward, but not going
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And the lower body straightening or raising helps to propel the arms into a straightened position,
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which is a very, very big key to this follow-through position.
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And now we'll take a look at Justin Rose going through some of those same positions.
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So as we go down, you'll see right between here and here, his upper body is actually moving
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backward, his pelvis, which was down at where this belt line is, has raised up.
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You could also look at the garbage bag in the back because I believe the camera moves slightly.
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You can see that in delivery position, the top of his belt line is roughly parallel
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with that garbage bag and then into the follow-through position you can see his belt
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is raised because he's straightened his legs.
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That's kind of the jump move that I talked about in the squat and jump.
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And he's getting into this arms extended and shaft kind of extended away from the chest.
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This very good extension position.
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This is one of the traits that I love to see in a good healthy release.
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Now let's take a look at a couple of amateurs as they go through that same phase.
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So I drew those same lines and you can see that while the upper body moved back, his
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belt line barely raised and when he gets into his finish position, he still has a lot
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of flex in his knees.
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His lacking in that jump movement, which is going to basically mean that if he were to
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straighten his arms, he would probably hit the ball fat.
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So what he ends up doing is pulling in with his arms and you can see that instead of getting
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into those arm extended position, I'll erase some of these.
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Instead of getting into those arm extended position, you can see that there is a few angles
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going on in his arms as he is pulling the club in towards his chest to prevent it from hitting
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And here's one more amateur golfer demonstrating a belt line that doesn't raise or legs
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that don't necessarily push through the ground.
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And as a result, through the ball, he's going to have more of a shrugging type movement
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with his arms instead of a releasing type movement of his arms.
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Now I largely think that what the body does is a result of what the hands are trying
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to do or what the arms are trying to do.
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So we'll spend a little bit more time looking at different ways that you can use your arms
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and hands through the release.
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In looking at the arms and hands, there are three things that we're going to look at.
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The movement of the left hand and arm, the movement of the right hand and forearm, and
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then the timing of when the right arm is going to straighten.
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Let's look at them sort of together because hard to isolate exactly what one hand is doing
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versus the other because they're both so close and the grip.
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So here we have Rory in delivery position over here on the left and you can see that his hands
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are pointed directly away from his chest.
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Now I'll leave this one here.
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Now if I were to take him through the release all the way until the end of that follow through
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position, you can see that now the back of his left arm or the back of his left hand is pointed
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directly away from where the golf ball was.
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So it went from pointing towards the golf ball to away from the golf ball, which is a sign that
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it has supernated.
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So now we can look at Justin Rose and we can see it from the face on view.
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You can see the back of his hand is clearly pointed straight out at us.
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I can't draw arrow directly at us but you know what I mean.
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And then as he goes into the follow through position,
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the back of his right hand is now pointed directly at us and the left hand is pointed directly away.
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Again that is indicating that the left wrist has supernated and the right wrist has
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pronated during the last phases of release.
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And here we have a couple more examples.
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We have looped Donald here on the right and you can see close to delivery position.
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The back of that left wrist is pointed at the golf ball.
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And then as he goes through the release, you can really see those four arms rotating
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and the back of the left hand pointing away from the golf ball.
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And now we can take a look at Bill Nicholson.
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So here we have that delivery position where the back of the right hand in his gaze is pointed
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at the golf ball and then as he goes through,
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you will see his right wrist pointing away from the golf ball.
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Now, Bill has a, there's an interesting camera angle that demonstrates one of the principles
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that I discussed which is that the lead hand controls a lot of the rotation.
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You can really see it with fill and with BJ sing.
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That in this position right here there's actually a little bit of space
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between his left hand or trail hand and the grip hand, indicating that a lot of this movement
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at least for fill is being controlled by his lead hand or right hand.
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And we'll do a couple more examples.
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So here we have Jason Duffner over here on the left and as he goes from this delivery position
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through his release, you can see his left hand now pointing away from the golf ball
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and actually pointing slightly towards the ground.
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That's one of the points that I failed to mention in the first couple which will,
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which would be, as you can see it rotating, you would see that right when he gets into this position,
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it would be pointing slightly at the ground behind him instead of having his left wrist pointing
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more up towards the sky, which will probably see when we look at a few amateurs.
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Now over on the right we have Charlie Wee and here's what you would see from the face
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on view for someone who is rotating their forums.
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You will see that as he makes contact and after he makes contact, we can see the inside of the left
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elbow. That's a clear indication that the shoulder or the left shoulder has rotated.
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In addition, when he gets into his full extended follow-through position, you can see the fingers
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of the lead hand or the left hand underneath the fingers of the right hand.
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So notice how you can see his glove hand by this waist position and the club is in a great
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straight line position roughly with his right forearm. So there's a very small angle there.
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Now we'll take a look at a few amateurs to see what some of these differences might look like.
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Now we'll look over here on the left and we can see as we get into the delivery position,
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the hands are pretty much facing the golf ball but they're a little bit more behind their his
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body. We'll get into that when we talk about the right elbow. Now as he comes through,
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we want to see the inside of his elbow and we want to see his left hand get underneath his right hand
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as those arms extend. And what you'll see is as he comes through on this swing, we never really
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see the inside of his elbow pit. We actually see the tip of his elbow right there, meaning that his
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arm has not rotated. The other thing we see is as we go here, we cannot see any of his fingers
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of the left hand underneath the right hand. There's a whole mechanism that's going on here where
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instead of letting the arms extend and rotate, he's basically held off with that left arm.
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Now the problem with this is all the stress is going to get absorbed into his shoulder and into
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his elbow and not get transferred down his body the way that the pros were down the straight.
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Now let's take a look at this gentleman on the right and you'll see that as he comes through,
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we're going to see a similar pattern with that left elbow where we can't really see the inside of it.
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Now he does a good job of getting his arms to extend but again we do not see the continued rotation
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and we do not see the fingers of his left hand underneath the grip until he finally
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lets them roll and rotate right there. That ideally should be happening if you are going to have a
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downward angle attack with shaft lean then this is probably going to happen through impact instead
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of after impact. In let's look at a couple more so on the left we have a higher handicap
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female and you can see that as she comes down through there's not going to be a lot of rotation
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and there's not going to be a lot of extension just as we talked about in the follow-through position
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you're going to see those elbows getting wider further apart from each other and we're not going
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to see the left hand underneath the right hand ever in this golf swing. So there's not a lot of
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rotation going on but that's partially what because of where the club is coming from which we'll
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talk about in the next section. Now over here on the right we'll see a pretty good yall for it
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and he's a pretty good yall for so you'll see some of this rotation you can see how we can see
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the fingers of the left hand underneath so he has pretty good rotation a thing that I'd like to
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highlight that you may or may not have picked up on is as he comes through if I draw a line straight
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out from that club shaft most of the tourfers had that club or the club shaft following that line
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until his hands were about parallel or hip-hop. So you can see that he has done more of a wrist
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hinge through his release instead of letting those arms just extend out.
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And now let's talk about the right or the trail elbow and when it extends. So in the transition
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we talked about how the elbow is going to work in front of the body or towards the belly but
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all I want you to do is watch as Dustin Johnson goes down and I want you to see when his right
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elbow starts to come away from his side or starts to straighten. You can see that it doesn't really
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start to leave until right there and now if you look at where the club head is compared to the golf
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ball that's very very late in the swing. Now we'll look at Bubba going through the same
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face or the same pattern. So you'll see that elbow staying close to his side and then it starts to
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straighten kind of right down in this area. It's slowly straightening before that but this is when it
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really starts to pick up straightening speed. Now we'll look at a couple more to show you how the
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elbow straightening and the timing of when it straightens tends to be more exaggerated where it happens
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earlier with an iron than it tends to with a drug. So here we have Paul Casey on the right and I want
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you to watch this right elbow and it doesn't start to straighten until right there which is actually
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one frame before he or two frames before he makes contact with the golf ball. So it's pretty much
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his body, his bring has brought his arms and hands into position and all the arms and hands have
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done. It's square the club face with that motorcycle movement and organize the shaft plane with
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that flatening movement. And then once he gets to impact he's going to extend his arms to transfer
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all that energy very effectively. Now here's Luke Donald hitting an iron and it actually looks
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like it's fairly lofted iron possibly a wedge. And now if you watch when his right elbow starts
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the straight and you'll see it kind of starts the straightening in this area here which is much earlier
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than we were seeing with the longer clubs. And to strengthen that point let's look at Rory McElroy
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with two different clubs. So here he's got a longer club looks like about a three wood and watch
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that right elbow and when it comes off that side you'll see it stays there pretty much
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right until about there. So again just one or two frames right before impact and then over here on
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the right he appears to have some sort of wedge and you'll see that that right arm starts to
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straighten kind of right in here which is much earlier than it was with the longer club.
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Now let's look at that right arm straightening from the face on position or face on orientation.
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So if we were to come down we know that his right arm was starting to leave his side and starting
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to straighten right in here a few frames before impact. So what you'll see is that his hands are
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almost even with the ball and with iron they'll frequently be ahead of the golf ball when that
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right arm is starting to straighten. And that's usually one of the optical illusions that you'll
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have to get used to which most amateurs when I get them in that position that the hands are ahead
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of the golf ball yet the elbow is still bent and the wrists are still loaded they pretty much say
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I'm I'm gonna miss I've got no chance of hitting the golf ball and that's an optical illusion
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that you have to get over if you want to become a consistent ball striker. Now let's look at
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Zack Johnson going through that same phase so his radar him is going to be straightening kind of in
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this area right about in here but one of the things that you'll see as he goes through there
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is you'll see no gap between his right arm and and side or you can see the gap in there and it'll
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disappear very quickly as that elbow works across his body and in front of his hip. Here we'll go
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down and you can see no gap whatsoever and then as he keeps going through now the arms are straightening
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and extending through there. And now let's compare the timing and location of the right arm
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straightening for a few amateurs. So first over here on the left as we come down you can start to
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see that right arm straightening at the very latest between these two frames that right elbow is already
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starting to straighten which is much easier you or much earlier than we were seeing even with
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Roy McAureer looked on all with their sandwich and this is a t-shirt on a lengthy hole so ideally
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he would be doing other things than straightening that arm that suit. Over here on the right we have
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Charles Bartley who we know has one of the steepest golf swings on the planet and we can start to see
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that right arm straightening in a very similar position to where we saw this amateur on the left and
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again Charles is using a driver and that's not going to work having that arm straightening that much
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that suit. Now let's look at a couple amateurs from the face on position and you can see the timing
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of when that arm straightens and look for that space that we saw or the lack of space that we saw
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with the professionals. So here you can see a pretty big gap between the right arm and the body
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right there and you can see how if I were to draw a line from the body essentially that right elbow
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is behind the body instead of in front of his belly button. Now if you were to get his hands in front of
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his belly button without making other adjustments what he's doing with his wrist he would probably
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shank the ball. So it makes sense that he's doing this but if he wants to become a consistent ball
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striker like the other examples we saw this would be something you would have to work on. You can
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also see the timing of that right arm straightening which is way back here already starting to
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straighten that's just not going to work for having a downward consistent strike. We look over here
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on the left we'll see a fairly good golfer he's kind of a mid level handicap and you'll see the
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right arm straightening early there you won't see a huge gap between his elbow and his belly button
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you but you will see a little bit of a gap right in here you can see that there's definitely some
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disconnected space between his body and his elbow and another way that you can see that is the
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club is approaching the ground pretty quickly already and his hands are not even approaching near
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the golf ball if you remember when we looked at some of the other pros they were straightening that
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arm once the hands where the handle was even or passed the golf ball so he's doing it much earlier
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and this would help square the club face many amateurs will release the club back in this area
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because they don't know how to allow the motorcycle move to happen and the risk to square the club
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face on its own. Now I know that that was a lot but I want you to remember that the purpose of these
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videos is to help you understand so that you can start visualizing this not when you're swinging
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the club and hitting the golf ball because you don't have enough time to think of all these things.
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The time when you should be focusing on this is when you're doing the slow motion drills or when
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you're doing the isolation drills so that you can train these movements to be automatic so our goal
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with say the single arm release drills is to get a free flowing movement of the risk the way that
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tiger is demonstrating right here and just let the golf ball get in the way if you're used to not
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using your risk properly this is going to take a lot of thought at first but with practice and
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with the proper drills and the focus during these drills I know that just like my students you can learn
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how to have the efficient release that comes from a great transition that leads to very solid ball
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