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Tyler Ferrell is the only person in the world named to Golf Digest's list of Best Young Teachers in America AND its list of Best Golf Fitness Professionals in America. Meet your new instructor.
Swing Analysis Videos

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Swing Analysis - Charles Howell III - Driver & Fitness Program

As a follow-up to the previous analysis video, we will now take a look at the dynamics of Charles Howell III's driver swing. Specifically, we will discuss how a player's dominant power source can reveal his/her tendencies for sequencing and miss patterns. We will also discuss how a properly designed fitness program can improve these items. As I have had the privilege to work with Charles in a one-on-one setting, this analysis video may also provide a better idea of how I approach coaching and training such an elite level player.

Playlists: Swing Analysis Videos

Tags: Driver, Analysis

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So in this analysis video, we're going to take a look at the driver swing of Charles Hald III.

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So in the first video, I did an analysis of his iron play and how geometry can really help make you a really good iron player.

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In this video, I'm going to talk a little bit more about the dynamics of his swing.

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And specifically, I'm going to share a little story about his fitness program and how that,

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how he trains his body can influence how well he's hitting his driver.

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Okay, so if we start this swing analysis the same way, if we look at the driver swing,

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we can see that he's got some pretty good track man numbers, right?

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Overall pretty neutral path, slightly close, so he's going to get a nice little draw,

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hitting slightly up on the ball. This is something that he and his coach have worked on the ability to do.

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That's helped him a lot, really solid numbers. So the question is, okay, he's got really good path numbers.

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Why would someone like Charles Hald tend to get some open club face issues?

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Because he'll tell you that his main miss is when he hits the ball off to the right.

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So I'm going to talk to you about what's going on in his swing that might contribute to that

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and how it might relate to your game if you struggle with either your driver or your iron play.

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So if we look at this position, shaft is pretty vertical. So even though he has lean or

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leg compared to his body, similar to what he had with the iron because his upper body is so much

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more behind the golf ball, the shaft is pretty vertical. That's one of the aspects that helps

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with that positive angle of attack. He's from the down the line, we saw that the club path was

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neutral. If we're looking at some of these checkpoints as far as where the club is passing

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compared to the hands, you can see two little checkpoints as far as where is the club in the

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follow-through when it kind of passes through the hands, the more that it passes on this side of the

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hands, the more it's going to be in and out and the more that it passes on this side of the hands,

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the more it's going to be out to in. So a lot of you golfers who slice the ball, you'll have the

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club kind of follow-up path from impacts where it'll go a little bit more low kind of like this.

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So anyway, he's got pretty good path numbers from these two which you can kind of see a little bit

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from the two checkpoints. Seeing that risk go into extension there in the down swing, it's often

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hard to see. So here is a 3D risk graph looking at flexion extension. So this is an older swing of

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Charles. He's actually worked on this and definitely gotten better at it. So you can see that he starts

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with the risk than about 35 degrees of extension and then during the backswing as he gets towards the

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top of the swing it's pretty close to flat but you can see right through here is he's starting to

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go towards extension until about delivery positions. I midway in the down swing and then from there

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when it goes positive like this that's when he's flexing that risk. So we can see right around here

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is where that little trough or that maximum extension in the down swing would be and then from here

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down to where right around this frame here he would be flexing the risk then lose a little bit as he

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goes through the impact. But what can happen is when you're opening that club face by extending

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the risk early in transition it adds a little bit of timing that you're trying to do when the club

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is moving really fast. The metaphor that I use is imagine we were playing bad men and the role was

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I was giving you heavier and heavier bad men and rackets. So at first with the bad men racket really

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light you can be totally out of position and just lick your wrist and square the club face up.

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But if I gave you a bad man racket that weighed two pounds, three pounds, ten pounds the heavier it

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got the more that you have to be in position earlier in order to line everything up because you

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couldn't rely on just changing it accurately last minute. Well when it comes to the driver the driver

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is a longer club than we swing it faster it's got more inertia. Essentially down at the bottom

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it's like a heavier racket and it becomes harder to then time up squaring the club face late. So a lot

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of the really accurate and really consistent drivers to golf ball tend to square it up early. Now

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I promised I'd talk to you a little bit about his power sources and how they relate. Charles has

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a tendency to pull down with the arms especially the lats. So I'll share a quick story from a

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tournament that I went to with him where they were on the range of this time he was working

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with Grant Wait and they were swinging really well. Had to you know just hit in lots of nice little

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draws and I said I walked over to him because I kind of had this idea about his over dominance

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with his lats and I said hey do you mind if I mess you up a little bit do a little experiment.

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He kind of laughed at me saying like you can't mess me up but low and behold I had him drop the club

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and get into like a lap pull down position so he's kind of like this and I went and put my arms

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underneath him to apply a little bit of resistance and I just had him pull down kind of you know

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a little aggressively just to activate the lats so I had him pull down for about 10 seconds.

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After that he proceeded to hit the next four balls about 40 or 50 yards right.

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So basically all I did was I activated his power source so that he was using more of his lats

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to pull the club down and when he was using more of his lats in transition he tended to open the face a

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little bit more and flare it off to the right. Now he's kind of a

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experimenter tinker by nature so when he went home a few weeks later he tested it out himself.

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He went to the he normally works out and then goes to the range so during his workout one day

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he did a lot of TRX rows and and lap pull type exercises and he said that he hit the ball

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really terribly felt like he was kind of stuck all day and then later in that week he did the

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program that we had designed so he did a lot more mobility work and a lot more stability work

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some end range strength but most of the heavier lifting was for his core and his legs and that

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they hit the ball great. So part of the equation when you're looking at the driver or the longer

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club swing is matching up how you power the swing with how you control the club face and what can

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happen is if you are a two upper body dominant that can tend to cause club face control issues with

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the driver and you typically wouldn't see the same level of control issue with the iron. So you want

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to be if you want to be really good and consistent with the driver we want to get more of the speed

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being created from your legs and your core and less from your arms and shoulders. If you're looking

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for clues with your power source sometimes it's activities away from golf that can help.

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So here's Charles doing an exercise in his gym where he's got swing fan and he's just kind of

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working on some backswing positions and you'll notice if we look at his foot you'll see that he has

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a tendency to get a little bit further down into the downswing before he gets into that heel.

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So you'll see that this right here if we kind of scrub back and forth is a little bit more of the upper

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body leading the core as opposed to the lower body leading the core. So this is an area where doing

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things like step drills and sequence drills helps to get the lower body involved earlier and that

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can also oftentimes kind of downregulate or deep power the upper body that improves your sequencing

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allowing a little bit better face control ultimately creating a little bit better situation for the

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driver. Oftentimes golfers with more of an upper body pull will complain of two situations that

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cause them to hit the ball or to lose face control and both of those situations are when the power

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source gets exaggerated. So one is when they're trying to swing hard so if you are the tendency to swing

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more with your arms and your upper body I advocate working on your rhythm and working on making

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sure that you resist the temptation to swing hard. The second thing is when you get extremely nervous

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when your body gets stressed you're going to tend to exaggerate or amplify your power sources.

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So if you have more of a pulling or arm dominant power source working on managing your emotions

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and breathing exercises and things like that might be helpful as well. But long term if you want

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to improve your driver's sequence I'd highly recommend getting your lower body a little bit more

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involved earlier and relying less on your arm pull for your power source. So this video is a little

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different than my typical analysis videos. Typically with the analysis videos I want to just

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share what golfers do really well but I've got some some inside experience from working with

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Charles personally and so I thought it'd be fun to kind of share how I approach things a little bit

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more on the coaching side.

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