Don’t Get Stuck, Stay in Front

January 3, 2012

For better players sometimes the hands and arms trail too far behind when the body unwinds on the downswing. This is called getting stuck or disconnected. The result positions the club behind the chest, not in front.  When overdone it creates pressure on good timing and a two-way miss. Tiger Woods used to get stuck often because his hands and arms couldn’t catch up with his fast moving lower body on the downswing. The club was literally stuck and left behind.

Players who get stuck typically have worked on starting the downswing with the lower body or developing lag for years and overtime gone too far. However, getting stuck or disconnected doesn’t happen only on the downswing. It can also happen when the hands and arms snatch the club away on the takeaway ahead of the rotation of the body. The club moves ahead of the chest, not in front. This move on the backswing increases the chance of getting stuck on the downswing.  That’s why you always want to maintain a tight relationship between the chest and club from start to finish.

The movement of the right elbow is a good indicator of whether or not the player is getting stuck. The wrong move is when the right elbow glues itself to the right hip. This literally sticks the right arm to the body and prevents the club from freely moving through impact on the correct plane. See below.

To prevent getting stuck the player should focus on starting the arm swing earlier on the downswing. Speeding up the arm swing will move the club more in sync with the rotation of the chest. This will keep the club in front of you, not behind. As a result, the right elbow will move in front of the right hip instead of sticking to the body.

The Spoke Drill is excellent for curing a stuck position that we frequently use at the Jim McLean Golf School. Notice the relationship between the chest and club in the following pictures.

Practice the spoke drill until you feel a tight relationship between the chest and club. Anytime the club moves independently from the chest your at risk of getting stuck. This puts added pressure on the hands to steer the club, which is a recipe for inconsistency.

Long and Straight,

Adam

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