By Matthew Rudy
Teaching tour players has its glamorous moments, but this week Chris Como is seeing the other side of being out on the road with Aaron Baddeley, Jamie Lovemark and Richard Lee for most of June. Back at home, at Gleaneagles Country Club in Plano, TX, he has a full day of lessons scheduled for the Fourth of July to catch up on his local student backlog. The 2013 Golf Digest Best Young Teacher took a breath on his way back from the Quicken Loans National to choose a handful of reader-submitted swings to review for our #HelpMeGolfDigest project.
The first comes from a powerful player, @aminces, via Instagram. Andrea has a terrific swing and compresses the ball, but could produce more consistent contact with a few adjustments.
"This is a really good swing, but it has one of the misconceptions I see a lot—that you have to consciously hit down on the ball to produce solid contact," says Como. "With the best players, the clubhead is definitely moving down at impact, but the left shoulder, left hip and hands are actually moving up. The way to incorporate that is to focus on lower body motion. As you clear through the shot, feel like you're pushing out of the ground with your feet. Players like Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed are actually almost jumping as they hit the ball. Twist your lower body and really push up with that right leg."
Reader @woodfordneat submitted his swing video shot from an unconventional angle Como likes to see because it reveals backswing problems that can be hidden in face-on or down-the-line views. Vin can start hitting powerful draws with a simple arm drill.
"Vin's upper right arm is working behind his body, and it's causing him to throw the club out early in the downswing," says Como. "You need to feel lie your upper arm stays in front of your torso, which will left the club come down from a shallower, more inside path. An easy drill to get that feel is to make some right-hand-only swings while holding onto your right tricep with your left hand. Don't let the right arm move backward."
The last swing comes from reader @1130Jason, who posted a video of 8-year-old Megan—a self-described Lexi Thompson fan. A grip adjustment will make her development go much more smoothly.
"It's really important for junior players to start out with a grip that lets them hit the ball successfully," says Como, who is finishing up his master's degree in biomechanics. "The wrong grip can set you back from the start. Megan's looks like it's across the palm of her left hand, and her right hand is really around and underneath. That could be because the club doesn't fit her properly and she's trying to control it. In a good grip, the handle runs more horizontal across the left hand on the knuckle line. It can run more diagonally in the right hand, but that hand needs to be more to the side of the handle."
Keep sending in hashtagged #HelpMeGolfDigest videos via Instagram or Twitter and you could see your swing here soon.