Case Study 2: Paul Gagliardi

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Case Study 2: Paul Gagliardi

January 06, 2010

Paul's complaint about his long game is one I hear quite often from players in his handicap bracket. He didn't have very good directional control with his longer clubs. And when Paul hit four or five balls on the swing monitor (1), it was clear why. Paul had a very strong grip, and his clubface opened a ton at the top. If he was closing it early on the way down, he'd miss left. If he was late, he'd miss right.

(2) Since Paul was releasing the club early, he had moved his ball position back to keep from hitting behind it.

(3) First, we shifted Paul's grip into a more neutral position, so his right hand wasn't so far over on the side of the handle.

(4) Paul didn't really know what a good wrist cock and impact position feels like, so I crouched in front and got him to actually slap my hand with some power.

(5) Then, I put his right hand in a good position--as it would be if the shaft were leaning forward at impact. Finally, I wanted Paul to move the bottom of his swing forward, so that new wrist cock compressed the ball.

(6) Paul hit shots with a board in line with his back foot. If he released the club too early and bottomed out too soon, he'd bang his club off the board.A great way to test if you're compressing the ball is to put a ball on a short tee with another tee stuck in front of it, at an angle. If you're releasing early, the forward tee will flip up in the air. If you're compressing the ball, you'll push the tee into the ground.

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