Editors' BlogOctober 18, 2007

How to Start Your Swing

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From Hugh Downing in Doylestown, P.A., where it doesn't get much prettier than this time of year, but could be a bit warmer, comes this suggestion, wrapped in a thank-you note:

I would like to suggest the following subtitle for the November, 2007 issue: "The Wrist Issue". Having been fighting a major hook and problems with my wrist position at the top of my swing, the article > "How to Start your Swing" by Jerome Andrews was a revelation. To prove what he recommends (club and arms independently moving first), just look at the swing sequences of Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman.  In both cases the wrist cock has the club toe up and shaft in a direct line with the target, rather than a more "roundhouse" approach, moving everything in one piece.

Andrews is no fan of the one-piece takeaway, nor a tilt toward the target at the top of the swing:

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A one-piece takeaay causes a fatal flaw in your backswing, a flaw that can be overcome only by compensations and athleticism....with a one-piece takeaway, the body turns early, then has to stop and wait for the arms and club to catch up. When the body has to wait, it tends to tilt toward the target, and the arms move out of sequence and lift. Unless you make a compensation, you lose a lot of power.

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This hit home with Hugh...

After about a week of practicing the independent takeaway, I went to the range, and was amazed at the improvement in my ball striking. Dramatically increased distance and ball flight height with the first swing. And no hook! If anything, my flight was moving a bit too far right from "fade", but that's a matter of shoulder position and my weak, anti-hook grip.

As an "older" golfer who returned to the sport about 5 years ago after a 30+ year lay-off, I found the November issue especially entertaining, but after a summer of lessons and frustration, the takeaway shown by Mr. Andrews was the missing piece of my puzzle.

Congratulations, Hugh. And welcome back. When the weather warms up, I'll come visit and you can teach me how to hit a hook.

--Bob Carney

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