Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Educate Your Hands
Better Iron Play Is Within Your Grasp
With the left hand controlling the rotation of the clubface, the right hand is responsible for the hinging effect of the hands, which then affects the shaft angle. With the club in your right hand only, practice hinging the club as I’m doing here. You’ll see it’s both easy and natural to manipulate the shaft angle with this hand vs. your left (go ahead and try it with the wrong hand to see what I mean). At impact, the shaft ought to lean slightly toward the target. This means the right hand should always remain below the left hand through impact. Check in a mirror to see if your right hand is on top of your left. If so, you’re trying to do too much with that stronger, more powerful hand.
Turn Your Body...
Now that you have both a physical feeling and a mental picture of how the hands ought to work, don’t forget your body. After all, the true source of power and consistency comes from the body and not the hands. (The hands have enough to do already, don’t you think?) To effectively make contact, remember two things: First, as you initiate your downswing, make sure you shift your weight to your forward foot (your left one). If you swing without shifting your weight, your hands will go into overdrive and try to correct your mistake, and even though you may get away with it once in a while, relying on the hands for consistency isn’t going to help you in the long run. Second, as you shift your weight forward, keep those hips rotating. This opens up the torso to allow the hands as much room as they need to get their respective jobs done. If you look at the photo to the right, you’ll see my weight, left arm, both hands and the club are stacked over my left leg at impact, while my hips have cleared to make room for all this to happen. This is what you want, folks. By shifting my weight and rotating my hips, my hands have time and space to rotate and also to manage the shaft angle. (My hands were just a tad bit in front of the ball at impact.)
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