Will Wilcox and Andrew Loupe: World Class Players, Totally Different Set-ups, Similar Impact Alignments

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

When you look at the first side by side of Willy and Andrew you will probably be struck by the fact that it appears they are playing a different game. I worked with them back to back last week and it certainly occurred to me that you could hardly get two people to set up more differently. The differences in the two address positions leads to some significant differences during the swings, but it becomes obvious that it is the eventual similarities that demonstrate why both are extremely high-level ball strikers.

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Lesson of the Week: Max Rosenberg

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Max is taking a year off from his job to see how good he can get, and we will follow his progress at least a couple times a month. The first goal when I start with a student is to assess their already formed patterns, keep what works, and change what I see as detrimental to learning to be a superior ball striker. We are also focusing on short game and putting (of course), but some lessons (2 hours once a week) get going on the swing and stay there as we have now identified the most stubborn items and need to spend more initial time focusing on those. The good news is that Max, despite being around a 10 handicap, has things going on in his swing that you would expect to find in much better players. It didn’t take much for Max to get his hands forward at P6 and sustain impact past P7, which for a teacher means that he was able to accomplish one of the most difficult things for lesser players to achieve. I see Max’s major issue as the steepness of his downswing approach and the resulting problems with a release action that wants to drive straight down the line with the face staying square. It doesn’t help that Max is 6’7” and has played with a vertical motion all his life. In general we would like to take advantage of his size and strength and make his swing more efficient, which means keeping his right arm more in front of him in the backswing and shortening his swing length. After that we will keep working on getting him to fell the shallowing of the shaft in the downswing and a release that moves more around on an arc.

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Playing for Money: Derrick Sherard- Less use of Right Side in the Backswing and More Use of the Ground Through Impact

By Wayne | Videos: Playing For Money

Derrick is a professional living in West Palm Beach who works a couple of golf courses and would like to improve his game enough to compete in some mini-tour events and have a chance to earn some money. I usually see him a few times when I come down for the winter, but that hasn’t been enough to get his ball striking to where it needs to be. The swing Derrick brought to this lesson shows the patterns that we have seen for some time, and hopefully if I have improved my teaching, we can find ways to improve his stubborn tendencies. Derrick has always been an in to out swinger, and when he gets the clubhead behind him early in the swing it usually follows that he overturns his right side and gets his right upper arm and shoulder too far behind him. From there he can’t get the club back in front of him in the forward swing and approaches impact with the clubhead well behind his hands, causing a flippy, in to out impact. I start here trying to get Derrick’s backswing on plane and his right hip twisting less behind him, adding a bit of external rotation to the upper right arm to keep it more in front of his chest at the top. The stop and go swings definitely look better, but through impact his lower body still tends to collapse as he stays down in his forward bend too long. To help this issue we do an impact drill where he situates his lower body in a deep, left and rotated position with the shaft at P6, then with a pumping action builds to a delivery in which he uses the ground more effectively by pushing up with the left leg and driving the right side of the pelvis up into the left. This standing up to the left action extends the upper thoracic and helps the upper right side to drive into the follow through so the right wrist bend can be sustained past impact.

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Lesson of the Week: Stacy Kress- Trying to Lessen Right Hip Spinning

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

Stacy, the daughter of my good friend Richard Kress, has been a student of mine for over 20 years. Richard is one of the world’s most avid golfers (he’s taken at least one lesson from every teacher you can possibly name) and kept bringing Stacy for lessons even when it seemed that she had no affinity for the game. She was unfazed by her failures and kept at it, and eventually she won the women’s club championship at Woodholme when she was 17, upsetting a 5-time Maryland State Women’s Amateur champion in the process. She went on to play D1 golf for Penn University, and was chosen Freshman of the Year. She now resides in West Palm Beach and is a member at Bear Lakes, where she won the club championship last year as well as the Tri-County Women’s Amateur. Stacy has always had an idiosyncratic right shoulder and scapular movement in transition, and she has always tended to lift as she gets to the top of her swing. When she lifts, she is extending her right hip flexor, which in turn leads to spinning the right side of her pelvis and leaving her arms and hands trailing behind. To improve the synchronization of her upper and lower I try an old trick used by Butch Harmon to keep the right heel down longer and encourage the foot to roll inward instead of shooting straight up. You will see here that by restricting the upward motion of the heel and foot her pelvic rotation slows down and her arms move further down without the hips spinning open.

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Swing Analysis: Peter Uihlein. Phil Mickelson and the Fadeaway Swing

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

You might be wondering about the title of this video (fadeaway swing? What the heck is that?), but after watching it will become obvious what I am talking about. Both players address the ball in what I would call an athletic, “ready” posture with their balance out over the ball toward the balls of the feet. My preference would always be to stay out over the ball and either maintain or increase hip depth and pelvic tilt, but both Uihlein and Mickelson back away from their starting position in a significant fashion. Uihlein increases his hip depth with no hint of early extension, while Mickelson famously kicks his left leg hard out from under him and uses a hard roll of the forearms to square the face. Both are excellent players and I always find it interesting to view techniques that work that I would never teach outright and would discourage when I see it. In my own swing I can never seem to get deep enough into my left heel at impact and watching Uihlein (I always considered Mickelson an anomaly) it makes me wonder how it would work to start even more forward toward the toes at address then consistently move back toward the heels during the swing.

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Lesson of the Week: Scott Kremer- Posture Induced Hip Depth Issues Leading to Path Problems

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

After watching Scott hit his first few shots, I knew that we could make some serious progress right away given that he was setting up well back into his heels. His shot pattern was a pull draw that turned into a major pull hook, and it was obvious that after setting up in his heels he was moving toward the ball immediately in the takeaway with his hands and arms as well as his hips. This is a common issue that gives the player a backswing that has a large progression from P1 to P3, an upright appearance at the top, and no room for the right arm to get in front of the body without pushing the hands well away from where they started at address. Once I got Scott to set up more out over the ball and concentrate on trying to deepen his right hip in the backswing, we could then talk about the feeling of the left arm staying more against the chest and the club approaching the ball from more behind him. We then added the idea of keeping the hips deep in the forward swing and aiming the lateral movement more to the left instead of straight out to the target, which reduced his lateral slide and gave him the feeling of sidearm throwing. The shorter swings we filmed at the end of the lesson with the help of the Spine Board looked particularly improved, and Scott left feeling like he was definitely on the right track.

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Playing for Money: Matt Shubley 3- Right Arm Issues Causing Stuck Approach

By Wayne | Videos: Playing For Money

I’ve been working with Matt for just over a year now and after graduating from college he has turned professional with his eye on next year’s Web.Com Q-School. Matt won his first event as a pro but has struggled a bit since with a 2 way miss. He has incorporated more lateral left movement into his iron game (he had little or none when we started) and improved his impact alignments significantly, but he always slips back into a pattern he has had long before I met him where he overturns his right arm and shoulder in the backswing and then drops his hands and arms straight down or even behind him in transition, which almost guarantees a “stuck” approach position with the clubhead heading toward impact from well behind his hands, leading to an overly in to out attack that precludes any sort of left to right shot and requires more face rotation through impact than we would like. My suggestions here are pretty standard for the issues: try to keep the upper right arm more in front of the chest in the backswing by encouraging more external rotation of the right shoulder along with more forearm rotation, then concentrating on moving the hands out toward the ball (or even above it) while leaning the shaft back on the right index finger in order to keep the shaft approaching from above the right forearm from P5 to P6. Matt has been successful at fixing this before, and the fact that the problem continues to reemerge goes to show how stubborn such patterns are.

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Swing Analysis: Denny McCarthy- Extra Deep Pelvic Movement Provides Space

By Wayne | Videos: Swing Analysis

You may not have heard of Denny McCarthy but after his dominating victory in the Web.Com Tour Championship there are real signs that he is ready to make his mark on the PGA Tour. Denny is local to the DC area (3-time Maryland State Open Champion as an amateur, played in college at Virginia) and qualified for the Web.Com Tour at the end of 2015. He spent two full years on the Web.com, finally achieving his PGA Tour card for 2018, where he made 13 of 22 cuts and just under $500.000. His victory gained him the #1 ranking for money earned in the Web.Com finals, which gives him fully exempt status on the PGA Tour for 2019. He is small at 5’9” and 165 lbs. but in great shape and very strong, which is readily observable when you watch his pivot movement. He planes the club nicely and gets away with a substantial upper body back up in his backswing by keeping his pelvis deep and firing his glutes late in the forward swing, giving him the appearance of jumping up into impact without early extending. He keeps his arms and shaft well out in front of him which keeps the club from getting stuck and makes a left to right shot pattern more likely. His stats show issues with driving accuracy, but he showed huge improvement in that regard in 2018.

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Lesson of the Week: Phil Cargile- Big Improvement in 2 Hours

By Wayne | Videos: Lesson of the Week

This video is a bit long but if you hang in there and watch the whole thing, I think you will find it quite instructive. Phil is 55, around a 10 handicap, and has a swing that looks much better than it works. His issues are classic; takeaway slightly inward and behind him, overuse of the right arm at the top, hands dropping behind him starting down, right leg firing under him in early extension, and a “stuck” clubhead at P6 leading to an overly in to out path through impact and a pronounced flip release. Phil has come to me in person once in 2016, once in 2017, and now twice in 2018, and you will see that while he definitely improved his right arm pullback the rest of his pattern is stubborn to say the least. By the end of the lesson you will see with the help of explanations, drills, and swing aids (the Sheftic Spine Board) Phil gets a different look and feel and makes some swings that show great progress.

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