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Got To See Jim Hardy Speak Last Night...

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My teaching pro invited me to see Jim Hardy speak last night at a PGA instructors meeting. Felt like the fox in a henhouse as first, but soon felt more like an 8th grader in a master's level post graduate course. Tried like hell to keep up and was able to connect a few dots...but it was a fascinating session. Just going to share with you some of my notes. I'm no expert and am in no position to critique any of the theories. For me the whole evening was a fascinating insight into one man's theory of the golf swing.

 

He discussed his binary approach to the golf swing -- steep vs. shallow angles and wide vs. narrow width at the bottom of the swing, and how it all relates to being a 1-plane swinger or a 2-plane swinger.

 

He started by saying there's lots of room for disagreement on golf swings -- there's no one way or right way to swing. The only thing that matters is getting the club head square to the ball at impact, and that the goal for any student is correct, repetitive impact, and that your misses will tell you a lot.

 

Found the binary approach fascinating - breaking things down into + or -, and teachers should strive to get students to more or less neutral to balance out the plusses and minuses. Once neutral, the length of the club you're using will take care of steep or shallow.

Any in setup or swing that makes the angle steep or steeper or makes the bottom of the swing narrow or narrower (think of a "V") is a +, and anything that makes the angle shallow or shallower or makes the bottom wide or wider is a minus. For example, more weight on the left side leads to a steeper swing, so that's a +. More weight on the ride side leads to a shallower swing, so that's a -. More bent over is a +, more upright is a minus. The K-position at address tends to shallow out swing.

 

He said on plane swings are "In" to "in.' Struggled to understand what he meant by that - he added that the most unstable club head occurs when the head is closing rapidly while your arms are moving away from you. He then showed some video of Tiger from last year's British Open to illustrate what he meant. Also said Rory is having that problem right now, and that sort of swing leads to back problems.

 

Maybe the most interesting thing to me -- and again, I hope I'm interpreting this correctly - is that there are a few clubs that are non-neutral: the 3-wood, long irons and wedges. Says 3-woods and long irons require a narrow bottom of the swing to get them up in the air - even thought the tendency among most is to try to sweep them. Wedges, since they have a larger face, require a wider bottom for distance and trajectory control.

 

Says Bubba has a steep, narrow swing (duh"), which is why he finishes so high and ends on his back foot -- says he's trying to add some minuses to all his plusses.

 

Lots more in my notes -- but it's a lot for a guy in the HVAC business to digest! Either way, it was a fun way to spend a Friday night in Minnesota!!!

 

BTW -- here's al ink to his website.

 

 

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Other tidbits from the notes --

 

Wider stance tends to lead to a shallower swing, narrower stance leads to steeper swing

 

Ball position changes aim more than angle - ball back in the stance is like aiming a bit more right, up in stance is like aiming a bit more left

 

Less hip turn is a plus (steeper) more hip turn is minus (shallower)

 

Outside-in is steep, inside out is shallow (this explain my divots when I'm out of sync! rolleyes.gif)

 

Backward leaning shaft is shallow, forward leaning shaft is steep...

 

Said Trackman is interesting -- it reads ball flight relative to target, and from that interpolates swing relative to target. It's not always an accurate portrayal of the actual swing. He uses Swingbyte along with Trackman, because Swingbyte tells him things Trackman doesn't. He didn't elaborate on what, and I was too intimated to ask blink.gif

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I have been reading Hardy's books, watching some of his videos, and studying Hogan's "Five Fundamentals" this winter. It has been eye opening. I am a complete duffer and know nothing about golf, other than that I have an unhealthy (lol) love for the game. But my sense is, after studying all of this, that I have up to this point been mixing and matching and adding and subtracting all kinds of confusing components to my swing that simply don't fit together. So the Hardy and Hogan stuff has been super helpful.

 

Granted, I would prefer to go see a teaching pro, but we do not have one in the area. I did find one an hour away and plan on visiting him this Spring.I already contacted him and can't wait for this Minnesota ground to thaw. That is why I have been relegated to reading books and watching videos.

 

Your post was fun to read. Please post more notes when you get the chance.

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I have been reading Hardy's books, watching some of his videos, and studying Hogan's "Five Fundamentals" this winter. It has been eye opening. I am a complete duffer and know nothing about golf, other than that I have an unhealthy (lol) love for the game. But my sense is, after studying all of this, that I have up to this point been mixing and matching and adding and subtracting all kinds of confusing components to my swing that simply don't fit together. So the Hardy and Hogan stuff has been super helpful.

 

Granted, I would prefer to go see a teaching pro, but we do not have one in the area. I did find one an hour away and plan on visiting him this Spring.I already contacted him and can't wait for this Minnesota ground to thaw. That is why I have been relegated to reading books and watching videos.

 

Your post was fun to read. Please post more notes when you get the chance.

 

Where are you in Minnesota Tom? I highly recommend my pro, Brad Pluth, out of Chanhassen. He's worth the trip!

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barbajo,

 

I am in Fairmont. It's a little over two hours south. My work schedule is often times insane and always unpredictable. So it would be difficult to pull off a series of lessons that far away. I did put the link in my favorites. And after perusing the site, I must say it looks awesome.

 

Thank so much for the recommendation.

 

I look forward to more of your notes.

 

Tom

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Jim Hardy's book SOLID CONTACT describes the plus and minus system in great detail and has charts with fixes for specific problems. It completely changed my understanding of the golf swing. I'm now certain that I'll know exactly what to do to get my swing on track when I'm not swinging well. It's actually quite simple if you have a good understanding of the golf swing. Hardy nailed it with this book.

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Jim Hardy's book SOLID CONTACT describes the plus and minus system in great detail and has charts with fixes for specific problems. It completely changed my understanding of the golf swing. I'm now certain that I'll know exactly what to do to get my swing on track when I'm not swinging well. It's actually quite simple if you have a good understanding of the golf swing. Hardy nailed it with this book.

 

I do have that book but really am not ready to work with it. I am more or less at square one. But I understand the overall concept and think it is wonderful. Perhaps mastering that system would help stem the panic that ensues on the golf course when I am falling apart. LOL

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I never thought about this before, but for years I tried to sweep the 3 wood, because that is what I read or was taught. I sucked with the 3 Wood. I have been hitting it well for the past year (and bombed one today to just off the green from 280 after a horrible drive.) but until just now I never realized that I made a steeper arc with the 3 wood and long irons, much steeper than I did.

 

I would also say that I also shallowed out my wedges and short irons. Once again, this is an observation based on a year of experimentation having decided what swing works best for each club. It was not a conscious decision to narrow the arc for the long irons and widen it for the shorts. It is I need to do this for the long and this for the shorts it just coincides with what Hardy says.

 

I did not even know how Jim Hardy was until a couple of months ago on this site when someone referenced his book, The Plane Truth for Golfers. I would have to say that unlike the Stack and Tilt, and Four Magic Moves to Play Better Golf. Reading Hardy's stuff has greatly increased my understanding of the swing, while those others teach a system that may or may not benefit an individual golfer.

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It was a cool experience -- parts were too technical for my level of understanding, but the teaching pros were eating it up! Heading to Denver today -- will post some more notes when I get the chance.

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Some more notes from the session:

 

Best swing on tour today -- Lee Westwood. One of the best swings he's ever coached -- Olin Brown. Peter Jacobsen could have been one of the best ever if he had stayed healthy -- Hardy says he converted Jacobsen from a 2-planer to a 1-planer after his injury.

 

3 -way to top a ball -- come in way too steep and hit the ball before the bottom of your swing; come in way too shallow and hit the ball after the bottom of your swing; and be afraid of hitting the ground -- called this a radius miss.

 

When John Daly won the PGA - Hardy told Jacobsen that Daly had the best in-to-in swing on the course that year. Crazy looking, but fundamentally sound

 

Says the so-called "Fundamentals of golf" are meant for the 18 handicap pull/slicer

 

Sam Snead would complain that he would never hit his driver and irons well together. Makes sense -- driver is shallow, irons should be steeper. Tiger is a great iron player because he's a steep swinger.

 

Landing an airplane is a great analogy for steep vs. shallow. Pilot comes in too steep - will crash the plane; too shallow he'll hit the ground too early or miss the ground altogether.

 

Everything we do impacts these swing ingredients:

Clubface (open/closed-swaure)

Angle of attack (steep or shallow)

Path

Width at the bottom (Trevino was flat at the bottom, Bubba is steep)

 

For solid contact, every club has a different requirement for angle and width at the bottom...

Steep is downward - like an iron, shallow is up like a driver or putter

The longer the club, the shallower the angle

 

On plane swings are in to in, or closing relative to the target, not necessarily the hands.

 

Plusses to make swing steeper:

 

Weight forward

more bent over

narrow stance

early set

Tip head left

spine angle left

left foot flared out

stand closer to ball

shut clubface

over the line at top of backswing

 

Minuses to make swing shallower:

 

Weight back

more upright

wide stance

stand farther away from ball

right hip thrust

 

 

Hope you find this useful. It'll take a better golfing mind than mine to fully analyze it all -- but the evening was an amazing insight into the golf swing.

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Thanks for sharing more of your notes, barbajo! I enjoyed reading them and would have loved to have been there.

 

Tomf

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