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Class Continues August 30, 2011

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Q: I’ve been listening to Jim Hardy about one-plane and two-plane swings. What works for one, doesn't work for the other and vice versa. Are your drills for a two-plane swing? Can you talk about the differences in the two swings -- a Ben Hogan versus a Jack Nicklaus?

-    Mike L.

A: I am great friends with Jim Hardy and think he is a wonderful teacher.  Jim would tell you that the one-plane swing is a move that requires less timing than the two-plane swing, but is physically more demanding.  The preference I have has many parts of Jim’s two-plane swing since we were both influenced so much by John Jacobs, the great British teacher.  I think it is a little easier on the body for recreational golfers but I must say that if you apply what Jim says either model can be excellent.  By the way, I am a certified “Plane Truth” instructor.  If you are relooking for a good two-plane swing to mimic, use Tom Watson.  Best of luck.

Q:  I am a 5 handicap, but after playing golf for 46 years, I am still perplexed as to what is the best left wrist position at the top of the swing: flat, bowed (laying off the club face) or cupped (opening the club face)? I can play all three ways, and have, but I want your take on which is best. Cheers!

-    Jack T. (Miami, FL)

A: The best left wrist position at the top is dependent mainly on your grip type.  If your grip is strong, probably the left wrist should be cupped at the finish of the backswing.  Otherwise, you might hook it.  If your grip is weak, your left wrist should be bowed at the top, otherwise you might slice it.  If your grip is neutral, your left wrist should be flat and in line with your forearm.  Hope this helps.

Q: I’m 71-years-old and have switched to a baseball grip on my driver and am steadily improving.  Should I switch to a baseball grip on all my clubs instead of switching back and forth after driving?  Do you have any pointers for the baseball grip?

-    Chuck H. (Wright City, Missouri)

A: Certainly you should use the same grip for all clubs, other than perhaps the putter.  The grip you refer to as the baseball grip, I prefer to call the two-handed grip.  When thinking baseball, it would be too easy to pick the club up too much in the palms, and also have both thumbs off the grip; no good for golfers.  Whether you overlap, interlock or two-hand the grip, the club must sit somewhat in the palm and somewhat in the fingers of both hands; the left thumb needs to rest on the trailing side of the shaft and the right thumb needs to sit on the front or target side of the shaft.  Hope this helps.

Q: I have a problem with letting the chicken wing maneuver take over in my swing during a round. I feel myself doing it and start to hit my shots thin. Any tips?

-    Brandon H. (Facebook)

A: Golfers often talk about the “Chicken Wing” as if it is some mystery virus that attacked their swing; not so.  It is just a measurement issue.  What causes the left arm to bend is the right hand getting closer to the left shoulder than it was at set up.  When you stand to the ball, if the left arm is straight, then there is a distance from the left shoulder joint to the right hand.  Keep that distance through the swing and it is impossible to “wing” it.  It really helps to think of keeping your left shoulder moving through the hit.  If the shoulder stops, the right hand keeps moving and the arm will bend.  Good luck.