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Jim McLean Chat Transcript

mikey - what should come first... a good club fitting or a fundametally good golf swing?
J_McLean - I definalty believe a good golf swing comes first,you can have the greatest set of golf clubs in the world and a bad swing will render them uselessly so work on your golf swing until you improve your technique and then it's time to see the club fair.
SPM - Dear, Jim, what do you feel are good traits to look for when selecting a golf instructor.
J_McLean - this is an excellent question, first look for a teacher with a long list of students, do not be afraid to ask any teacher his or her ideas and where they learn their concept of teaching. I would look for a teacher who has excellent golf knowledge, is willing to give you a list of people to call, and has the time and desire to work with all aspects of your game.
pete - Jim, What's the best drill to preventthe left arm 'chicken wing'?
J_McLean - the left elbow breaking down through impact is a very common problem, usually causes from an open club face as you start down, the open club face causes the golfer to swing outside in so as to keep the golf ball in play but the club coming outside in the club is getting nearer to your left leg, and as a result there is very little extension.
J_McLean - the best drill is a split grip drill, where by using a 7iron, split your hands about two inches apart, then make small swings back and through maintaining the extension you had at setup, that means going through the ball your right hand will be further from your body and your left hand will be closer to your body, with practice this drill will cure chicken wing
hotair - Do you have a conditioning guide for us shut ins?
Doug_F - Mr. Mclean: I know from watching some of your videos and previous visits to Academy Live that you advocate starting the downswing with the lower body. I have been working on that in my game but have not been having much success. Do you have any drills that can help me learn the feel of that move?
J_McLean - the winter time is a great time to work on your golf stretches and overall conditiong. hopefully, you will continue a program yearround. a great book on conditioning is written by Paul Chek I don't have the title but you can get it at any library.
cigbob - Hi guys, my question is how can I keep from coming over the top of the ball and swinging from the outside to inside?
J_McLean - You are correct, I advocate a golf swing that closely corresponds to other hitting and throwing actions are used in all sports.
J_McLean - That means sequence is crucial to solid and powerful ball striking. therefore we use the same sequence in golf,it's an athletic move. To start forward, shift or make a slight lateral bump of the left hip, you can practice this by using a great harvey penick drill, from the top of the back swing starting down practice putting your left heel on the ground and
J_McLean - making your right elbow drop, these two movements happen at the same time not independenly, practice this move over and over at home, and at the range. this should help you get the right feel.
JONESY - How long should the clubface look at the ball at the start of the swing?
J_McLean - as the club moves away from the golf ball, it starts to swing inside and up. as this happens, the toe of the club appears to open smoothly, the club face is actually is staying square to the arc,that said, there are varying acceptable club face postions, one is the club face staying at the ball a bit longer the other is the club face staying square to the arc, the mistake is rolling the face open early in the back swing. thats the real killer.
TGC_Modr - Jim, nextiger asks, I have a problem where in the impact zone, I don't let the club release and tend to leave it open. How could i get myself into the habit of releasing the club?
J_McLean - first id like to see you hit lots of small shots off a tee making the ball draw, this can be done rather quickly. in order to do it you have to relax your grip pressure and focus on the right hand brushing over the left, concentrate on hitting low draws
J_McLean - once you succeed at this increase the lenght of your swing.
Bogey4Me - Jim is taking a diviot a result of ball position or swing plane or both? Thanks....
J_McLean - actually its both, the ball for most iron shots should be placed near the center of your stance, this makes it much easier for golfers to take a divit.
J_McLean - swing playing is a bit more complicated, you can miss the ground either by being under the plane causing a shallow angle of attack or you can be over the plane which often causes the left wrist to break down prematurely
J_McLean - so therefore, have a professional or student of the game tape you from down the target line, believe me getting a club coming down the right track, it is crucial.
tommy - When you are doing the drills at home how do you know that you are not putting a hook or slice in your game?
jonnyo - Its your son, Jon
J_McLean - john im glad your listening, i wish you were here helping me, i need a free drop. see you tomorrow.
golfer01 - New golfer here +/- 4weeks want is a good drill for getting solid contact with the ball?
J_McLean - first, put your hands in the club correctly, ill need you to see someone who really knows what they're doing, next build a good stance, third practice a true swinging action back and through and hitting the same spot on the ground time after time
rickc - JIM: On the show you discussed a drill using the right hand to take the club to the top. How do you keep the right from over powering the left on the down swing and what should you feeling be?
J_McLean - i assume you're right handed and therefore you're probably much more coordinated with your right side, if that is correct then time your right hand and right arm so that the release happens at the bottom of your golf swing
J_McLean - to get the feel turn the club upside down and practice the swish drill. try to hear the loudest noise at the bottom of your swing, do this drill with your right arm only, its amazing how quickly this helps many golfers.
Cade - Jim, I seem to have too much loft with my lowered number irons (3,5). What can I do to correct this
J_McLean - whenever a golfer is getting too much loft or heighth on their golf shots, then i look for an early release of the hands or a hang back of the body. often golfers try to add loft to long irons, its a common problem instead you must trust your swing and the true loft of your iron. i would suggest that you make practice swings stopping at impact
J_McLean - at this stop point check to see that you are actually taking loft off the club and the shaft is leaning toward the target, you can also hit an impact bag or some towels that you put against a wall.
dotcom - Jim, what can a right handed golfer do for a problem that consists of their left foot 'kicking out' on the downswing and through impact -- kind of like swinging a baseball bat type of motion?!?!?!
J_McLean - this is a problem that Tom Kite had when i worked extensively with him through the early 80's. Tom corrected this problem by having me or his caddy or somebody actually hold his left foot down when he hit, i also had him visualize a huge spike in the middle of his left foot which would not allow the foot to roll over or spin
J_McLean - it worked, he won the us open in 1992!
TGC_Modr - golfer01 asks, Is making a divot nessecary when using an iron?
J_McLean - i'd like to see a very small divot, some great players like Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman take very shallow divots. on the other hand, golfers like Tiger Woods, and Lee Trevino take some monster divots. to hit a ball solid and spin it you need to strike on at least a slight desending blow with a flat or bowed left wrist.
BIGDRIVE - Jim, Do you feel that any training aids on market do a good job of teaching swing plane ie split grip club on infomercial?
J_McLean - actually im not an advocate of that split grip club. the clubs that have a laser light seem to help many golfers understand swing playing but you can do the same thing by putting a tee in the vent hole of your grip.
duffer - What do you say to a 22 year old wo is playing is a tournament and starts to lose concentration when he's in the hunt?
J_McLean - id think about enrolling him in the marines for some toughening. just kidding! however, a lack of focus may show some fear, lack of conditoning, or a swing flaw. it takes time to get comfortable in pressure situations, read books on this subject and watch the professionals carefully, notice everything they do as they come down the stretch
dbzjw - jim,what can i do when i tend to go through my backswing too fast?
J_McLean - very common problem, indicates too much hands and not enough syncrination of the club, hands, arms, and shoulders. it is critical that you start away smoothly and all together . a poor take away or fast move off the ball will always lead to incosistent golf shots.
Phillip - My swing is too steep. How can I correct this problem?
friar - in the past two years, I have lost 40 lbs through diet and exercise, what should I practice to regain the length and timing in my golf swing?
J_McLean - hold the club at waist height and start your back swing from this positon you can flatten your back swing in several ways, 1. make a flatter shoulder turn 2. rotate your left forearm in the back swing 3. make 3/4 swings with the grip of club pointed back at the target line stop at this positon make sure the club is on the plane and then swing from this position, its a stop and go drill
Loafer - Hi Jim, First, thanks for helping us...second, I hit my irons and fairway woods straight and long but can't get it together with my driver...any suggestions?
J_McLean - i first thought is your driver does not match up well with the rest of your clubs, i would highly suggest that you go to a top club fitter,somebody who really knows the game and has top line equipment.
dbzjw - what can you say about playing in the rain after myself losing my club while hitting over a hazard?
J_McLean - growing up in Seattle I played in rain constantly well actually it was pretty nice in july and august. you must learn to keep your grips dry ive done this by having several towels in my bag and a good over all of my clubs, if you're riding in a cart you need a rain hood otherwise a cart is a killer in rain almost impossible to keep the clubs dry. i would carry my clubs before taking a cart if at all possible
J_McLean - also, have extra gloves, and good rain gear. be extra prepared for rainy days.
pingI3 - What's the proper hand position at address when using offset irons? Over the ball or ahead of the ball?
J_McLean - off set irons automatically help place the hands ahead of the ball thats one reason they are so popular. i like to see the hands placed off the inside of the left thigh, if your hands are between the seam of your slacks or the center of your body you are in an acceptable position,the standard posiotin would be hands slightly ahead but
J_McLean - im only talking about a few degrees of shaft lean toward the target.
TGC_Modr - (Sorry for the delay, ping13)
RickL - Jim, do you recommend your students bend the wrist a little going back in putting?
J_McLean - on short putts this is not necessary but many good putters do have slight wrist set even on short on longer putts youll get much better feel and distance control by using some wrist action.
dbzjw - jim, when i am hitting out of a bunker do i need to try to throw alot of sand on the green?
J_McLean - on a long bunker shot, you will through sand further out of a bunker on a very short bunker shot the sand may not get out of the bunker, probably wont. it also depends on the type of sand you are playing out of, i do like the thought of throwing sand out on the green for most bunker shots.
TGC_Modr - We have a few more minutes, folks...any final questions?
Loafer - Me again...I occasionally hook my low irons and wedges too much on approach shots...any suggestions?
J_McLean - occasionally is good, often is bad. probably indicates that your body rotation is slowing down when this happens we get a wrapping effect of the club which causes the hook
golfpro - my body gets in the way on my downswing right arm stays stuck behind need a drill to coordinate my lowering from the top of my swing to impact the shift? left knee or right knee or lower arms 20 handicapppppheeelllpppp!!!!
J_McLean - this is a difficult problem that is see from time to time at the school, its caused by a conscience effort to swing inside out and it will take a dedicated effort to break this habit. here are a couple of ideas, keep your right shoulder higher, keep your right hip higher, try to get your hands away and out as you start down, take divots that start left a good drill is to get into a super close stance put the ball off your left toe and practice hitting fades.
TGC_Modr - ***To book lessons with Jim, visit***
rickc - JIM: In your Hogan tape Hogan says to keep the right elbow pointed down . How long does it stay that way -won't it go out as you release?
J_McLean - hogan is talking the right elbow at the top of the backswing, this does cause a flatter left arm playing you should know that many great players carry the right elbow higher so its not imparative
J_McLean - if you look at Tiger Woods you will also see his right elbow pointed almost straight down at the top of his back swing.
J_McLean - its not a bad thing to work towards, but, how you start down is much more important.
TGC_Modr - Well, that's a wrap for this evening. Thanks for joining us with Jim McLean in's Pure Golf Experience!