The Pictures Don't Lie - Michael Hunt Breaks Down My Swing

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Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2011

If you read this post, you will remember that I was given a golf lessons from Michael Hunt, Lead Master Instructor at Miami Beach Golf Club. We worked on getting a better wrist hinge from waist high to the top of my swing in my takeaway. My initial takeaway is good, but I am still a little flat because I twist or rotate my wrists and forearms.

Michael shot video of my swing from the face on view as well as from the target view. I received the still pictures of the video today via email. To give me the best reference, Michael did a side by side comparison with me and professional golfers who have a similar body type.

This is invaluable information because now I can see where I am, and where I need to be. Michael told me that sometimes we feel like we are doing the right thing but when we get to see ourselves, it can be very telling.

You can clearly see the difference between myself and Hunter Mahan at waist high in the takeaway. By this point Mahan's shaft is pointing to a 90 degree angle while my shaft is still laid off. Michael told me that I am losing a lot of energy and power in my swing because of this. The wrist hinge is where all the energy is stored during transition. I end up having to manipulate the club to try and gather extra energy.

This is a comparison of myself and Rory Mcilroy from the target view. Again you can see the difference in the position of our club shafts. Mcilroy's shaft, at this point in the swing, is pointing just inside the ball. Just follow the red line. My shaft is pointing well out side of the ball. From this position, I have to come over the top to get back on plane. The club becomes heavier in this position as well and all the extra motion causes a loss in power and distance. Michael said that when I learn to get into the position that Mcilroy achieves, the club becomes lighter, and gravity will take over and move the clubhead through the hitting area with ease.

This is another comparison between myself and Mcilroy just after waist high. Notice the difference in the club shaft. If this was shot from the target view as in the last stills, Mcilroy's shaft would be pointing just inside where the ball used to be. My shaft is pointing well inside, which causes the weak slice.

Mahan demonstrates the proper positions at waist high on either side of the swing. Michael was pleased that I had already thought of using Mahan as a model for a swing to emulate. He has a very simple and repeatable swing without too many moving parts.

The other area that Michael worked with me was in my setup. I have too much forward shaft lean. This caused my alignment to be off at address and this is why I sometimes pull hook. Hunter Mahan is more square at address because his shaft makes a line up to the logo on his shirt. My red line is almost outside of my left shoulder.

In this picture you can see that my upper body is open at address, again because of too much forward shaft lean. Rory Mcilroy seems to be much more stable than I am as well. The swing starts with the setup. A bad setup leads to a bad swing. Now that I see what I was doing, I can make the necessary adjustments.

Again, I would like to thank Michael Hunt for all his help. He is an excellent instructor and you should make an effort to meet with him if you are ever in the Miami Beach area. If you are serious about improving, I recommend that you have someone film your swing so that you can pinpoint the areas of your swing that you need to work on. No point in practicing bad habits right? Have a great round and always hit your target.





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Comments (2)

  1. February 11, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    I disagree with Michael on a couple of things, Dex. I want to point them out, but not because it's a "right or wrong" thing. Rather, it's about why you get different advice from different people.

    In the first pic with Mahan, I don't have a problem with your "late wrist cock." We've talked about this before; some teachers prefer an early cock, some a late cock. In fact, my teacher Carl taught me an early cock. This really is just a personal preference; either one can work well. (I would like to point out that you have a bigger shoulder turn than Hunter in that comparison, and that's probably because of the late cock. Jim McLean would probably agree with me, given his "V-Gap" study.)

    BTW, the fact that your forearms are turned makes it look like you have less wrist cock than you actually do. Which brings us to...

    We both agree about that second set of photos with McIlroy. That "layoff" move is the one we were talking about before you saw Michael. Again, I should point out that Bobby Jones played with a "twisted wrist" move like that and was very successful with it. It can be done, but few modern teachers like it.

    As for the lean in your setup, I don't think it's too much. Again, the "Y" setup Michael is using is the same one Carl taught me... but it's also the impact position associated with "flipping" the club. (Think about the commercial for that club that's supposed to teach you to "hit down" on the ball; this is the impact position they label as flipping.) I suspect the reason it works for some people and not for others is a matter of forearm strength. My forearms aren't as strong, so that position gives me trouble when I try to swing faster. I can't get my wrists back to that "Y" position consistently, so I leave the face a little open at impact.

    What I see when I look at those last two sets of photos comparing your setup with the pros is that your shoulders look to be a bit open, which would also cause a weak slice. I can't say that for certain from just the front view, but both pictures look that way to me.

    Again, I'm not saying that I'm right and Michael's wrong. Since you seem to be having good success with Michael's advice, don't ignore it just because I disagree with some of it -- after all, he got to work with you in person and therefore got a better look at your swing. But I hope this helps you see why the advice you get from different sources sometimes seems contradictory. Personal experience and physical limitations help shape a teacher's approach; that's why I always say you should find a "filter" -- a teacher whose techniques work for you -- and use his or her teachings to help you decide whose help will really help you.

    In mine and Michael's case, it might sound at first like we're in opposition. But our "disagreements" are mostly personal preferences, not mechanics. Regardless of who you are or who teaches you, eventually you'll begin to substitute some of your own personal preferences for what you were taught. That's how we tailor our swings to get the most from them.

  2. February 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    I think the main reason Michael wanted the earlier wrist cock was because he thought I was losing power in my swing. At one point he said that I had a great takeaway but I was taking the one-piece too far and not cocking my wrist at all or very little.

    He took my club and hit two shots. One the way I did with little wrist cock, which was straight but weak. And one with a proper wrist cock, and the ball jumped off the club face.

    I think I need to find the happy medium. I know that when I am too laid off I get too flat, roll the forearms and the loop creeps in. When I cock the wrist a lot or exaggerate it, I feel like I'm flipping the club at impact.

    As far as my set up, I was comparing the two today while I was practicing. My shoulders do open up when I lean the shaft forward. I tried aiming a little right of my target and that seemed to help. It could be also that my alignment was off from the start.

    I'll continue to work on it and report back to you.