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Right elbow position on downswing...especially for shorter (100yds or <) shots

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  • Right elbow position on downswing...especially for shorter (100yds or <) shots

    Would a good swing thought for practicing pitches and shorter shots be to keep the right elbow (rt handed golfer) against or "in" towards the right side of the body on the downswing? A good friend once told me about the downswing on these shots "On the downswing, keep your hands close to your money!" meaning close to your front pockets. Not sure where he got that phrase from but it sort of makes sense? Thought I'd run this concept by people here to see if it might be a good swing thought to ingrain when practicing?

  • #2
    Hi guys,

    The "problem" that I've seen with the "trail-elbow-in on the downswing" is that folks tend to apply the elbow-in concept on the BACK-swing as well?

    Besides.....where ELSE would your elbow go (if you're swinging towards your target)?

    Love this place and you guys

    dude abides
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    • #3
      It's really weird but I've been experimenting doing chips and pitches using different setups (wide/short stance, open /closed, arms stretched, arms close , hands high/low ,etc). But I've always tried to concentrate on throwing my clubhead to the target for all scenarios. What I've found is my body just finds the best way to use whatever degrees of freedom I have available in my joints. So I don't think its necessary to become anxious or have pre-conceived ideas about setup or specific body movements as long as you can swing freely , in balance and strain free 'within whatever restrictions befall you on the golf course' to meet your intent (as long as your intent is achievable).

      If you remember many months ago I posted some videos of an old golfer called Count Yogi who did all weird and wonderful trick shots (plus serious golf) and everyone wondered what his 'secret' was . And he kept saying it was a 'mental routine' and nothing to do with specific body movements , positions etc . Imho , he may have been one of the first to recognise and use 'external focus' cues and target orientated golf. He even commented on all the different setups and strange clubs he used during his shows saying none of them conformed to any conventional 'pre-conceived' PGA guidelines at the time and yet he was still able to strike the ball effortlessly.

      I'm going to rename Shawn as 'Count Clements'


      • #4
        Originally posted by K5thbeatle View Post
        A good friend once told me about the downswing on these shots "On the downswing, keep your hands close to your money!" meaning close to your front pockets.
        Hi K5,

        The idea of "keep your hands close to your money" or "your front pockets" for pitches or shorter shots makes perfect sense to me as this is where your hands should naturally pass in front of your body when using a wedge. Compare that to a longer club, especially a driver, where the hand path will naturally pass in front of you more out and away from your body.

        As far as thinking about the right elbow being in close to your body during the through swing or where the hand path is during the through swing, I think we can say with some certainty that the Chairman would suggest something like you can't be in two places at once, meaning that if you're thinking about the position of your right elbow or where your hands are during the swing then you just lost your target. And as I write this I think keeping the target in mind might be even more important with pitches and delicate shorter shots as it's not just about direction, but we also need the right amount of momentum in the swing to get the right distance for our shot (not too much and not too little).

        So my suggestion would be if you need to think about these things like right elbow being in close to the body or where the hands are passing in front of you, that you do that away from the ball; and when you address the ball with a target in mind you need to forget about these body parts/positions and trust the "feel" that you had during your practice swings. As Shawn has sometimes said just before and just after an actual shot following some practice swings, "Now what did that feel like again . . . oh yeah, it felt like that!"


        • #5
          Cally, absolutely correct.
          Distance to ball has to be set BEFORE executing the task to the target.
          Any conscious attempt to swing in a certain plane is a manipulation.
          I take really care about my set up. But before swinging the club, there must be 100% trust, that the ball is perfectly in the way of the natural path of the club.
          Out if my control.


          • #6
            If it’s not natural, “don’t do it!”
            Target,Target,Target everything will fall into place on its own. Stay loose and feel the swing. I actually practice with my eyes closed part of the time.