Trevor Immelman: How to Build a Swing you Can Trust
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HOW TO BUILD A SWING YOU CAN TRUST
The moves that helped me split almost every fairway at Augusta last year can make you a more accurate driver, too
By Trevor Immelman
2008 Masters Champion
with David DeNunzio
I hit all but eight fairways at last year's Masters. There's no way I could have done that four years ago, when my driver swing was mildly accurate at best. The secret to my turnaround was looking at my swing on video with my coaches and highlighting the moves that I executed consistently when I played well. When these moves were on, I rarely drove the ball off line. It took me four years, but I've burned these feels and positions into my swing. You can get them a lot quicker by following my tips on these pages. When you have them down pat, you won't worry about missing the fairway or finding deep rough. You'll trust your swing just like I do and burn it right down the middle.
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HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN YOUR FOLLOW-THROUGH
Make sure the club swings you At this point in the swing, most of the dirty work is done. So, in a sense, I give up control because I don't want to feel like my body has to work to bring the club up into the finish. The feeling you're after is the club is pulling you past impact and into your follow-through, not the other way around.
If you properly release through impact, the momentum of your club will pull you into your follow-through.
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If you feel like your body is still swinging the club in your follow-through, then you've likely fallen off plane.
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In Plane I Trust
Plane and shaft position are something I think about all the time during practice. On the course, everything falls into place. That's because each one of my "trust" moves works to keep my clubshaft on plane from start to finish.
Club starts on shaft plane...
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...swings back on shaft plane...
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...rises to the parallel shoulder plane...
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...reaches the top on the shoulder plane.
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...falls back down to the shaft plane...
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...swings through on the shaft plane...
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...exits on the shoulder plane...
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Holding onto the club is both unathletic and a serious power sap.
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This is the right way to swing through impact and square up the clubface.
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HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN YOUR SETUP
Set your arm hang so that the club swings back on plane automatically I do this by bending more from my waist so that when my arms hang down my triceps rest against my chest. If you set up so that you're reaching for the ball with your arms disconnected from your body, you'll tend to take the club back to the outside.
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HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN YOUR TAKEAWAY
Start everything back in one piece Notice in the sequence above how my shoulders, arms, clubhead, hips and knees have moved away from the ball as a single unit nothing gets left behind. This is a natural swing. If you only move your shoulders, you're in danger of whipping the club to the inside. If you just move your arms, you'll tend to pick up the club and get too steep.
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Try to brush the grass behind the ball. When you keep the clubhead low to the ground like this, it makes it easy to stay on plane and create proper width. I'll actually listen for the sound of the club brushing along the ground. I have good ears from years of playing guitar and drums when I hear a brush I know my swing is in tune.
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HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN YOUR BACKSWING
Let the club swing freely to the top There's no better feeling than the clubhead rising smoothly in your backswing. I get this feel by allowing the face on my driver to rotate open, like it's turning right along with my hips. Some people try to keep the clubface shut to hold off a slice. That makes your swing too rigid and brings a hook into the equation.
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Turn your right hip pocket behind you and feel like your clubhead and torso are moving together. They should arrive at the top at the same time.
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HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN YOUR TOP POSITION
Point the toe down and cup your left wrist As I swing the club to the top, I picture the toe of my driver hanging down in an open position and a cup in my left wrist. People will tell you that this leads to slicing, but it actually frees you up to swing down hard and release the club without fear, something you can't do if the face is closed. Most great golfers the ones that have stood the test of time point the toe down and cup their left wrist at the top.
Point the toe of your club down at the top to jump-start a powerful release through the ball.
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If you try to keep the clubface square or even closed at the top, you lose the freedom to let the club go at the bottom.
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HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN YOUR IMPACT
Get your right side on top of the ball Before I started driving the ball well, I used to ignore my right side. I'd pull down hard with my left side (I'm naturally left-handed) and the clubhead would almost always be late at impact. If you hit a lot of pushes or hooks, this is your culprit. Feel like your right shoulder is on top of the ball at impact.
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My toe-down position at the top means I have to really go after it at the bottom. This may sound like a compensating move, but it's actually the easiest way to square the face and swing with speed. I like to feel the clubhead passing my hands through impact, not my hands trying to hold the face square.
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...and finishes on the shoulder plane.
Swing Sequence: Trevor Immelman
Complete coverage of Immelman's Masters win
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