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"Be a Smart Curve-Ball Hitter"
-from Claude Harmon Sr.

"Little Ones that Matter Most"
-from Claude Harmon Sr.

TIPs FROM THE TOP (on taking your grip)
-from Claude Harmon Sr.

-from Ben Hogan with B.SILVER

Pictured above, Claude Harmon Sr., father of Butch, today's Tour most sought after teacher.

Harmon, who died in 1989, was the professional at Winged Foot Golf Club for 31 years, from 1946 to 1977. He was a student of Harry Cooper and Craig Wood, a close playing partner and friend of Ben Hogan, a teacher to presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon and Ford), as well as King Hassan II of Morocco, and a father to four sons who would themselves go on to become club pros.

Claude Harmon Sr. was also considered among the best sand players ever. Other Winged Foot pros, would recall a stream of touring pros who would stop off at the club to work with Harmon on their bunker shots. Harmon would give demonstrations in which he would hit out of the sand with one hand. He also helped Hogan with several innovative shots, including a cut 4-wood from the deep rough.

Ben Hogan wrote: ''I knew that he would become a master professional, and he has gone beyond my expectations. Because of his inquisitive attitude toward the golf swing and using a process of elimination and simplification, he arrived at a point where he could literally put a golf swing together piece by piece, just as a watchmaker would while making a watch. Not only did he put these parts together for himself by winning the Masters tournament, but also for others.

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"There are two crises during the natural golf swing--when the clubhead moves away from the ball at the start of the backswing, and when it is time to start the downswing"
--Ben Hogan

Ben Hogan

Hey Mr. Hogan, Just how do you start your swing?

"One of the questions I am most often asked is how the club is started back on the backswing."

"But most of the golfers who asked me that question don't even wait for an answer."

My lips are sealed.

"Instead, they quickly offer the suggestion that maybe it is started back by the left hand, right hand, left arm or right arm."

"Usually they have one opinion or another,and want me to confirm it.
That is something I can't do."

Well, Okay.......

"Actually, the club is not started back in any of the ways they suggest. It starts back on the recoil from the forward press."

"This forward press is nothing more than the movement forward of the hands, arms and body just before the backswing. What it amounts to is that you address the ball with some movement, or waggle as the tournament professionals call it, and then go smoothly from waggle into backswing via the recoil from the forward press."

So, how we start our swings via the take-away ( backswing ) affects Balance, Rhythm and Tempo. I see golfers losing their swing balance when they are trying to do too much with a swing at the START. Then, after some relaxing and just letting their swings happen, they begin to swing better. That initial subconscious swing feel to start the movement is often referred to by some, as a swing "trigger". Hogan referred to his "waggle", then went smoothly from waggle into the backswing via the recoil from the forward press. That "PRESS" can have many different forms.

Different strokes for different folks.

Adam Scott

Gary Player

Jordan Spieth

my note:
Adam Scott has a slight drop of his body before he starts his arm swing, his "PRESS". Gary Player would turn his right knee inward to start his arm swing, his "PRESS". Jordan Spieth does a slight forward lean/press with the club to start his arms back.
All initial, subconscious, moves were developed through repetition, a trigger that triggers their swings.

The clubhead, the hands and the shoulders must all start back together in one motion. If you start them all back in one motion you are sure of a swing which will be well timed throughout and with the major movements synchronized.

The club will be kept low going back, provided the player doesn't purposely pick up with his or her hands.

If allowed to pursue a normal course going back the club will describe an arc. Remember,however,that the club is definitely swung back just as it is swung down.

It is my firm belief that any golfer can achieve a certain amount of success by concentrating on the backswing.

If it is not properly performed you can't expect much from the downswing which follows. Starting the backswing there is a definite turning motion of the hips.

my note:
I like to see set-ups with a 60%-40% ratio, meaning whatever your feel of 60% of weight on front leg and 40% on back leg.
Feel like you are slightly bracing against the front leg at address.
After all, we have to get, or start, towards the front leg when we begin the downswing.

Don't mis-understand the turning motion of the hips.We don't have to consciously think about turning your hips, they will be turned when you use/turn your BODY to swing your arms backward. Think of the Body as an engine, which should do all the work.

Just let them go!

A great deal has been said about how the club is started away from the ball, whether the club face is Square, open or closed, but actually it neither opens nor closes during the backswing.
It remains square throughout.

Going back on the backswing the shoulders and arms take a turning motion around the hub and this appears to open the face of the club, but actually it doesn't. The hands and wrists haven't rolled either over or under, and for that reason the clubface remains square going back.

Nancy Lopez

Jason Duffner

Lee Trevino

You can check this by taking up the position of address. Without moving your arms or body pick the club up by just breaking your wrist straight up. That's the only way that the wrist break at all during the swing. In that position the face of the club is still square to the Line.

Now with your wrist broken move your hands back to the top of your swing and you will find that you are at the position you should be at at the top of the swing.The clubface is still Square.

The grip is firm throughout. However, there is more pressure on the last three fingers of the left hand then at any other place in your grip.

A quarter of the way back the wrist haven't cocked yet. In fact, there is no conscious cocking of the wrist at any time during the swing.

The cocking of the wrist is gradual as you proceed to the backswing.

my note:
I prefer to say wrist "hinge" club upward as opposed to "cocked or broken".
Yes, it's just semantics, but "cocked" to me is an action of doing and "hinging" is letting the action happen.
And... wrist is singular, as in Left Wrist. That is technically the wrist that cock/hinge. Right wrist bends backwards and stays in the condition, depending on one's flexibility/strength of wrist.

As the club goes back the left knee bends in towards the right knee. The left ankle is rolled in towards the right foot with the left heel coming off the ground only slightly. The weight is shifted back to the right leg with a very slight lateral movement of the hips.

Only the body coils. Your head doesn't move. Visualize your neck as the hub of the wheel with your arms and shoulders rotating around this hub. This will ensure a perfect arc of the club on both the backswing and the downswing.

The right leg does not straighten on the backswing. It should remain broken about the same amount as it was at address.

my note:
Nancy Lopez does the "recoil" on backswing by lifting her upper body slightly to start her swing. A very fluid trigger movement to start swinging.Tour players Kenny Perry and Matt Kuchar have similar moves. Nancy's "hub" (head) is really steady and she DOESN'T try and keep her head DOWN! A no-no to me..

Jason Duffner (King of the waggle) does his motions for probably some kind of visual path or feel, then taps the club on the ground and goes into his swing. Tap and go.

Lee Trevino uses his feet to do the "recoil", creating a slight forward movement just before he starts his arms swinging.

Many good players will say they "feel" their good swings in their feet.
Backswings and Downswings,

The left arm is straight and the point of the left shoulder is underneath the chin and pointed down at the ball when the full backswing is completed.

At the top of your backswing the club should be held just as firmly in both hands as it was at address. Any looseness of the grip can always cause you trouble, but particularly at this point, because you are about to embark on the downswing.

Remember, however, a good downswing is dependent on you executing a good backswing. The backswing should be taken as one continuous rhythmic action.
All movements are smooth and properly synchronized.

my note:
Left arm straight is not "telephone-pole" straight !!
More like a rope pulled outward from chest, with some give as physically needed from player to player.
"Left arm should feel comfortably straight"
--Sam Snead

See Jordan Spieth, Lee Trevino, Nancy Lopez at top of swing.

So...... how we start our swings is how we create good, sound
.....Balance, Rhythm and Tempo.

"There are two crises during the natural golf swing--when the clubhead moves away from the ball at the start of the backswing, and when it is time to start the downswing"
--Ben Hogan

Thank you, Mr.Hogan

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