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The short game is all about accuracy, not power. A full swing is powerful because it has a two lever action. This means that your hands are involved in the backswing with wrists cocked to set the club correctly at the top of your swing and allow more travel time on the swing arc. This gives more club head speed on the downswing. To truly have a great short game one must learn to use a one lever action.
“What”- one lever action means that no hands are involved in the backswing and the club maintains same angle with arms at address (right hand golfer) (fig. M). Depending on your flexibility, most of us will get the left arm parallel to the ground and you must maintain the same angle with arms and club that you had at address. Full shoulder turn during the backswing is not necessary. The important thing here is to make sure you don’t have any hand action on the backswing.
“How”- In order to get to this position correctly, you must lift the triangle more abruptly as you turn your shoulders. Remember this action is for accuracy, not power. Once you have reached your highest or maximum height with the one lever position, with practice you will be able to hit the ball at a consistent yardage. For example, your wedge 50 yds, 9 iron 60 yds, 8 iron 70 yds and so forth. Everyone’s yardage will be different, but it will be a number that you know you can consistently control under pressure situations. By the way, you still have a “no fly zone” on the downswing and the Katana sword is still here to kill you (defined on full-swing lesson). Executing the one lever action is not going to be that easy. Remember, this is a fundamental and it’s supposed to be hard! It is very important that after you make contact with the ball that you continue your finish swing just like a full swing. Old school saying, nice high finish, implies great importance here.
“Why”- The one lever action fundamental is awesome in tournament play. With practice you will know exactly how far your yardages are for each short iron. This is extremely important, because it makes you a better thinker on managing your golf game. In tournament play, you’re walking down the 18th fairway tied for the lead and your eyes are bulging, your heart is pounding, sweat is coming off your brow and you can’t remember your own name! What pressure? Would it be better to hit a full sand wedge or a one lever 9 iron? Do you need more spin or less spin on the golf ball? With practice you will know which clubs are equidistant in yardage with 2 levers versus 1 lever action. Talent alone isn’t necessary, but fundamentals are necessary to be great!