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Finesse Wedge Training Part 2

In the second part of their latest video series, Classic Swing Golf School's Ted Frick and LPGA Tour player Haylee Harford discuss training aids to help keep the golf swing properly on plane as you're executing a finesse wedge shot.

Ted Frick:

All right, here we are doing one of our finesse wedge drills. Again, a finesse wedge shot is a shot where the landing area is inside of 30 yards. As a drill, there looks like there's a lot going on here, but I'm going to try to keep this simple. The golf club itself, in all of golf, from putt to drive, the golf club moves in the shape of a circle.

The two alignment sticks here on an angle, I'm not measuring the angle, but it'll be approximately 62 degrees. This represents the inclined plane. The golf club's moving in the shape of a circle on a slant. This is an on-plane motion. From putt to drive. You want to be on plane, because in on-plane motion with a club faced square to the path, you're going to hit very accurate shots for direction.

With this picture here, an on-plane motion would have the orbiting club, have the sweet spot traveling up the hula hoop. Let's just say waist height for an example, traveling down the hula hoop into the follow through. Okay, and into the finish for a finesse wedge shot.

If I were off plane, let me show you two mistakes. If the golf club were to move inside this yellow stick, this would be an inside takeaway and an inside takeaway with a closed face, that's going to get a lot of golfers hitting the ground too early, called a chunk shot. You're coming in too shallow. At the same time, watch this. If I take the golf club and I move it on this angle, this path is too far outside. Let's just say I went too far outside and had the club face wide open again. Again, it's too steep. It could cause chunk shots or top shots because you're off plane.

This is just a presentation so that with this next drill that you're going to see, we're working on the plane of Haylee's finesse wedge shot. All right, let's take a look here. Remove these. We're going to come down. This is really simple, y'all. With two alignment sticks here, like railroad tracks, we're going to go ahead, we're going to insert a golf glove right where Haylee's elbow and her external oblique kind of attach.

Another key with a finesse shot: keep the arms excessively soft. Very, very soft arms in the short game. Let's set up in there. With these, with the railroad tracks here, we literally have from the toe of the golf club to the heel, it's about one inch off the toe and one inch off the heel.

In this motion, if Haylee took the golf club back and were to hit the inside track, the golf club is moving inside too fast. Just the opposite: the outside track. Moving the golf club through the track is going to be an on-plane motion.

In the downstroke, if her golf club were to catch the inside track too fast, she's shallowing out the golf club, it's coming in too flat, causing that golf club to hit the ground or a chunk shot too soon. At the same time, in the down stroke, she's hitting the outside track, the golf club is coming down too steep.

Without getting too technical, we're kind of fighting against these steeps and these shallows. Okay. Let's remove the ball for a moment. A couple things to notice here, try to observe how soft her arms are: really, really light arms. The elbow, we're not going to have a real wide takeaway, her right elbow is going to stay real close to her side.

If you would, Haylee, go right into your follow through, and in the follow through her left elbow is close to her side. We're not looking at a wide arc. A wide arc is for power. We're doing finesse. All right. A couple practice motions here if you would. We always give the grass of haircut.

Haylee Harford:

It's okay for it to come out in the follow through?

Ted Frick:

In the follow through it is. Old class of instruction, “move the slice of pizza, give the grass a haircut.” One more time and then we'll go ahead and hit a shot here. We're letting face open up, we're keeping the arms really soft. Okay. In the setup again, this is to reiterate from the first tip, stance line slightly open to the line of flight with the upper body open as well. Real soft arms, weight forward. These are finesse shots. Okay. The next series are going to get into all the uneven lies of how we execute the finesse motion.