Lost Highway Article - Premiere Sept. 96 - LynchNet Lost Head setup

Introduction

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The purpose of your stance is to provide a solid foundation upon which to rotate your body.  Proper stance width is vital for power, accuracy, consistency and injury prevention.

You may feel that instruction on golf setup is tedious, but, as we’ll discuss here, correct setup is vital for enabling proper movement in the golf swing.  The number 1 cause of a faulty golf swing is poor setup.  What’s more, it’s the one thing that, with a little practice, you can get 100% correct every time, and so be sure to increase your chances of success with every shot.

There is a lot of conflicting instruction on the correct stance width for the golf swing, most of it is misleading and some of it can be harmful.

Coming into impact, there are enormous forces being generated, especially on the left side of your body.  If your joints are misaligned this will lead to discomfort, wear and tear of your joints, and various potential injuries to your back, hip, and knee.  These injuries can be avoided by using your body correctly, starting with proper stance width.

Feet Shoulder Width Apart

Most conventional golf wisdom says that the stance should be shoulder width, or even wider.

When you think about it, what has the width of your shoulders got to do with ideal stance width  Are your legs attached directly to your shoulders  No.  If you’re tall and have narrow shoulders do you need a narrower stance  Of course not.

In the Swing like a Champion System, we base the correct stance width on anatomy and on what we’re trying to achieve in the golf swing.

Factors Determining Stance Width

The key determining factor for stance width is the position of your hip joints.

Your legs, the limbs that form your stance width, are attached to your body at the hip joints.

Your stance needs to provide adequate stability, if it’s too narrow you won’t have a stable foundation for the golf swing as you rotate back and through.

Most importantly of all, your stance needs to facilitate the proper sequence of movement, the optimal use of your big muscles, and the correct position of your body through impact.

The Perfect Golf Stance Width

The biomechanically perfect stance width for the full golf swing is when the centre of each ankle is the width of 2 golf balls wider than the hip joints.

Figure 1.  Perfect Golf Stance Width

This is the widest the stance can be in order to prevent lateral head movement from occurring throughout the golf swing, while still allowing for a proper weight transfer.

It gives you a wide, stable foundation that enables you to shift your weight without forcing your upper body to shift laterally.

You will be able to shift your weight properly in the backswing, and then easily shift back to the left in the downswing, aligning your joints properly and pivoting around your left hip through impact, and rotating efficiently through impact into the follow-through while staying in balance.

Note that we refer to the hip joint, not the flesh of the hips.  The hip joint, as discussed in Golf Swing 101. Setup: Basic Posture, is much closer to the midline of the body than most of us realise — it is deep inside the body, about 2 finger-widths inside the crest of the hip bone when viewed from face-on.

This stance width is constant for any standard full swing shot.

You don’t alter your stance width based on the length of the club.  The movement pattern, in terms of weight shift and impact alignment, required for every standard full swing shot is the same.

For speciality shots, such as the driver, chip shots, sand-play etc., stance width will be adjusted.  This will be discussed in the relevant sections of this site.

In order to understand why the perfect stance width is as we describe, you need to be aware of a few key concepts in the golf swing.  These concepts refer to advanced topics, and if they seem complicated right now then don’t panic, they will all be made abundantly clear in the coming articles and drills.

Club Head Speed

The first concept that you need to be aware of is club head speed.

The concept of power is one of the most misunderstood, and often wrongly taught, aspects of the golf swing.  To hit the golf ball a long way, you need to get the club head moving as fast as possible through impact.  Generating club head speed does not require the same sort of movement as throwing a punch, swinging an axe, or even swinging a baseball bat, where you need raw muscular power, with your weight behind it.

Imagine a small ball on the end of a string, which is attached to the end of a pencil, and you’re holding the other end of the pencil.  When you swing the ball around the pencil, if you want to swing the ball as fast as you possibly can, then your fingers need to make a very small, tightly centred, rotational movement, constantly feeling for and pulling against the weight of the ball.  You use centripetal force to accelerate the ball, pulling it towards the centre, not linear force pushing on the ball.  Though over simplified, this is a great analogy for the golf swing, the ball being the club head, and although the golf club isn’t a string, it behaves much as the string does when the ball is rotating fast.

The golf swing has more in common with swinging our ball on a string than it does with swinging a heavy hammer or even a baseball bat.  In baseball, the ball is moving towards you at approaching 100mph, its effective weight is enormous, and to hit it out of the park you need to hit it hard, with your weight behind the bat to stabilise it, thus requiring a wider stance.  In golf, the ball isn’t moving, and it weighs just a few ounces.  To hit a golf ball 300 yards you need to hit it with a club head that is moving very fast, and putting your weight behind the shot won’t help.

The best way generate club head speed is not by pushing the club, but by imparting angular momentum and pulling against the weight of the club through impact, just as you do with the ball on the string.  You use centripetal force to accelerate the club head, pulling it towards the centre of your rotation, and not linear force pushing on the grip.  Just like the ball on the string, it is a tightly centred rotational motion that generates maximum club head speed.

Another great analogy for the golf swing is cracking a whip — where you can get the tip of a whip to break the sound barrier through good timing, and brute-force pushing will just disrupt the timing and slow the whip down to the point where you can’t crack it at all.  The whip cracks because you create angular momentum in the handle which is transferred along the length of the whip in an ever decreasing circle.  Just like cracking a whip, the golf swing is primarily about transferring momentum along a kinetic chain, so that the club head “cracks” through impact.  Muscular effort is required to set the chain in motion, but generating club head speed at the right place in the swing is mostly about timing and sequencing, not brute strength.  More of this in future articles.

Impact Alignment

So, to hit the golf ball powerfully, you need maximum club head speed through impact, which means that you need to be rotating quickly and to be tightly centred.

The best way for your body to do that is by rotating around your left hip, with your weight over the left side, and your joints (left ankle, knee, hip and shoulder) vertically aligned through impact.  The hip is the joint that is designed for rotation, and your big muscles in your legs and your core are designed to power and stabilise a centred rotation around the hip.  This is exactly what we want in the golf swing.

Weight Shift

Weight transfer is inherent in all athletic throwing and hitting movements.  It creates some initial momentum, which is quickly turned into angular momentum (rotation), it enables you to push into the ground to leverage the big muscles in your legs, and it and stretches out the big muscles in the left side of your core.  All of these things are necessary in order to generate maximum club head speed.

Some small lateral movement of your lower body is desirable at the start of the downswing to facilitate a proper weight shift, but your head must stay centred in order to keep the bottom of your swing arc consistent, and thus strike the ball cleanly and consistently.  Good ball-striking becomes increasingly difficult if your head moves off the ball.

Correct stance width is necessary to enable you to transfer your weight effectively without forcing your upper body to shift laterally.

The Problems with a Wide Stance

The most common fault we see with stance width is when it is too wide.

A wide stance is good for bracing yourself against lateral force on your body, or for when you need to be prepared to dive in either direction.  Neither of these is particularly useful in the golf swing.  You’re certainly not diving or jumping anywhere, quite the opposite, you need stability and to stay centred.  And although the momentum of the arms and golf club does generate a lot of centrifugal force, the golf swing is essentially a rotational motion, and the action of the body pulling against the golf club is enough to balance the forces and keep us centred without needing a wide stance.

Sliding

A wide stance means that you need more lateral movement in order to achieve optimal joint alignment through impact — to get over the left side.  This makes the weight shift more difficult, encouraging a destabilising slide to the left — with a wide stance you have to move a long way to get back over the left hip.  This slide is very difficult to time properly (it’s one of the main causes of a slice), and it saps your swing of power.  A slide is also unhealthy and potentially unsafe, as it places a lot of undue stress on the left hip, knee and the lower back.

Timing

The wider your stance, the bigger the shift to the left required, and so the more time it takes and the harder it is to synchronise with the rest of your body.

In trying to shift quickly enough, you’ll probably push off your right side, driving your right hip towards the ball, which will cause you to lose your spine angle and so make it very difficult to strike the ball cleanly and consistently.  This push off the right side is also likely to push your left hip joint ahead of your left ankle through impact, which is also very unhealthy and unsafe, as it places a lot of undue stress on the left hip joint.  It is this move which, over the years, has caused so many golfers to suffer from severe hip problems.

Lateral movement in itself does nothing to increase club head speed — a tight, centred, rotational movement will enable you to swing the club head at well over 100mph, swaying your body as fast as you can towards the target is negligible compared to that, and swaying will destroy the quality (the tightness) of your rotational movement.  Imagine our ball on a string again, moving your fingers in a wider (looser) circle will just slow the ball down and make it move more erratically.

Getting stuck on the right side

A wide stance feels powerful and stable, but one of the key problems for most golfers is that they never get back onto the left side properly in the downswing.  They get “stuck” on the right side.  Getting your weight fully transferred to the left, getting stabilised and braced on the left hip, glute and ankle, is vital for swinging the golf club effectively.

If you don’t get your weight back to the left properly, then you can’t rotate and use your lower body effectively.  You can’t rotate your hips out of the way and pivot around your left side.  Your hips become locked into the ground, and you’re forced to use mostly your upper body to swing the club instead of the big muscles in the legs and core.

Moving off the ball

On the backswing, a wide stance will mean that you need to move your head off the ball in order to shift your weight.  This movement is an unnecessary variable that adds yet more timing issues and compensations to your swing.

Lateral upper body movement will dramatically affect your balance and your ability to consistently strike the ball cleanly.  If your head is forced to move laterally in the backswing then the natural bottom of your swing arc will move with it.  You will then need an excessive lateral shift in the downswing, leading to a loss of speed and making it harder to keep the bottom of the swing arc consistent.

Reverse pivot

If you don’t move your head off the ball, the wide stance will mean that you can’t shift your weight properly in the backswing, resulting in power loss and a potentially destructive reverse pivot.

Balance

You need to complete your follow-through in a balanced position over the left leg.  An unbalanced finish is a sure sign that you’ve mistimed your swing and that you’ve had to introduce numerous compensations in trying to get your swing back on track.  If you’re not balanced, you can’t be consistent.  If you’re a great athlete you may get away with it sometimes, but never all of the time.

A stance that is too wide will dramatically affect your balance as you shift or slide too far laterally, move off the ball on the backswing, slide your hip too far left on the downswing, lose your spine angle and introduce numerous compensations in an effort to bring the club back to the ball.  Your subconscious efforts to compensate and keep your balance, during a time when you are generating enormous forces, will place a lot of undue stress on your body, causing discomfort, muscle strain and numerous potential injuries.

In the follow-through you can easily see if you’ve not transferred your weight properly because your right foot will be bent by the weight that is still on it.  You should have almost all of your weight on your left foot, the tip of your right foot touching the ground only for balance.  Having weight on your right foot here will put strain on your back and hip, and show that your swing has not had the full benefit of weight transfer and rotation.

The Problems with a Narrow Stance

A stance that is too narrow is much more preferable to one that is too wide.  You may lose some power, but a narrow stance won’t have the same destructive effects on your timing and ball-striking as a wide one.

A narrow stance will discourage an aggressive weight transfer, and so will reduce the stretch in your muscles and the power that they are able to deliver.

A narrow stance will be less stable, forcing you to slow your swing down in order to maintain your balance into the follow-through.

The main sign of a stance that is too narrow is if your right foot is still flat on the ground at impact.  As we’ll see later, your right foot should be on the ground, but rolled in onto the inside of the foot at impact, which indicates a proper weight transfer.

We’ll discuss and demonstrate all of these issues in a lot more depth, and provide drills that enable you to perfect the correct movements, in forthcoming articles.

If you have any questions or comments about this or other articles on Golf Loopy, please send us an email.

Next up:  Golf Swing 102b – Setup: The Perfect Golf Ball Position.

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The Lost Colony educates, enriches and entertains. Don’t leave the Outer Banks until you see The Lost Colony.

For 19 days each May over 200 actors, technicians, designers and volunteers rehearse to bring The Lost Colony to life for another summer season. The production is enormous. The stage itself is over three times larger than most Broadway stages in New York. By booking with Kitty Hawk Kites you will be seated in the center of the stage area with action happening on three sides of you and even sometimes right next to you in the aisle. Come see epic battles and Indian dances. Experience the sorrow and heartbreak of tragedy and loss. Witness the pageantry of the Queen and her court, and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare. There is music, laughter, romance and dance.

The Lost Colony is widely acknowledged as the precursor to the modern American Broadway Musical. The drama is performed outside in two one-hour acts with a 15 minute intermission at the Waterside Theater located at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island.

You should plan on arriving one half hour prior to your first scheduled event. This gives you plenty of time to park, pick up your tickets, take some pictures, etc. Parking is very close to the box office, but there is about a 150 yard walk from the box office into the theatre, so plan accordingly.

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Fresh Comps

A vast amount of golf instruction has been written about how to use the driver.  Every week there are new tips, as well as recycled advice from years ago, claiming to help you hit the golf ball straighter and longer off the tee.  And yet the average amateur, despite all the advances in equipment, isn’t getting much better, while leading professionals are hitting the ball further every year.

It shouldn’t really be a surprise, therefore, to hear that much of the advice touted in books, magazines, on TV, on websites and by many teachers, is just plain wrong.  This poor advice is well intentioned, but it hasn’t worked for most golfers.  What’s worse, it leaves golfers with a complete misunderstanding of how an efficient and effective golf swing works.  Telling students a misleading half-truth might yield short-term benefit, but, until they learn how the golf swing really works, it will prevent them from becoming a really good golfer.

The aim of this article is to describe how to set up correctly in order to use the driver most effectively.  It’s impossible, however, to understand what setup changes you should make with the driver without discussing why they work, and what we are trying to achieve.

The dynamics of the golf swing are complex, and impact dynamics with the driver are particularly sophisticated.  We’ll go into a lot more detail about the mechanics of this in later articles, but we’ll touch on it here, just enough to give you a basic understanding of how it works.

The setup position we describe is based on the Swing like a Champion system.  Unless you were part of our early trial programs, your swing probably won’t yet make maximum effective use of the setup described here, but it soon will as you work through the program.  Importantly, by setting up correctly, without allowance for the compensations and manipulations present in a less-than-perfect golf swing, you will more quickly learn how to swing the golf club more effectively.

Once again, apologies to the lefties out there, but for simplicity these instructions are given for a right-handed golfer.

What Are We Trying to Achieve

You could setup to the golf ball with your driver in much the same way as with any other club, and play great golf.  The standard setup that we describe in Golf Swing Drill 108 – Setup: Addressing the Golf Ball is perfect for a powerful, accurate, consistent and safe golf swing.

Indeed, for maximum accuracy with the driver, we recommend that the only changes you make are to move the ball slightly further forward in your stance, off your left heel, and to stand slightly taller and lift your hands a little as described below.  With the Swing like a Champion system, that’s enough to drive the ball beautifully, splitting the fairway a long way out.

However, we realise that almost everyone would like to hit the ball further off the tee.  Scoring is certainly easier when you have a short iron in your hand for your second shot on a long par 4, and putting for eagle on par 5s is always fun!  Plus, for many of us, giving your opponent’s ball a little wave, as you stroll 50 yards past it down the fairway to reach your own ball, is great for our ego, and that’s all part of the joy of this great game.

In trying to maximise distance with the driver, it is important to note that there is some compromise involved with regard to accuracy and consistency.  If you really need to thread the ball down a narrow fairway, then stick to the setup we just described.  If you have room to manoeuvre, and an extra 20 yards is worth the compromise, then some small changes to your setup will help you to achieve that.

So what setup changes do you make in order to really max out distance with the driver  Let’s start by detailing the standard driver setup for power and accuracy, and then we’ll discuss the changes you should make to really send one out there, and how those changes work.

Recommended Driver Setup for Power and Accuracy

This is the perfect setup for a powerful, accurate, consistent and safe golf swing.  With the Swing like a Champion system, it will enable you to hit the ball a very long way while still having maximum accuracy off the tee.

It is much the same as your standard setup for every other club, which allows you to be completely consistent with your swing sequencing and timing.  This will help you to strike the ball more accurately, which is the key to playing better golf.

  • Tee the ball up so that one third of the ball is above the driver face when the driver is on the ground, addressing the ball.
  • As you take your stance, as described in Golf Swing Drill 108 – Setup: Addressing the Golf Ball, set the ball slightly further forward, the back (right side) of the ball level with the inside of your left heel (2 golf balls ahead of standard).
  • Stand a little taller at address (you’ll do this naturally with the longer club as you stand further from the golf ball).  Your hands will be pushed out and up a little as your chest pushes against your arms.  The butt end of the club will be about 3½” (9cm) further from your thighs than with your standard setup, and a little higher.  This will vary depending on your build, but your right thumb should be just inside a line drawn directly down from your chin.
  • You should have the same spine tilt away from the target as with your standard setup, achieved by moving your hips the same distance (1 golf ball) towards the target — see Golf Swing Drill 105 – Setup: Spine Tilt at Address.
  • Your hands should hang in front of the zipper on your trousers, the same as with the standard setup, which means that the club shaft will lean very slightly away from the target when the club head is placed immediately behind the ball.

We strongly recommend that you use this “standard” setup, especially until you are proficient with the Swing like a Champion system.  The max distance setup, described below, is a compromise, and you should use it with care.  If you overdo it, or get too aggressive with your swing, you will disrupt the learning process.

See “How to Practise” below for a description of how to ensure that you are in the perfect position.

Driver Setup for Maximum Distance

This modified setup is designed to max out driver distance, while still maintaining the accuracy and consistency you need to play great golf.  This is not about being a long drive champion, it’s about getting the ball in the fairway closer to the green, or perhaps carrying trouble such as fairway bunkers or water.

In making these changes you are accepting a small loss of accuracy, in return for an extra 20 yards or so off the tee — that’s 20 yards on top of the huge distance gains most golfers will get from the Swing like a Champion system with the standard setup.

The reasons for these changes are outlined below.  Please take the time to read the whole of this article, it will explain how these changes work, help you to better understand how the golf swing works with the driver, and explain why some of the things you have been taught are dead wrong.

  • Pick a target 5 degrees (about 20 yards or 18m) to the right of your real target (see Golf Swing 107 – Setup: Perfect Golf Aim and Alignment), and align yourself with that new target (and a matching intermediate target) — feet, knees, thighs, hips, arms, shoulders, and eyes, as well as the club face.
  • Tee the ball up so that half of the ball is above the driver face when the driver is on the ground addressing the ball.
  • As you take your stance, as described in Golf Swing Drill 108 – Setup: Addressing the Golf Ball, set the ball slightly further forward, the back of the ball level with your left heel (2 golf balls ahead of standard).
  • You should stand slightly closer to the golf ball, to allow for the fact that the club head will be swinging in from the bottom of the swing arc at impact.  You’ll test for the precise position as described below, in “How to Practise”.
  • Widen your stance by 5” (13cm), by moving your right foot further to the right.  Note that this is still, probably, narrower than you are used to.
  • Stand a little taller at address, the same as above (you’ll do this naturally with the longer club as you stand further from the golf ball).  Your hands will be pushed out and up a little as your chest pushes against your arms.  The butt end of the club will be about 3½” (9cm) further from your thighs than with your standard setup, and a little higher.  This will vary depending on your build, but your right thumb should be just inside a line drawn directly down from your chin.
  • You should have the same spine tilt away from the target as with your standard setup, achieved by moving your hips the same distance (1 golf ball) towards the target — see Golf Swing Drill 105 – Setup: Spine Tilt at Address.
  • Your hands should hang in front of the zipper on your trousers, the same as with the standard setup, which means that the club shaft will lean slightly away from the target when the club head is placed immediately behind the ball.

Hitting it Long

Driver impact dynamics are complex, and we’ll discuss them in detail (for those who are interested) in other articles dedicated to impact mechanics.

You don’t, however, need to get into too much detail in order to play great golf, but there are a few things you should understand that will help you conceptualise how a great golf swing works.

To max out distance with your driver, you need to consider 6 main factors:

1.  Swing speed

The more club head speed that you can generate at impact, all other things being equal, the further you will hit the golf ball.  The Swing like a Champion system will help you to generate more club head speed than you ever imagined, whilst maintaining accuracy and consistency, and being kind to your body.  The articles and drills that follow will quickly teach you how to do that.  For now, we need to set up with the driver in the way that best enables a great swing.

2.  Centre impact

Other than swing speed, the main difference between elite golfers and the average amateur is the quality of their ball striking.  Hitting the ball out of the sweet spot, with a square club face, will maximise what’s called “smash factor”, which is a measure of the efficiency of energy transfer from club to ball.  A higher smash factor equals more balls speed, and more ball speed equals more distance.

A 10% higher smash factor, caused by hitting the ball ½” (1.3cm) closer to the centre of the club face, is worth 10mph of additional club head speed — that’s about 30 yards (27m) more carry.

3.  Launch angle

When it comes to maximum distance with the driver, carry is king.  Other than in certain very special circumstances (high head-wind, very hard ground with downslope) you will get more distance (and have more shot options) the further the ball carries through the air.  And, up to a point, you will get more carry the higher you launch the ball off the club face.

Apart from the loft of the club, the biggest factor in launching the ball higher is having a positive angle of attack — this is not the same as hitting up on the ball, as we’ll discuss below.

As a general rule, for maximum distance, all golfers should have a 5 to 6 degree positive attack angle at impact.  This, together with the correct loft and club shaft for your swing speed, will produce maximum carry distance.

There are many other factors that contribute to launch angle, including shaft flex and profile, kick point, release point, and the compound pendulum effect.  For the technically minded, these will be discussed in detail in other articles.

That low bullet that your friend hits, that seems to roll forever  With a great swing and a high launch, your ball will still be in the air as it flies past his.  Tiger’s stinger is so impressive because, though it flies low,  it carries further than you can believe!  He can achieve this because he generates enormous club head speed and superb impact dynamics (we’ll teach you how to do that, too).

4.  Spin

The ball will spin with every golf shot that you play, except maybe the putter, because you always strike the ball beneath it’s centre of gravity — more of that in our mechanics articles.

Spin, in conjunction with the dimples on the golf ball, creates lift.  Lift keep the ball in the air for longer (and also curves it through the air if the spin axis is tilted).  But spin also creates drag, slowing the ball down.

Slower swing speeds need more spin in order to keep the ball in the air longer.  With higher swing speeds this creates too much drag.

The amount of spin imparted on the ball is related to the loft of the club and the angle of attack, and to the club head speed.  A higher lofted club will launch the ball higher (a good thing), but will create more spin (not so good for high swing speeds).

With the Swing like a Champion system, you will achieve high swing speeds.  So for maximum distance with the driver, we want a high launch with low spin.

5.  Gear effect

Gear effect occurs when you strike the ball away from the direction of the centre of gravity of the club (which is usually close to the centre of the club face).  This causes the club head to “twist”, only slightly, but extremely quickly, during the moment of impact.  This twisting while in contact with the golf ball causes it to act like a gear, imparting spin on the golf ball — this will be explained fully in another article.

This has a number of effects with the driver.  When you hit the ball towards the toe of the club, gear effect will tilt the spin axis of the golf ball, creating draw-spin.  Hitting it out of the heel of the club will create fade-spin.  The bulge in your driver’s club face is designed to mitigate against this — for example, by starting the ball further right when you hit it off the toe in the hope that the ball will curve back towards the target due to the draw-spin.

For this discussion, however, the most important aspect of the gear effect is when you hit the ball just above the centre of the club face.  This will launch the ball a little higher, because of the bulge in your driver’s club face, but the gear effect will reduce the spin (backspin) on the ball.  A perfect combination, so long as the strike is still close enough to the sweet spot of the club face (see centre impact).

6.  Square face

You may have been told that hitting the high draw is the best way to maximise distance.  Well that has some truth in it, if everything else is set up for it, the ball will roll further.  Most professional golfers prefer a fade, because the carry distance is at least as good, and they don’t want the ball to roll further into trouble when they’re off-line — more of that in other articles.

The most efficient strike, however, is with a club face that is square to its direction of travel (the club path) at impact, which will produce a straight shot.

Draws and fades, while you may prefer to shape the ball for other reasons, require that the club face points in a slightly different direction to the club path, which is in effect a “glancing blow”, and not quite as efficient (lower smash factor).

A 7-yard draw or fade isn’t going to lose you much distance, but that big hook isn’t doing you any favours, in so many ways, and of course we all hate the slice!  With the Swing like a Champion system, it won’t belong before you’re sure that you’ll never slice the ball again.

So, in summary, with the driver you want to hit the ball with maximal club head speed, out of the top of the sweet spot, and with a positive angle of attack.  You also want the club face to be square to the target line, and to the club path at impact.

Don’t Hit Up on the Ball!

Every day we see teachers advising golfers to hit up on the ball with the driver for more distance.  This is very bad advice!  It sends completely the wrong message about how the golf swing should work, it causes golfers to get into inefficient and potentially harmful positions, and it has ruined many a good golf swing.

Yes, for maximum distance, you want to hit the ball with a positive angle of attack.  The club head should be moving upwards at impact, and the club face should be pointing slightly more towards the sky.

A positive attack angle is achieved by releasing the club correctly through impact, just like you do with any other club.  The only difference is that the club face encounters the golf ball slightly after the bottom of its arc, just after it starts to move upwards.

Your swing should be the same as the swing that you use for any other club, for a full-swing shot.  Your swing plane will be a little flatter, because of the longer club and your small setup changes, but your swing sequence and timing will be the same.

With the Swing like a Champion system, you will learn to generate maximum club head speed through impact, accurately, consistently and safely.  You will learn how to release the club properly to deliver the club to the ball for optimum results.  With an iron, that means striking down and through the ball — the club face “collects” the ball on the way to the bottom of its arc.  With the standard driver setup, we’ll move the ball slightly forward so that the club collects the ball just a fraction before the bottom of its arc.  With the max distance setup, the ball will be further forward in a wider stance, and the club will collect the ball just after the bottom of its arc, as it starts to move back up away from the ground, giving a positive angle of attack.

Same great swing, same sequence, same timing, same release point.  Same consistent, optimal results.

It is important to understand that, in order to play great golf, you must develop a consistent position for the bottom of your swing arc.  And, for efficiency, this position should be precisely under your left shoulder, with your body positioned correctly over your left side through impact.  This is the key difference between a good ball striker and a poor one, and between a powerful swing and a weak one, and it is one of the most important things that you will learn in the Swing like a Champion system.

Trying to “hit up on the ball” will cause you to tilt your spine too far away from the target, you’ll probably try to move the bottom of your swing arc back, get too steep, and try and scoop at the ball, even sometimes getting your weight stuck on your back foot.  Your timing will be inconsistent.  Your ball striking will be erratic, often hitting the ball on the bottom of the club face, off the toe, or out of the heel, thus losing distance and accuracy.  And you’ll hurt your back!

Don’t Swing Inside-Out!

This is another piece of advice that we hear every day, swing from in-to-out.  We can’t begin to describe how much we hate this destructive, pernicious nonsense!

The intentions are good, we’re sure.  Most amateur golfers swing “over the top”, creating a swing path that is from outside-in.  This is weak and inconsistent, it’s the main cause of the dreaded slice, and it needs to be fixed.  So teachers try to get their students to swing more inside-out to correct it.  That makes sense, doesn’t it  But the result of this, as with so much golf advice, is to mislead golfers, giving them a completely false understanding of how a good golf swing works.

Yes, you do want to attack the ball from inside the target line.  But every good golf swing is inside-to-square-to-inside, and not inside-to-out.

With an iron, the club head may, for some shot shapes, be still moving out at the moment of impact, on its way to the bottom of its arc.  But you should never think of this as in-to-out.  It’s an in-to-square-to-in golf swing, it just so happens that it connects with the ball just before it gets to square.

Trying to swing “out” past the target line will destroy your golf swing.  You’ll have to manipulate the golf club, you won’t release the club efficiently through impact, you’ll hit the ball with a glancing blow, and much of your energy will be thrown out away from you long after the ball has gone.  It’s inefficient, inconsistent, and it requires you to manipulate your body into potentially damaging positions.  It’s really horrible!

As an aside, you may have heard that some great ball strikers, particularly the wonderfully eccentric Moe Norman, tried to keep the golf club square to the target line for as long as possible, all the way through until well after impact.  That’s what Moe told people that he did, when trying to explain to them how amazingly accurate he was off the tee.  Well, he didn’t.  He had a weird follow-through, where he took the club back out towards the target line again, but through impact he was inside-to-square-to-inside, just like every good golfer.

Note that any such attempt to keep the club face square to the target line for longer through impact is not the same as extending through the ball, far from it.  We’ll teach you how to get great extension through the ball, as part of the Swing like a Champion system, and you’ll learn that extension is the result of efficiently releasing energy into the golf club, and nothing to do with trying to manipulate the club face through impact.

Never try to manipulate the golf club through impact.  Everything happens far too quickly, and the energies involved are considerable.  Any attempt at manipulation will just hurt your consistency and disrupt the efficient transfer of energy through to the golf ball.  You may be interested in reading more about how energy is transferred within the golf swing, which will help you to understand how you can hit the ball a lot further, with less effort, in Golf Lag and the Compound Pendulum.

So I’ll Hit it Left

Ah, we’re glad you noticed!

With the max distance driver setup, we want you to hit the ball with a positive angle of attack, which means that impact takes place after the bottom of the club’s swing arc.

But the club plane is at an angle, let’s say 45 degrees for simplicity.  So if the attack angle is 5 degrees up, then the club face, if it’s still square to the club path, is pointing 5 degrees to the left.

Note that 5 degrees is a very small angle – less than one second on a clock (6 degrees).

The club head swings inside-to-square-to-inside, as well as down-to-level-to-up.  The “up” bit is our positive attack angle, the “inside” bit is the club face pointing left.

Let’s make this absolutely clear.  This is not a swing flaw, and it’s nothing to do with how much loft the club has, it’s just simple math.  If the club face is perfectly square to the club path at impact, as the result of a perfect golf swing, then if you have a positive angle of attack the club face will be pointing left, at an angle approximately equal to the angle of attack, and the ball will go straight left.

So, if you don’t alter your swing or manipulate the club in some way, if you have a 5 degree positive angle of attack, the golf ball will fly 5 degrees straight left.

We want you to correct for this simply by aligning your whole body 5 degrees to the right, and not through complex manipulations that require impossibly precise timing.

That’s your whole body, no manipulations or contortions, please!  Your feet, knees, thighs, hips, arms, shoulders, and eyes, as well as the club face should all be aligned 5 degrees right, so that the ball will fly straight to your real target.

To do this, once you’ve picked your target, as described in Golf Swing 107. Setup: Perfect Golf Aim and Alignment, you must change the target of your alignment, pick something to align yourself towards which is 5 degrees right.  So, if you carry the ball 250 yards, then your alignment target should be 22 yards right of your real one.  Then pick an intermediate target in line with the alignment target, and set up exactly as you would for a straight shot out to the alignment target.  Don’t try to force it or manipulate it, just make a good swing and accept that the mechanics of a great swing will “pull” the ball to your real target.  You’re aligned right, towards your alignment target, but you’re really “aiming” straight at the real target.

Try not to pick a target which means that you are aligned at trouble.  If 5 degrees right means aligning at, say, a water hazard, then the water will play heavily on your subconscious, which will then try to manipulate your swing for you.  The subconscious mind is a mysterious thing, and sometimes just thinking “Don’t go in the water”, or even being very conscious of the water due to your alignment, can mean that all your subconscious hears is “WATER”, and that’s where the ball goes, straight in the drink!  Even without your mind playing tricks on you, your alignment at trouble is almost certain to introduce tension into your swing, and tension is the biggest enemy of a good golf swing.

Be very careful to fully commit, and to align yourself properly.  Any feeling of trying to pull or draw the ball back into the middle will cause you to subconsciously manipulate your swing, and damage your timing.  Once you have taken a final look at the target, and you’re ready to pull the trigger, make sure that your eyes are aligned with the alignment target.  If your eye alignment drifts back towards the real target, then you’re likely to push/fade it right or pull/hook it too far left.  Your subconscious is an incredibly powerful thing, if it thinks you are aiming right, it will try to correct you.  Only with practice will you learn to trust your adjusted alignment.

We could try to hit the ball “straight” (aligning at the target and hitting the shot in that direction), by manipulating our swing plane, coming more from the inside so that the club swings back up to “square” at impact.  But, in effect, that’s exactly what we are doing by aligning to the right, just without the swing manipulations.  Such manipulations are very difficult to time correctly, and on days when your timing isn’t perfect you may easily block your shot way right or hook it O.B. left.  And if your standard swing generates optimal performance, then why do you want to use a different one with your driver  Timing is a fickle friend at the best of times, do you really want to change yours from shot to shot  So many times we hear golfers complain that their irons were great but the driver was off, then next week it’s the other way around.  Use the Swing like a Champion system to built one great, powerful, consistent golf swing and stick with it for every full swing you make.

Many very good golfers prefer to hit a fade with their driver, it takes the left side out of play and means that the ball is less likely to roll into trouble.  This is a great alternative to the natural “pull” shot described here, and gives you a lot of control and forgiveness without trying to manipulate your swing path.  We’ll teach you how to do this, if you prefer, by “holding off” the club face a little, in a later article.

A Note on Fairway Woods

The driver is the only club in the bag which is for “maximum distance”.  With every other club, you want to play the ball a precisely known distance.  For example, with your 6-iron you might carry the ball 178 yards /- 6 yards.  Sometimes hitting it 200 yards with a really good swing is of no use if your average is 170, you’ll just fly the green.  Fairway woods are the same, they are for attacking greens and splitting fairways, not for hitting the ball as far as you possibly can — once you have a distance “dialled in” you can attack more pins, even over water.

You should setup with your fairway woods (fairway metals), hybrids and rescue clubs just like you do with any other iron for a standard full swing shot.  That’s the same alignment, stance width, ball position, hand position, spine tilt, and about the same spine angle — you will naturally stand slightly more upright as you are further from the ball with the longer club, which will push your hands very slightly away from your body.  See Golf Swing 102b – Setup: The Perfect Golf Ball Position and the other articles in this section for details.

On the tee, tee the ball up slightly to get the maximum benefit from the larger club face and the increased size of the sweet spot, again you want to be striking the golf ball out of the top of the sweet spot.  With a longer club, your swing will naturally be shallower, though you still want a negative angle of attack (about 3 degrees down).  Depending on the size of the club face, a tee height of about ¼” to ½” (6 to 12mm) is ideal, experiment by using a dry-erase marker as described below.

As you progress through the Swing like a Champion system, you will learn how to generate much more club head speed, and to move the bottom of your swing arc forward, so it is consistently in front of your left foot.  Thus, you will learn to strike down and through the golf ball for consistency and accuracy, taking a shallow divot, and your increased club head speed will launch the ball high and far.

How to Practise

We strongly recommend that you practise hitting your driver with your normal setup, with the same ball position and stance width that you use for every other club.  Tee the ball low and hit down on the ball (just like you would with a long iron, hybrid, or 3-wood), scuffing the ground after the ball as you take a “divot”.  Learn to feel that your swing is exactly the same as for any other club.

Once you can do that successfully, then change your setup, as we describe above, and make exactly the same swing.  Don’t let yourself adjust your thinking or your timing, don’t “react” to the new ball position, just accept the fact that the club face will collect the ball a little later in your swing, and that the ball will go straight left.

Be very conscious of releasing the golf club in exactly the same way through impact, with the same timing — just as you just did with your normal setup.

The recommended driver setup moves the ball up 2 golf ball diameters towards your left foot.  Once you are proficient with the Swing like a Champion system, this position will be just fractionally behind the bottom of your swing arc, so you’re still striking the ball with a slightly negative angle of attack.  Be sure that you still release the golf club at the same place (with the same timing) as you did above, as if you were striking a ball in the normal position for an iron.  Note that if you’re still developing your Swing like a Champion system, your swing arc may not yet bottom out this far forwards, and you may not yet have complete control over the club face, and so the ball may launch slightly left, as per the max distance driver setup — experiment a little with the precise ball position that works best for you, and adjust it as your swing improves.

The max distance driver setup also moves the ball up 2 golf ball diameters towards your left foot, towards the bottom of your swing arc.  Then widening your stance effectively moves it another 2 golf balls forward, so it’s now about 3 inches ahead of the bottom of your swing arc.  This creates the required 5 degree positive attack angle, but you must keep your swing release point the same as you did with the standard ball position and stance width.

Widening your stance will make it a little more difficult to get over to your left side on the downswing, which is one of the main reasons why we don’t recommend it, and we’ll discuss that later on in the Swing like a Champion system downswing section.

One crucial thing to practise, with either setup, is hitting the ball out of the top-centre of the sweet spot.  The easiest way to check the point of impact is to mark the back of a range ball with a dry-erase marker pen, and see where the ink dot is on the club face after you’ve hit the ball.  Adjust your tee height and your distance from the ball to correct it.  Practise this regularly, the more accurately you can strike the ball with the correct point on the face, the better golfer you will be.

The exact amount of positive attack angle that you create with the max distance driver setup will vary, as will the direction of the golf ball, depending on many factors which we’ll discuss in later articles.

Once you are proficient with the Swing like a Champion system, we recommend that you get fitted for a club shaft that matches your exact swing profile and optimises your launch angle and spin rates.  One shaft that says “S” on it is not much like another, even for shafts by the same manufacturer.  Manufacturing tolerances are wide, and shaft flex profiles vary enormously.  Club heads are mostly a matter of taste, what looks good to you behind the ball, what sounds good at impact, what inspires confidence.  But the right shaft can really help your game — once you have a great golf swing.

Happy fairways!

If you have any questions or comments about this or other articles on Golf Loopy, please send us an email.

Okay, you’re set up perfectly over the golf ball and ready to pull the trigger  Let’s start learning how to move, with Golf Swing 201 – Takeaway: The Perfect Golf Swing Takeaway.

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Lost Coast Trail Home on the Highway

It helps to install a python package foo on your machine (can also be in virtualenv) so that you can import the package foo from other projects and also from [I]Python prompts.

It does the similar job of pip, easy_install etc.,

Using setup.py

Let's start with some definitions:

Package - A folder/directory that contains __init__.py file.
Module - A valid python file with .py extension.
Distribution - How one package relates to other packages and modules.

Let's say you want to install a package named foo. Then you do,

$ git clone https://github.com/user/foo $ cd foo$ python setup.py install

Instead, if you don't want to actually install it but still would like to use it. Then do,

$ python setup.py develop 

This command will create symlinks to the source directory within site-packages instead of copying things. Because of this, it is quite fast (particularly for large packages).

Creating setup.py

If you have your package tree like,

foo├── foo│   ├── data_struct.py│   ├── __init__.py│   └── internals.py├── README├── requirements.txt└── setup.py

Then, you do the following in your setup.py script so that it can be installed on some machine:

from setuptools import setup setup( name='foo', version='1.0', description='A useful module', author='Man Foo', author_email='[email protected]', packages=['foo'], #same as name install_requires=['bar', 'greek'], #external packages as dependencies)

Instead, if your package tree is more complex like the one below:

foo├── foo│   ├── data_struct.py│   ├── __init__.py│   └── internals.py├── README├── requirements.txt├── scripts│   ├── cool│   └── skype└── setup.py

Then, your setup.py in this case would be like:

from setuptools import setup setup( name='foo', version='1.0', description='A useful module', author='Man Foo', author_email='[email protected]', packages=['foo'], #same as name install_requires=['bar', 'greek'], #external packages as dependencies scripts=[ 'scripts/cool', 'scripts/skype', ])

Add more stuff to (setup.py) make it decent:

from setuptools import setup with open("README", 'r') as f: long_description = f.read() setup( name='foo', version='1.0', description='A useful module', license="MIT", long_description=long_description, author='Man Foo', author_email='[email protected]', url="http://www.foopackage.com/", packages=['foo'], #same as name install_requires=['bar', 'greek'], #external packages as dependencies scripts=[ 'scripts/cool', 'scripts/skype', ])

The long_description is used in pypi.org as the README description of your package.

And finally, you're now ready to upload your package to PyPi.org so that others can install your package using pip install yourpackage.

First step is to claim your package name space in pypi using:

$ python setup.py register

Once your package name is registered, nobody can claim or use it. After successful registration, you have to upload your package there (to the cloud) by,

$ python setup.py upload

Optionally, you can also sign your package with GPG by,

$ python setup.py --sign upload

Bonus: See a sample setup.py from a real project here: torchvision-setup Black Ops 2 Aim Bot

py

Moorehead Lost his Mind The Key Play

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Could this be the perfect balance between performance and wave catching ability in tiny surf Very sensitive and nimble under foot, welcome to the brand new Lost Puddle Jumper.

Since hearing Lost Surfboards founder, Matt Biolos, talk about his ‘go to’ small wave board [See Matt talk about it here…] – the brand new Lost Puddle Jumper – I have been dying to try this thing.

The promise of a board that strikes the right balance between wave catching ability  speed generation in tiny to small surf while still feeling lively, precise and maneuverable has yet to be fully realised…until now. This board nails it. It paddles like a beast, handles bigger waves and steep drops and feels fast, precise and nimble through turns. This is the Lost Puddle Jumper review. I hope you enjoy it!

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Pluses

Despite the wider outline, the nose and thin, tuned tail make the Puddle Jumper feel ultra sensitive and nimble under foot Could be the perfect balance between performance and wave catching ability/speed generation in tiny to small surf Glide, floats, dances across the wave face – it’s a beautiful feeling ride

Intended for smaller surf but works in a variety of wave types – easily handles tiny, weak surf but overhead barrels are no challenge for the Lost Puddle Jumper, too

Minuses

– I found that I could not ride this Puddle Jumper like other oblong, fat, groveler type boards. It requires a performance approach and won’t feel as forgiving as other boards in it’s class
– Because of the sensitive nose and tail, I was challenged surfing it in more average conditions. It handles it but prefers a clean face (don’t we all…)

Benny Rides

The Lost Puddle Jumper at 5’11 x 21 5/8 x 2 7/8 @ 42.4L’s of volume. I started surfing my Puddle Jumper with the new and improved Futures EA Blackstix 3.0 thruster fins [Shop now…] and, because of the thin, tuned tail, these were great for extra hold and drive. Then I added the Futures QD2 quad trailers [Shop now…] to the back and this thing frickin’ came alive! I like quads! Standard Lost Puddle Jumper dimensions and volume at the bottom of this page.

Best Wave Type

Knee high to just overhead, flat faced to hollow. It will handle mushy, average conditions but much prefers a clean lined up face (don’t we all…)

Features

  • Based off of the Bottom Feeder outline [See Bottom Feeder review…] but with a reversed bottom contour and rocker curves
  • Concave bottom transitions to a vee through the tail for modern performance
  • Straight rail line plus vee tail combo provide extra hold and control
  • Wide outline makes for easy wave catching ability and down the line speed and stability

Compare To

Lost Puddle Jumper – Deck

Video Summary

Hey, welcome to Benny’s Boardroom!

I’m haven’t been this excited to do a review in quite some time. I have in front of me the BRAND NEW Lost Puddle Jumper. If you’ve been watching the show for a little while, you’ll know that Matt Biolos, founder and co-owner of Lost Surfboards, very kindly walked us through his entire ‘go to’ quiver, the Puddle Jumper being his small wave board [See Matt talk about it here…]. He reckons it is the best small wave board he has ever ridden, which is a very big call for guy who has been surfing for as long as he has as much experience in shaping as he does.

Lost Puddle Jumper – Deck

I was very excited to ride his board and there have been so many people who have asked me about it – this is probably the most requested board I can think of for review, ever. It had a lot of expectation built into it. I hope that I do a justice because it really is a spectacular little small wave board.

The first thing I’ll say about this Lost Puddle Jumper and this is what I think differentiates the Puddle Jumper from other boards, other small wave boards, even by Lost but by other manufacturers as well, is that whenever you are dealing with a really wide, groveler-ish outline, something that’s really intended for small, small, small waves. I usually feel like there is a trade-off that you are making between performance and wave catching and down line speed ability.

Get real surfboard reviews from a weekend warrior. Independent. Objective. For you.

This board, I think, balances those two contradictory aspects better than anything I’ve ever seen. You look at the outline: the outline is big, it does look like wider, smaller wave board outline. It does have a fair amount of thickness throughout, although you can see the foil is pretty even, it’s got a good distribution of foam throughout – I’ll just call this out very quickly, one thing that I noticed right away is how thin and sensitive that tail is – so while it does have a lot of foam kind of throughout the rest of foil, the tail is actually really narrow and thin.

Lost Puddle Jumper – Tail Profile

Lost Puddle Jumper – Tail Profile

Lost Puddle Jumper – Tail Profile

I’ll put pictures specifically of the tail on the website (above here!). It has quite an interesting shape. Overall, this board I think is – and I don’t want to regurgitate what Biolos said – but it’s one of the best small wave boards I’ve ridden. It just gets up and gets going like those groveler type boards where

“It accelerates instantly but also feels really sensitive.”

I was surfing it last weekend at a beach break up to coast from Sydney in really good, clean, lined up, shoulder high to a very occasional head high waves. There were smaller sets coming through as well but these waves were breaking really quickly and I would take off – even on my forehand – I’d take off and I’d see a section that I didn’t think I would make it around. With a lot of other small wave boards, I don’t know if it would have made it around but this Puddle Jumper was able to push me fast enough to get around those tricky sections but still was precise enough so I could then make a hard bottom turn, get back up on top of the wave and then point down the line and go. I had plenty of speed to do whatever I wanted at that point.

Lost Puddle Jumper – Bottom

Some of the better waves I had over the weekend were on my back hand – you know that I like lefts – but some of the better waves I had were going right. They were really fast but evenly paced and I took off and I just did three of the best backhand turns I have done in a row in a while. I don’t know that I would been able to do that with, for example, the Lost RV [See the RV review…], which is a great small wave groveler or the Bottom Feeder [See Bottom Feeder review…] or many other groveler boards out there like the Cab Sav by Nick Blair [See the Cab Sav review…]. There are many great shapes out that that I like to categorise in the same arena as this Puddle Jumper, but this one really, really clicked with me.

Now the other nice thing about it is it handles size better than most boards I’ve surfed with this big wide outline. I have taken out in overhead  surf and again, it’s so sensitive. It’s really feels like you’re riding a pointy nose performance, small wave hybrid; a more performance small wave shortboard.

“This Lost Puddle Jumper really blows me away.”

There are a few design aspects that are very different about this board in contrast to a couple of those Lost Surfboards I just mentioned. The Bottom Feeder, the RV, the whole domesticated class of boards that Lost makes have a very specific bottom contour and they’re meant to be kind of fun, flowy riding small wave boards. This has a concave running the length of the board, which then vees off at the tail. More of an all rounder bottom contour of choice and I think that probably helps it to perform the way it does. While it does have this wider outline, again, that bottom contour I think does very much help this board to perform.

Lost Puddle Jumper – Rocker

Lost Puddle Jumper – Rocker

We’ve talked about the wide outline, we’ve talked about the clever distribution of foam and the rails are nice medium rails. They are a little bit more full but never feel bulky or catchy. The nose is just as tight as I would like it to be to be able to get in and plane across flatter sections but it’s not so wide that it ever gets in your way. Again, if I’m thinking about how close you could get to having just a pure tiny wave groveler that gets up quickly, it catches everything but at the same time performs like small wave hybrid. I am taking the Lost V3 Rocket [See the V3 Rocket review…] or the Love Buzz by Haydenshapes [See the Love Buzz review…]. I think this Puddle jumper really nails it.

Get real surfboard reviews from a weekend warrior. Independent. Objective. For you.

Again, I think to hear Matt Biolos say that this is the best small wave board he’s ridden is a pretty big call. I’m getting close to making the same call. This is a pretty special little board. That is the Lost Puddle jumper. For all of you out there that had asked about this, I hope that this helps you to make a decision on whether or not you’re going to go and get this board. I think that you won’t be disappointed if you do. In contrast to some of the other boards we have discussed, just the feeling of liveliness and the ability to swing it around and put it into any place that you want, it’s just not like anything else I’ve really ridden.

Lost Puddle Jumper – Bottom

I was riding it as a quad set up. I did try it first as a 3-fin thruster, using the newFutures EA Blackstix 3.0 thruster fins, which I absolutely love the new EA Blackstix. I have a couple sets now. I have the big F8 Blackstix and I have these medium ones as well. I tried this first as a truster and it worked great as a thruster. In bigger, more punchy surf, I would probably surf this more as a thruster but in this case I put these Futures QD2 quad trailers in and it just feels amazing with that fin setup. That is the Lost Puddle Jumper, a fantastic little addition to the Lost small wave repertoire.

Please let me know what you think of the board. Hit like if you like this review and of course hit subscribe so you don’t miss anything else that’s coming up. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoy the show and I will see you next week.

OUTRO: Get a Lost Puddle Jumper, Grasshopper, you will not be disappointed crack windows 8 exe

Stock Standard Dimensions Volume

Standard Lost Surfboards Puddle Jumper dimensions and volumes from the Lost Surfboards website

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