IMA ... abbreviated version

IMA ... abbreviated version

Joined: October 14th, 2007, 1:46 pm

November 3rd, 2008, 4:00 pm #1

it is a shame that the header links about different swings no longer work. I would like to read more about the IMA swing. Is it possible that someone can briefly explain the grip, stance, setup and swing instruction on IMA?

Speaking just for myself (myself only) , I do not want to borrow or buy someone's copy of IMA instruction. I feel if I commit to the swing philosophy, then, I should pay the small price for the instruction to the man who teaches it. However, before I pony $35 for yet another instructional golf swing material, I want to test out the IMA setup and swing. I feel that just because it may work for most, it may not work for me, especially if the setup hurts my back or wrist, it is too complicated, or just uncomfortable.

thanks for the advice
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 3rd, 2008, 8:48 pm #2

so little time.

I'll likely set up the library on my personal web server now that the space allotment has been increased. While Megspace was good as long as it was there, we were exposed to their leaving the business.

Until then I'll post some of the IMA 'bits' as a response to your note.

Peter
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 3rd, 2008, 8:50 pm #3

it is a shame that the header links about different swings no longer work. I would like to read more about the IMA swing. Is it possible that someone can briefly explain the grip, stance, setup and swing instruction on IMA?

Speaking just for myself (myself only) , I do not want to borrow or buy someone's copy of IMA instruction. I feel if I commit to the swing philosophy, then, I should pay the small price for the instruction to the man who teaches it. However, before I pony $35 for yet another instructional golf swing material, I want to test out the IMA setup and swing. I feel that just because it may work for most, it may not work for me, especially if the setup hurts my back or wrist, it is too complicated, or just uncomfortable.

thanks for the advice
The overviews of each swing system were written by people that use the swing system. I wrote the one for IMA a number of years back. Here it is:

Overview:

IMA (Ideal Mechanical Advantage) is a golf 'system' developed by Scott Hazledine. Scott was formerly a tour player (Australia) and has competed in the US Open. Scott was the original head of instruction for Natural Golf. IMA was developed out of Scott's experience with Moe Norman and Natural Golf along with his experience as a touring pro and biomechanical analysis of the golf swing.

I think of IMA as a 'machine' because the various required elements mesh to guarantee a straight shot independent of timing. While this does require that these elements (like release) are executed correctly, there is no special physical skill required. A term often mentioned by Scott with IMA is "anatomical certainty". This is the result of biomechanical analysis applied to elements in the swing. The IMA swing uses the biomechanical effects of the IMA swing elements to provide limits in the swing and help insure correct movements.

There are three video training programs. These provide all the information to execute the system for the major aspects of the game: Putting, short game, and full swing. The IMA system includes a complete system of drills to teach the swing working backwards from the correct impact position. The "Impact Backwards" drills are on the full swing video. In addition to the videos Scott maintains a Question & Answer forum on the web and conducts classes around the country but most often in Florida. Scott will also provide video coaching. While the video programs are complete, the personalized explanation received in the classes is very valuable.

IMA is very clear about the required elements for the swing and the system is extremely consistent. While there are IMA golf clubs, Scott is very clear that special clubs are not part of the theory. You can effectively use your current clubs with little modification (likely larger grips and possibly shaft extensions).

The Swing:

The IMA swing is built around a correct impact position. Many aspects of the correct impact position should be familiar to anyone who has seen a picture of a pro at impact. The weight is on the lead leg, the head is over the rear knee, the hands are vertically over or slightly ahead of the club head. One difference with IMA is that the hips are only slightly open to the target at impact and the shoulders are parallel to the target line. The goal in the training is to ingrain this impact position and have you return to it every shot.

IMA uses a 'diagonal' palm grip with the trail hand and a 'transverse' palm grip with the lead hand. The grip pressure is quite firm but this does not limit club head speed at all. In fact Scott makes the point that your maximum swing speed is limited by your grip strength because of the need to prevent the club from twisting in your hands. The correct grip pressure will let you swing into tall grass with just the lead hand on the club, but not allow the club to twist in your hand. At this level of pressure, off center hits will have little effect on a shot.

The normal setup position is not the same as impact in that your weight is balanced an not forward. The bottom of your trail forearm should be in line with the grip (Single Axis alignment). On your backswing your weight should stay inside your trail leg (between your feet) and on the downswing your goal is to get to impact position. The 'Impact Backwards' drills on the Full Swing tape give you the proper sequence of movements. There is not a 'lateral slide' per se as there is with NG. Instead the focus is on getting your body to impact position in the sequence demonstrated by the drills.

The motions of the swing are actually 'guided' by your body to a large extent, so if you follow the directions your body will produce the same swing repeatedly and at any desired speed up to the maximum of which you're capable. For example the low point in the swing (bottom of the arc) is set by adjusting your posture with your lead arm resting on your chest. If you are in that posture on your downswing and your arm is on your chest it is impossible to hit the ball fat or thin. Your body won't allow it. Your chest is acting as a guide.

Personal Experience:

The most important thing I have found about learning IMA is to make certain you understand the direction being given (either video, web or in person) and then do EXACTLY as directed. Misinterpreting or changing elements in the swing can have the same effect as putting incorrect gears in a transmission - it might work but probably not correctly.

In learning IMA my biggest obstacle was/is letting go of old habits and accepting the directions literally. The IMA swing is simple and precise. But much of the value is lost if you try to mix elements of other methods even if you feel more comfortable with them. The IMA swing is more linear ('down the line') than conventional golf (CG) but without the extra linear extension of Natural Golf (NG). The setup is not as 'relaxed' as CG but not as extreme as NG. The swing will work with a mental focus on the lead hand or on the trail hand.

Although I call the swing a 'machine' the swing is not mechanical and can be very smooth and flowing. There is no loss of distance from CG to IMA and I found much more consistent contact and direction. The grip, posture and motions are closely defined, but you are free to select your own mental images to help you execute the swing. Lead or trail hand. Push or pull.

I found the short game tape IMMEDIATELY useful on the course. No more fat/thin pitches and chips. In the first two months after watching this video I holed more chips than I had in the 2 years I'd played before. The putting video made short putts routine fairly quickly. Learning the full swing did require more work for me to see the full benefits (and I may not have seen them all yet).

I highly recommend the videos even if you're only curious. Many of the concepts put forward I have not seen elsewhere despite devouring every golf source I can find. Although I have not tried it, I am certain that many of the techniques could be applied to improve conventional golf swings. I have stayed with IMA for 2 years now. During that time I have examined a number of other golf systems/techniques but have not found another as consistent and complete for me as IMA
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 3rd, 2008, 8:57 pm #4

it is a shame that the header links about different swings no longer work. I would like to read more about the IMA swing. Is it possible that someone can briefly explain the grip, stance, setup and swing instruction on IMA?

Speaking just for myself (myself only) , I do not want to borrow or buy someone's copy of IMA instruction. I feel if I commit to the swing philosophy, then, I should pay the small price for the instruction to the man who teaches it. However, before I pony $35 for yet another instructional golf swing material, I want to test out the IMA setup and swing. I feel that just because it may work for most, it may not work for me, especially if the setup hurts my back or wrist, it is too complicated, or just uncomfortable.

thanks for the advice
The Scigolf site has a section called 'Ask Scott' where Scott Hazledine ansers questions about IMA. This is an excellent reference for many points about the swing. There are also archives for past questions.

Peter
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 3rd, 2008, 8:59 pm #5

it is a shame that the header links about different swings no longer work. I would like to read more about the IMA swing. Is it possible that someone can briefly explain the grip, stance, setup and swing instruction on IMA?

Speaking just for myself (myself only) , I do not want to borrow or buy someone's copy of IMA instruction. I feel if I commit to the swing philosophy, then, I should pay the small price for the instruction to the man who teaches it. However, before I pony $35 for yet another instructional golf swing material, I want to test out the IMA setup and swing. I feel that just because it may work for most, it may not work for me, especially if the setup hurts my back or wrist, it is too complicated, or just uncomfortable.

thanks for the advice
While the IMA section of the library had (by request) pictures of my showing my IMA grip, it's always best to go back to the source. Ask Scott #52 has a detailed explanation of the grip along with pictures.

Peter
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 3rd, 2008, 9:11 pm #6

it is a shame that the header links about different swings no longer work. I would like to read more about the IMA swing. Is it possible that someone can briefly explain the grip, stance, setup and swing instruction on IMA?

Speaking just for myself (myself only) , I do not want to borrow or buy someone's copy of IMA instruction. I feel if I commit to the swing philosophy, then, I should pay the small price for the instruction to the man who teaches it. However, before I pony $35 for yet another instructional golf swing material, I want to test out the IMA setup and swing. I feel that just because it may work for most, it may not work for me, especially if the setup hurts my back or wrist, it is too complicated, or just uncomfortable.

thanks for the advice
One big difference between IMA and other swings is the idea of 'lead arm support'. Your lead arm triceps rests on your led pec. This is a point of 'anatomical certainty' and returns a number of benefits. Depending on the way you're built this can appear differently and perhaps not the way some expect. To give an idea of the way it looks I created a post with a short clip.

In the clip my hand/arm/club head position is completely set by my posture. Understanding this point you can then follow the direction in 'Ask Scott #81'.

Peter
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Joined: April 16th, 2003, 1:48 am

November 4th, 2008, 1:46 am #7

it is a shame that the header links about different swings no longer work. I would like to read more about the IMA swing. Is it possible that someone can briefly explain the grip, stance, setup and swing instruction on IMA?

Speaking just for myself (myself only) , I do not want to borrow or buy someone's copy of IMA instruction. I feel if I commit to the swing philosophy, then, I should pay the small price for the instruction to the man who teaches it. However, before I pony $35 for yet another instructional golf swing material, I want to test out the IMA setup and swing. I feel that just because it may work for most, it may not work for me, especially if the setup hurts my back or wrist, it is too complicated, or just uncomfortable.

thanks for the advice
I have no problem trying to save a buck on golf info. Second, let me get this right, you are to "righteous" to borrow or buy a copy of the swing, you don't mind getting the basics of it for free? You running for office by chance?
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Joined: October 14th, 2007, 1:46 pm

November 4th, 2008, 2:21 am #8

myself only.

I really liked your post about your IMA success. I was hoping you would post more about your IMA experience.

Cheers
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Joined: October 14th, 2007, 1:46 pm

November 4th, 2008, 2:45 pm #9

I have no problem trying to save a buck on golf info. Second, let me get this right, you are to "righteous" to borrow or buy a copy of the swing, you don't mind getting the basics of it for free? You running for office by chance?
Hi. I forgot to mentioned about the Lamkin Jumbo grips.

Since I have been back and forth the past two years regripping my clubs multiple times (depending on a new swing theory), it hurts thinking of paying once again for a regrip. So, I always try to haggle with the stores. Anyway, I regripped all the clubs with the Lamkin Jumbo at Golf Galaxy. It cost me $4.30 a club for the grip and installation. I bargained with them and that was their final adjusted price. Not too shabby.

I know if you wait until the dead of winter, Golf Galaxy and other stores sometimes will install the grip (Lamkin Jumbo $2.90) for free if your purchase them at their store.

Hope it helps and please continue to share more success stories with IMA.

cheers

JK
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