Bill Mehlhorn

Re: Bill Mehlhorn

Postby Mashie72 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:22 am

I recently got a PM from a member regarding the "Wild Bill Mehlhorn Drill" asking if I remembered anything more about it. I recall reading about the Wild Bill Drill in an old book at the time that didn't have many pictures in it at all. So it was great to see TM's post of Watson's pic. As a young student of the game I tried to add to this drill and see if I could have something a little more concrete to potentially help supplement Wild Bill's Drill.

I took the club in a similar fashion as Watson is demonstrating and flipped the club around such that the clubhead was on my right side with the toe pointing in the sky. I also tried to hold the club across my thighs with just my index fingers each place just outside my legs. In my mind this would make the drill more sensitive to any changes the shaft made across my thighs..

Then I tried to take this drill to the extreme right, then to the left to see how far I could turn and keep the shaft pinned to my thighs. To my surprise with practice, I could make the clubhead go behind my right heel. The funny part was my shoulders were turned a full 90 degrees with the back to the target and I didn't even try to turn my shoulders or hips during this move. My upper body was near full rotated without hardly any internal upper body tension. When done correctly, you'll feel the right hip turn behind you more than you've probably ever done in a golf swing.

Then coming back to the left I pretended to hit the ball with the clubface. Of course the clubface is well above the ground and can't really hit the ball but you can see that the clubface wants to come back to the ball if you stick with the drill. Just look at the recent Snead diagram and picture a shaft across his thighs. The clubface on the pretend shaft is nearing impact as Snead approaches impact.

When you've got the drill down, go practice with just a wedge. Address the ball and cock your wrist up. Then do the drill without any independent swinging of the hands and arms. Feel like your hands remain on your belt buckle. Uncock your wrists halfway to meet the ball and you'll be amazed at how natural it feels. Also note how far the clubhead travels doing a full range of motion just using your thighs.

With practice try to build up speed with this drill without losing form or range of motion. Also play around with this drill. See how far the club rotates if you just turn your shoulders. (Not too far). See how far the shaft goes if you initiate turning of your hips instead. (Again not as far if you use your thighs). At the time I considered my thighs as the engine to swing. So way back when, this my introduction to swinging from the ground up and keeping independent arm motion to a minimum.
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