Welcome to YOUR Swing Support Center, a blog with tips to help you transition to your new straight leading arm back-swing. This blog allows us to share information which we find in articles by golf professionals or success stories submitted by GOLFSTR users. These tips have helped me and I hope they help you too.

Bill Curry, inventor of GOLFSTR

Archives for the ‘YOUR Swing Support Center’ Category

The British Open?? Facts and Stats

In honor of The Open Championship (or “The British Open” as it is called in North America), I have been offered access to interesting Facts and Stats about The Open. This year its being held July 16-19 on the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland.

FACT #1: By tradition, The Open is only held in St. Andrews once every 5 years.

I was offered the following information by the Tour Planner at  Links Golf Ireland [Click to check it out].   This  INFOGRAPHIC detailing the history of the tournament, some interesting facts and some important information for people attending the event in St. Andrews. I hope you will enjoy the change from our weekly Golf Swing Tips.  [I know that Scotland is not Ireland but both have amazing courses to choose from.  It’s another wonderful world over there.]

It would have been a great match up for Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy had Rory not bummed up his ankle in a “little kick-about with his buddies”.  This really opened the door for the 21 year old American but this course is so challenging that all the best golfers in the world will have a chance to win.

BY THE WAY: When you have time during the commercials this weekend, make sure you check out GOLFSTR+ and hit ’em long and straight www.golfstr.com

Open-Championship-InfographicWhen you have time during the commercials this weekend, make sure you check out GOFLSTR+ and hit ’em long and straight www.golfstr.com

 

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Where to Focus: Speed, Technique or Tempo?

What’s the most important component of the swing: speed, technique or tempo? You need to think about this in order to place your emphasis in the area where you will get the most benefit.

SPEED
Most recreational golfers work on SWING SPEED FOR DISTANCE. Hank Haney reminds us that we can gain 2.5 yards in distance for every mile per hour in swing speed. Unfortunately swing speed is the WORST CHOICE. Keeping the ball in the fairway and learning to consistently hit or putt the ball will save you more strokes than swing speed and a few more yards on your drive.

Swinging faster may give you 10 or 20 yards more but those yards are more likely to be deeper in the rough. I guarantee that your next shot out of the rough will hurt your chances of hitting the green in regulation a lot more than a longer drive will benefit you. Killer speed will kill your game.  It sure does kill my game when I go for the gusto.

TECHNIQUE
About a year ago I saw a series of blogs which promised great success if you blank out your mind, forget about technique and just swing to create success.  [NOTE: These ads stopped running long ago.]  I decided to improve on this opportunity by working with a specialist in relaxation and hypnotism. We agreed that I had a good understanding of the swing technique and it was time to let my subliminal mind take over.

I was expecting to lower my golf scores by swinging with a relaxed frame of mind. After a month of effort I realized that success in golf is the culmination of many components. A relaxed frame of mind will not help you cope with an uphill, downhill or sloped lie. It will not help with swing speed for the right distance adjustment. Golf is a game of concentration and focus. You also need to adjust for your weather environment, hitting & landing surface and your club selection to deal with every situation. Without focus your technique is useless.

TEMPO
Golf needs an intense swing to create distance but tempo and timing is the real key for success. Developing a straight arm backswing while practicing with GOLFSTR+ can be a real break-through for more consistent hits but your scores will really started to drop when you learned to control your tempo.

According to Hank Haney’s study, the time for your back swing to your forward swing should be about a 3 to 1 ratio. Unfortunately, if your transition starts with your arms casting over the top, your swing will result in limited power, many mishits and more slices.

Ernie Els is a great image to keep in your mind when you think about a smooth transition and acceleration through the ball.

Ernie Els is a great image to keep in your mind when you think about a smooth transition and acceleration through the ball.

Tempo is all about timing. Start your transition by pressing your hip forward and dropping your arms as you accelerate your wrists through impact (like snapping a whip). Release your hips, shoulders, arms and wrists in that order. Try to visualize the shifting of your body to transfer power through the ball. Using your driver you should be swinging up through the ball. Using your irons you should be focused on the forward press of your hips to ensure that you bottom out with the ground after you smash the ball.

 

Last week CBS Sports golf analyst Peter Kostis showed a slow motion comparison of Tiger on the practice tee and on the golf course.  He said that it was clear that “tension and tempo” were the culprits causing Tigers poor results on the golf course. A faster swing speed (back and forward) with a greater head drop were not helping Tiger’s results.

Too much speed will kill your control. Technique should be sorted out during your setup to cope with the conditions. Most important, you need a smooth tempo for amazing power and consistency. GOLFSTR+ will help your get there. Buy it today at www.golfstr.com

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Learn Draw and Fade to Control YOUR Game

That’s right, knowing how to setup for a DRAW or a FADE will help you understand why your intended straight shots are NOT straight. A slight error in your setup can throw your ball deep into the rough (on the right or left of the fairway) if you don’t plan for some right to left or left to right motion in your flight path. You NEED TO PLAN for a slight draw or fade to make sure that you are controlling your shot?

First you need to understand what is causing your ball to draw or fade. [I found this on a PGA Swing Tip by Joe Plecker, Director of Instruction at Baltimore Country Club.   To access his video of draw and fade you will need to copy and paste the following URL in your browser:   http://www.pga.com/golf-instruction/instruction-feature/off-tee/how-draw-and-fade-video/?pga_cid=newsletter  .]

Draw Setup (when you tee up a drive):
-Place the ball slightly forward in your stance (lining up with your instep instead of your left heel when you are hitting your driver).
-For right handed golfers, shift the grip of your club back (pointing at your belly button) causing the toe of your club to point slightly left of your target line. [Make sure that you reset your hands to allow the club face to point slightly left.]
Tilt your shoulders to allow your trailing shoulder to drop lower than your leading shoulder.
NOTE: If you are swinging over the top with a consistent slice you may need to move your trailing foot back from the target line and learn to swing from the inside to out as you impact the ball.

Bubba Watson love to fade it.  He also hit a great draw to win the Masters.

Bubba Watson loves to fade it. We all remember the great draw shot that Bubba made to win the Masters.  He is the master of both draw & fade.

Fade Setup (when you tee up a drive):
-Place your ball slightly back in your stance (lining up behind the heel of your leading foot.
-Shift your club shaft forward and reset your grip on the club to allow the heel of your club face to move forward of the toe of your club face.
Weaken your grip by placing your trailing hand high on the club, with the V formed by your thumb and first finger, pointing at your belly button.

 

Practice both of these shots but make sure that you set up for a slight draw when you really want to hit it far down the fairway. An aggressive swing with the wrong setup will land your ball in the deep rough, OB or on the wrong fairway.

If you want to enjoy this game learn to control your swing and plan for a draw or fade.  Practice with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game:  www.golfstr.com

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Want to Sink More Putts?

Why not increase your odds of sinking more putts? Almost half of your strokes in a round of golf are putts. Fewer putts per green is the easiest way to lower your score. Stop your shaking hands & wrists, avoid mishits on the toe or heel and eliminate short putts (100% of them never go in).

The solution is simple: Fix your line-up, setup, swing motion on your target line, impact and putting distance to increase your odds for success. All of this is wasted if you don’t get a FEEL for the speed of the greens that you are playing on before each round of golf.

Reading the break and distance to hit the putt can only be learned by YOUR “FEEL” for the green speed. You need to learn this on the practice green before you play. Dry or wet conditions, height of the grass and roll of the grass will all have a major impact on your “feel” for the speed of putts on each day on each course.

Now let’s consider each area of putting that you CAN control.

Jordan Spieth using shoulder rock and straight leading wrist for putting excellence to win the US Open.

Jordan Spieth using shoulder rock and straight leading wrist for putting excellence to win the US Open.

Line-up: Stand BELOW the hole or your ball to determine if you are putting up, down or across a slope. Determine the intensity of the break by ranking the slope as “1”, “2” or “3” (minimal to major break). It’s easier to see the slope of the green LOOKING UP HILL. Choose a target point on the green to aim your putt (DEPENDING ON THE INTENSITY OF THE BREAK) and line your toes up parallel to that line for your practice swings. Make sure that you make a few practice swings to get the feel for the swing that you expect will get your ball 10 to 18 inches past the hole. That is aggressive putting. According to the US Open commentators, aggressive putting won it for Jordon Spieth.

Setup: Ensure that the ball is just in front of the center-line between your feet. Hit the ball on the upswing of the arc of your swing to ensure that is rolling and not bouncing at the point of Impact.

Swing Motion: Swing with your shoulders and spine to avoid any shaking motion in your small hand and wrist muscles. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to lock your wrist flat with your forearm. Use the rocking motion of your shoulders and spine to create your swing. The large muscles in your back will give you a smooth takeaway and swing.

Follow-through: Your body acts like a pole so your spine and shoulder rotation will cause your putter to arc around the “pole” (possibly causing the ball to spay right or left depending on your point of contact in the arc). To hit the ball straight up your target line, finish your swing by swaying your hips and putter slightly up the target line. [Try finishing the swing by releasing the putter with your trailing hand and letting your leading hand swing up the target line or just end your swing by pointing up the target line.]

Impact: Focus your eyes on the grass before the ball to ensure that you hit it on the center-line of the putter head. Swing directly up the target line to avoid any side spin off the head of the putter

Distance: Hit past the hole by 10 to 18 inches to minimize the impact of the contour break or surface bumps as the ball slows down. If you rate the slope as a minimal break of “1”, you should account for minimal break when you plan to hit through the break at the hole. Dustin Johnson would have tied the US Open if he had hit his last short putt straight at the hole and through the break.

GOLFSTR+ is great for putting practice and 5 other swing solutions.  Buy it today on our website:  www.golfstr.com

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Golf Tips to Think About: PART 2

Try to figure out the right backswing speed and downswing speed for YOUR GAME. Recreational golfers try to match the swing and distance achieved by a professional golfer but that’s not realistic. The pros that we see on TV have a club swing speed of 120 MPH and hit consistent drives about 300 yards. Unfortunately you are not practicing golf and exercising 5 to 7 days a week. You need to set some realistic goals.

We all want to hit longer drives; with more consistent connection and more greens in regulation. Choose a tee which is reasonable for your level of play so that you are NOT trying to crush every drive and every approach shot.

Why not plan for a realistic goal and setup your swing to achieve it.  Hitting the ball consistently can cut strokes off every hole. Slow your swing down and enjoy the success of making better connection with your ball.

Swing Thoughts for the Pros:
Hank Haney recently pointed out that the ratio for the backswing to the forward swing for professionals is fairly consistent at a 3:1 ratio. This is interesting but it may not be a good swing thought for recreational golfers. Ryan Moore has an extremely slow backswing as he deliberately positions his club. Nick Price has a frantic back and downswing but it does not get him any further down the fairway than Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson. [According to Hank, every extra mile per hour of club head speed you generate gives you an extra 2.5 yards in distance.]

If you want to see a crazy sloooow backswing that creates a perfectly controlled ball flight, check out Inbee Park. She just won the Women’s PGA Championship for the third year in a row. Her drives are shorter than most of the ladies on tour (she averages 237 yards). Inbee keeps her leading arm straight in the backswing (possibly she is practicing with GOLFSTR+). Her limited body rotation in her backswing (similar to most aging golfers) gives her shorter drives BUT with more consistent results.

My point here is that recreational players should take as much time as we need to wind up for a smooth transition. Any rush in the transition will mess up your tempo. I know that when I try for extra distance, I cut my backswing short and lose my tempo and distance.

Don’t try for 5 or 10% more distance which may destroy your swing and may result in a topped ball or a fat hit. Get that out of your mind. Go for a smooth transition and a relaxed acceleration through the ball to a balanced finish. Keeping your ball on the flat of the fairway is worth giving up a few extra yards for a drive that could land OB, in the rough, in a trap or behind trees. [NOTE: Inbee my hit shorter shots but they are in the fairway.]

Game Plan:
After you play a round of golf, look at your score card to see where you could have dropped your score by a stroke or 2 on each hole. Was going for the green from a side hill lie worth the risk? Did a major hook or draw around a tree payoff? Could you have played a safer shot out of a bunker? Would a lag putt have been a better idea than putting off the green? Don’t forget to practice with your GOLFSTR+ and get that swing under control. Buy it today at www.golfstr.com .

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Golf Tips to Think About. PART 1

Rory McIlroy shot an 80 on his first round of the Irish Open. Considering that he shot a 61 a few weeks back at the Wells Fargo, you would think that he would be on his game. Royal County Down, where the Open was played, is just down the road from where he lived for many years and he must have played it over 200 times. His recent result was tragic. Or was it?

External Factors?
Is there something in our body clock or mental framework which we have no control over?   Why is it that Rory and so many and others like Ricky Fowler hit the winning formula on 4 days during one tournament and then they fail to perform on the next? Many have studied the effect of the phase of the moon on crime or barometric pressure causing headaches. Could there be a changing force like solar flares or magnetic fields in bracelets or special metals that purify our brains. All of this is crazy stuff or is it?

Rory shooting 80 on the first day of the Irish Open . . .  and he was the host.  Not Happy.

Rory shooting 80 on the first day of the Irish Open . . . and he was the host. Not Happy!

In short, our environment may affect each person differently but when you play the game of golf you need to be mentally focused. Pros that win get their minds in the zone every time they hit a ball. Visualizing the shot; committing to the swing; believing in their ability to make the shot and their ability to block out all external distractions. These seem to be the drives that we need for success. So get your mind TOTALLY on the game when you setup for every swing.

 

Be Game Ready:
Rory knows the course well and being Irish he wanted to do well, so why did his game let him down. We all ask ourselves this question of our own game more often than not. Where did the magic go? We may never know the real cause but we do know that if his mind and body are not willing, then his score will only go up.

Rory, being the host of the Irish Open, had a lot on him mind. Distractions both on and off the course are the last thing you need on your mind. The pressure to win must also be a major concern. Tiger Woods is another example of a professional golfer who has a lot of distraction and pressure to win (shot an 85, worst round in his life as a pro).  I really hope that it’s not their love life that’s messing up their games.  As a recreational player you may not have as much money on the line as the pros but you certainly have distractions to deal with.  Realizing that they may be destroying your game is a good starting point to clear them out of your head when you play.

Be mentally and physically ready to play: We can only suspect that Rory may have been exhausted or rushed during his warmup on his first day of the Irish Open. He did shoot a 71 on the second day but pressure to do really well can also create mistakes.

BOTTOM LINE: Arrive early to get game ready and be focused on YOUR game.
And of course you should practice with your GOLFSTR+. It’s a great solution to keep your mind and swing sharp. Buy it today on our website: www.golfstr.com

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Daly’s One Arm Chipping Tip

John Daly was featured on the Golf Channel a few weeks ago. Of course they showed his huge backswing but John also shared the most important tip that he has always used for chipping tempo. He demonstrated how he hits balls with his leading arm only, every time he practices.

Most right handed golfers have less control with their left hand and arm so this tip is not something that will be easy in your first attempts. Even John pointed out that it is difficult to connect perfectly with the ball with every practice swing. His goal is to hit shots up to 30 yards. His focus is on rotating his body as he swings through the ball. If you don’t rotate your body to finish your swing, you will not be successful with the single arm swing.

Chipping seems to be the easiest shot in golf but when the pressure is on and we want that perfect chip, our bodies seem to freeze up. We seem to go into an arms only swing mode. Our practice swing may be perfect but when we step forward to hit the ball our mind and body go into freeze mode. How often are your chips fat or thin? What causes this?
John Daly_short_game_chip_tempo_eg

 

John explained that we are forgetting to:

•shift our weight

•get our body to rotate through the ball and

•finish facing our target.

 

John’s practice technique uses only his leading arm to develop these habits:
1/ Take your club back far enough to let the weight of the club do the work.
2/ Use your swing tempo to manage the acceleration of the club (don’t rush it in the transition)
3/ Coil and then release your hips, shoulders and arms as you shift through the ball
4/ Ensure that your leading elbow is straight throughout the swing (back and forward)
Finish facing the target

[Point of Interest: Jason Palmer is a 30-year-old professional golfer who just earned his 2015 European Tour Card by overcoming his chipping yips by hitting with his only his right hand for all chips and sand shots of up to 50 yards. This is the opposite hand from Daly’s practice plan but the single hand hit must be doing something to fool the brain. Possibly some of us have a disconnect between the right and left side of our brains because the right half of our brain controls the left side of our body and the left half of our brain controls the right side of our body. COULD THERE BE MORE TO THIS STORY?]

Practice hitting many balls with your leading arm only as it may take 20 or 50 hits before you find some consistency. John also uses his one hand swing practice for fairway irons and sand traps. Adding your trailing arm will give you more club stability and consistency but you need to keep the same tempo and finish to achieve success.

GOLFSTR+ is the ideal chipping aid. It controls your straight leading wrist and limited lag in your trailing wrist when you are chipping. You should use it to practice chips with John Daly’s practice plan. Buy it today on www.golfstr.com

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Duplicate the Perfect Swing “FEELING”

These Weekly Golf Swing Tips are often summaries of comments by Professional Golf Instructors. This week I am pleased to share comments directly from a GOLFSTR+ user. Scott Mohn (Traphill, North Carolina) expressed his successes in a way that brings back my memories of the FEELING for my perfect hits.

Golfers talk about being in the “zone” where the swing and power seems to be so effortless as the ball travels to its target. I am finding this zone more consistently when I focus on shoulder turn in the backswing and not rushing the transition as I press forward in my downswing. It’s a rhythm that gives me a strange feeling of control for the perfect swing and balanced finish. I hope that Scott’s comments will have the same impact on you too.
———————————————
[Scott is a senior and plays 100 rounds of golf a year so he has a real passion for this game.]

“I still clearly remember hitting my first very long drive when I was a kid. There was a very distinctive feeling associated with that drive. But I was never really able to find what led to that feeling despite trying many things. I actually accidentally duplicated the feeling on perhaps a half dozen occasions over my fifty years of golf. But I could never get it when I was trying to accomplish it.

GOLFSTR+ gives you the "FEELING" so practice with it and enjoy the feel of 6 control points in your swing.

GOLFSTR+ gives you the “FEELING” so practice with it and enjoy the feel of 6 control points in your swing with every club in your bag.

After using your training aid I now tend to believe that special feeling was a result of a long, smooth backswing where the arm and shoulder motions were coordinated and the lead arm was extended straight for a much longer time than is normal for me. This was probably the result of the big shoulder turn which allowed the lead arm to stay straight, extended away from my body, on a much longer than usual backswing.

I often try to describe that feeling to friends. I talk about the long extended backswing and then – nothing! I have no recollection of the downswing. It came without any conscious effort. The drive was at least 40 yards longer than any I had hit or would ever hit again on that hole. Using your aid today brought me closer to that feeling than I have ever come before as a result of conscious effort. And I hit a number of long straight drives and was much more consistent than I normally am when practicing with the driver.

Please feel free to add my comments to your testimonial page. I have signed up for your weekly tips.
I also watched the linked videos and found them very helpful. I would have saved five minutes putting the aid together if I had watched the video first. [Following is the video that Scott mentioned showing the assembly and 6 swing fixes ] 

So, Will, I think you have something! Thanks for you imaginative invention. Good luck with it!
Regards, Scott”

I want to thank Scott for allowing me to include his comments in our weekly blog. I hope that his comments will inspire you and others to buy a GOLFSTR+ and practice with it often.

Please pass this on to your friends so that they can experience the perfect swing feeling too. Buy your GOLFSTR+ today on our website: www.golfstr.com

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Impact is Everything !!! ???

If this is true, why do we bother to follow-through to finish our swing?  When the ball leaves the club face, will the follow through swing path have a magical force to guide the ball?

At the TPC Sawgrass we saw Kevin Na drop his club and flip out in disgust within a second of completing his swing on a number of occasions. In one case he hit a fat tee shot on the 17th hole (The Island Green Hole), which landed about 12 feet from the hole. Even Kevin was embarrassed by his reaction when he saw his successful outcome.

As it turns out, your follow-through has everything to do with the result of your swing. Your mind needs to be focused on getting to a perfect, balanced finish and holding that position for at least 2 seconds (according the golfing greats like Ben Hogan).

Rory McIlroy swings up the target line and holds his finish pose for at least 2 seconds in perfect balance.

Rory McIlroy swings up the target line and holds his finish pose for at least 2 seconds in perfect balance.  You should too.

What is really happening? If you program your mind to finish your swing with your belt buckle facing your target, you won’t lose control of your swing. Your focus should NOT be on a violent swing down to the ball but on swinging through impact with a “peaceful” balanced finish.

NOTE: Swinging a golf club with your arms and forgetting about shoulder rotation in the backswing and weight shift in your follow through may be killing your game.

Working on a balanced finish will give you 2 key motions in your swing:
1/ A swing path that will move your club up the target line whether you are trying to hit a straight shot or a draw or a fade. We have all seen Bubba Watson lose his footing and balance after he makes a wild recovery slice or hook.  That just proves that conventional shots really need to be finished in balance. Bubba really is in balance after he completes most of his shots.
2/ Weight shift that will allow your iron to connect with the ball first before you connect with the grass or take your divot.

Swing path and weight shift must be correct to allow you to keep your balance after impact. If your swing path is out of line you will fall left or right of your target line. If you don’t transfer your weight forward, you will lose your balance backwards (causing mishits and topping the ball).

Focus on finishing your swing and you will not be dropping your club in disgust. Don’t forget to practice with GOLFSTR+ For Every Swing in YOUR Game. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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New Season: NEW GOAL!

Why not make this the season the one where you drop your handicap by 5 strokes? It’s easy! Just figure out your “SCORE KILLER” and get rid of it. Sure wish it was that easy but it can be if you know what shot is killing your score and then work on a solution.

You don’t really need motivation to lower your score. We all want to enjoy this game and get lower scores or we would not be playing this wonderful game. The challenge is to improve your game to take a few bucks off your buddies for bragging rights or to win your next match.

Where to Start: Play a few rounds of golf and keep track of each of the following to determine your SCORE KILLER (HINT: Determine what caused your highest over par holes.)

TPC Sawgrass was an amazing event where there was no room for a SCORE KILLER, especially on the 17th.

TPC Sawgrass was an amazing event where there was no room for a SCORE KILLER, especially on the 17th.

-Driving Accuracy: Count your fairways hit. [A ball hit OB or behind a tree or in the long rough will cost you more than 1 stroke because you are losing distant and waste a shot to get back in play.]
-Approach shots or Greens in Regulation (GIR): Missing the green on your approach shot is the worst SCORE KILLER. A miss in the deep rough or a sand trap will just compound the problem. [If you have a long approach shot (with the odds of hitting the green at 1 in 10), wouldn’t it be better to miss short of the green and then make an easy pitch or chip to within 6 feet of the hole?  Give yourself a chance and avoid the blow-up scores.]
– Short Game: What’s your up and down percentage? Chipping it close for a single putt can save your game.
– Count your putts per round. This is a separate game that you should be playing with yourself in every game. Avoiding 3 putts can avoid those blow-up holes.
– Head Game #1: You may just have a “head game” like mine. After a run of pars and birdies, I feel invincible. Increasing your swing speed on your next swing is not a good idea when you are on a winning streak.
– Head Game #2: The opposite is also a problem. I saw Jerry Kelly in the Players Championship hit a shot in the water. The coverage showed him cursing and complaining to his caddy all the way down to his next shot which he hit short of the green. He then commented again about his water miss and promptly hit a thin shot over the green. His body language and his constant muttering told the whole story. He just let a bad shot create 2 more bad shots and a double bogie. Are you doing the same thing?

Keeping track of the weakest part of your game will force your score to drop. You may need to take a lesson from a PGA Professional to sort out a correction for your SCORE KILLER. The fact that you are paying attention to your SCORE KILLER will definitely improve your outcome.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to straighten out your bad habits. Buy one today on www.golfstr.com

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