Fixed Wrist Drill – Square Club Face & Correct Shaft Angle

This little drill will fix so many problems related to opening, closing, hinging and flipping the club head during the golf swing. This video assumes you already know the DUPLESSISGOLF setup*.

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* If you are unsure about how to setup (precursor for doing this drill), please click here… Ross

To Hinge or Not to Hinge

I always knew that an active wrist hinge (traditional golf instruction), changed the club face and was not repeatable. This wrist hinge was only done in preparation to throw the club head at the ball for power. Well, you may get a little power from it, but for every action there is an opposite reaction… so essentially… hinge on the backswing, leads to a flip on the downswing. The chances of timing this into a solid, straight golf shot are very small. Plus, when every thing is hinging at the wrists, the radius of the swing is cut in half (the length is only from the wrists, to the club head.

So as my method progressed, I wanted to have a full radius at impact (the front arm in line with the shaft leading the club head), AND use the body rotating as the source of power. I could see this in all other athletic movements (like throwing a ball).

For many years, I taught “passive hands” and “constant grip pressure”. Some of my earlier teaching mentions, the wrists passively hinge and unhinge on their own. This was in hopes that we could remove the inconsistencies of active hinging and active unhinging. These thoughts of passive hands and constant grip pressure, did help improve consistency.

As time passed, many of my students still had the urge to throw the club head and had trouble trying to stop flipping. It then dawned on me that since we want a straight line of the front arm and club shaft at impact, we could setup that way to begin with… then maintain that setup shape using the shoulders only to carry the arms/club to the top of the backswing (Steve Stricker look)… and since there was no change in the wrists, there would be no urge to have to flip to return the shaft in line with the front arm or square the club face back at impact. We could just use the body to unwind, bringing the arms/club back down in front of the body and around to the left (right hander).

Using this concept, I realized we can setup with the shaft in line with the front arm, elbows close together and SET THE WRISTS* (just how we want them back at impact)… then we just maintain that shape (hold the wrists in that shape and pinch the elbows), then use the shoulders only for the backswing. This winds the Large back muscles for a ton of power potential… then we just use the body to unwind.

* Experiment with the amount of grip pressure. Squeeze and hold pretty tight the entire swing and just use your turn to trap the ball…you should hit a nice solid shot via your body rotation not hands.

Golf Swing Elbows – The Chicken Wing (more help)

In a nutshell, a “Chicken Wing” is one of your elbows bending outwards, behind you. This can happen in either backswing or downswing. It disrupts many things. In my opinion, you could partially blame some form of the Chicken Wing, for almost every miss hit. It is that prevalent. Almost no golfers (Pros alike) use their elbows correctly by my discoveries.

Why Do golfers User Their Elbows?
Golfers use their elbows because they are getting ready to throw the club head at the ball with just the arms and hands. They subconsciously hinge every possible lever, and lift the arms, to try to create as much potential possible to throw the club head. None of these movements are consistent or repeatable.

I do not want to go into all the different miss hits caused by this problem. Let’s just get to what will make your swing more athletic, control your chicken wing, and improve your shot making.

Read the next paragraph slowly, then simulate with a club up against a door jamb.

If you look at a powerful, solid golf shot, at impact, the hips are slightly turned (not cleared)… the arms and wrists form a solid Triangle. The front wrist is flat and the back wrist bent in. The wrists are firm and holding this shape (being pulled by the body turn, not releasing). Also, the shaft is in line with the front arm, and the elbow pointing back at the front hip, with the back arm slightly bent in towards the front arm, and its elbow too pointing back at the back hip. At this moment, the body is pulling all this around to the left. This is the position we want to be in at impact.

If we are not in this position, what happened during the swing? Some thing(s) broke down, disconnected and disrupted everything. So who are the “Disrupters”? The “Disrupters” are the Elbows and Hands. We need to control the disrupters, how do we do that?

How to Take Control of the Distupters:
1. Setup shaft in line with the front arm, elbows pointing back at the hips, pinching a little. Maintain that pinching during the entire swing. They only separate at the very end of the swing.
2. Once the shaft is in line at setup, lock your wrists and keep them fixed in the setup shape, the entire swing. Let your shoulders turn around your spine on the backswing and your body unwind your arms/club for the downswing.
3. You should have a feeling of Squeezing your grip a little and Squeezing your elbows a little at the same time, the entire swing. This defeats them. Gives them something to do that is productive and allows the Large Muscles to take over.

Start with short swings/shots to feel this work. Make sure the club face stays square. Many of you will want to use the hands and roll it open (no hands).

Constant Elbows Pressure & The Fixed Triangle

Constant Elbows Pressure
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I mention constant grip pressure or passive hands a lot. It is crucial if we want the Large Muscles to dominate, that the grip pressure remains constant so the hands do not take over. It is also equally important for the elbows to maintain constant elbows pressure towards each other.

As I work with my students and we address different issues with their golf swings, I find that many of these problems can be eliminated if their elbows start close together (pointing back at the hips) and remain towards each other during the swing.

Now, the front arm stays straight on the backswing and the back arm still bends a little, and the opposite happens on the downswing. A little bending is not what I am talking about. It is about keeping the elbows close together. It is almost too simple. By keeping constant elbows pressure during the entire swing, the shoulders can control the backswing, and the body rotation can control the downswing through to the finish.

The Fixed Triangle
Okay, so let’s tie-it-all-together. Ideally we want to maintain “both”, constant elbows pressure and constant grip pressure for the entire swing. I’ve thought of a way to do both with one thought. We combine the two thoughts into one “Triangle“.

If you imagine the elbows staying towards each other “fixed” as two points on a triangle, and your constant grip pressure as the 3rd point completing the triangle. Now all we do is maintain this “Fixed Triangle” during the swing and we will get both jobs done. There is something about keeping this triangle in tact during the swing, that keeps both the hands and elbows connected and busy, letting the shoulders control of the backswing and the body turn control the downswing. All we have to do is maintain The Fixed Triangle back and through.

This concept is fresh and new, but I’ve seen great results so far. I would love feedback good or bad. You must have the shaft in line with the front arm at setup (which is how we want it to return as we turn through impact). Please start with short shots, then lengthen the backswing a litte, but only with more shoulder turn (no lifting). You can turn as fast or slow through impact as you’d like for great results. I’ll make a video soon.

More Efficient Power = Distance

Power comes from Winding the shoulders first from Top Down, while resisting with the Lower Body. What I mean is… the backswing will use the shoulders to wind the arms and club around the spine, AS YOU RESIST* with the lower body. In other words, holding your lower body still while the shoulders turn first to get a head start. Eventually the hips are pulled over a little from the shoulder turn (the hips do not move on their own or slide at all to the back foot… if you want power you need resistance)…. Now on the downswing you unwind from ground up… start with the hips pulling the arms back down in front of the body as you keep turning. The faster you unwind, the farther the ball goes… just like throwing a ball.

The above paragraph has a lot of good stuff. Once learned, you will hit the ball very far with all clubs. There is no magic trick other than practice and repetition… Ross

*One great way to “resist”, is to keep the back knee braced inward, as your shoulders wind up on the backswing. Try to keep 60% of your weight on the front foot on the backswing. You’ll be able to return back to the ball much easier.

Power & Consistency – My Dock Analogy

Restricting the lower body while turning your shoulders on the takeaway, is essential for big power. Your shoulders need something to windup against. If the lower body moves along or rotates with the takeaway, there is no potential being stored. So, it is a must Continue reading “Power & Consistency – My Dock Analogy”

How to Hit a Solid Golf Shot

Don’t want to read? … listen

This will help many of you understand the geometry of a solid shot. What?? Geometry?? Yes, solid golf shots are about angles.

Trying to “Hit Down” on the ball is counter productive. Using the hands at impact ruins the golf swing*. If someone says to you, “hit down”, they may not understand that, if you have the correct mechanics, working in the correct sequence, the ball is AUTOMATICALLY HIT DOWN UPON. In other words, a solid golf shot that creates a divot after the ball, happens as a “side effect” of a correct golf swing. You don’t have to try to do it, it HAPPENS when things are right. So… if you’re not experiencing this automatic, solid shot with your swing, what is wrong and how do you fix it.

Now for the angles. Your swing may be missing one or more of these essentials for a “Solid Shot”.

If you look at a great, solid golf shot at impact, this is what you’d see:
1. Shaft of club absolutely in line with the front arm with flat or bowed front wrist. (Most golfers have a bent front wrist – Flipped )
2. The shaft slightly leading the club face of the golf club. (This creates the Hit Down automatically )
3. The knees, hips, torso, and shoulders, (all 4) STILL unwinding, trapping the ball and moving it forward. (Not stopped to support throwing the club head into the ball.)
4. The head still centered at or behind the ball. (The head can easily stay still when you unwind the downswing, instead sliding **)
5. Elbows close together, in front of your body and in line with the hips. (Not back elbow behind back hip or elbows out ahead pulling the body to the finish)

Now how can you get into this powerful impact position without trying to manufacture yourself into it? Well, it is not really hard. Actually, very natural… like throwing a ball. If you learn to start your backswing winding up from top down (the shoulders first, then the hips later)… you create a lot of potential. Then on the downswing unwind from ground up (the knees, move the hips, move the shoulders as the arms and club come along for the ride – hands are passive). Again, like throwing a ball (you step forward then your knee, moves your hips, move your shoulders to throw your arm and ball)… it is the same move in golf… ATHLETIC.

Hint:
* If you use your hands to hit at the ball, the body stops rotating, the radius is cut in half, the club face closes, you miss hit, you lose all the power of the whole body turn, not solid, not repeatable… the list goes on.
** If you don’t slide towards your back foot on the takeaway, you don’t have to slide back. If you learn to wind up restricting the lower body, then you can just unwind on the downswing.

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Like a “Spring”

I think this analogy will help define what I mean when I use the term Large Muscles, and how the lower body, resists at the start of the takeaway, while the front shoulder starts the club straight back.

If you were to hold a spring between your hands vertically, and your were to rotate both hands equally to the right, there is absolutely no potential or torque created when the top and bottom of the spring move together. The spring has NOT been loaded up. Well, when you use both your hips and shoulders to wind up on the backswing, NO POTENTIAL, NO POWER!! Also, if you start your takeaway with your hips first sliding towards your back foot, you are actually trying to wind the spring from the middle. Does not work, NO POWER.

But, we need power and potential, right!!. Here’s how. Hold the front knee to restrict your hips, as you push the club straight back with the front shoulder. The club travels straight back and UP (not inside). This is like giving your shoulders a head start. Then, just start the downswing with your hips unwinding (not sliding) all the way to the finish. The finish is when your knees are touching, your belt buckle is left of the target and you are totally up on the toe of your back foot. If you are having trouble starting with the hips, you probably slid to your back foot and are stuck there. NO SLIDE on the takeaway, just turn your shoulders against a restricted lower body…Ross

Hit Driver LONG… and get roll when it lands

Before you read: This assumes you have learned that the “SHAFT MUST BE IN LINE WITH THE FRONT ARM AT SETUP(* see below)”. But, if you’ve learned this… READ ON…

A great way to learn to “Turn” to hit Driver (instead of chopping with your hands) is to tee up the ball just “OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT TOE“. Now, don’t panic!! The longest point along the arc of your downswing, is a line straight down from your front shoulder (The bottom of the arc). Now what you want to do is setup with the club face about 2″ behind the ball. I don’t mean just move the club back… MOVE YOUR WHOLE SETUP BACK TO THAT SPOT. In other words, leave a 2” gap and FORGET ABOUT THE BALL. At first this is a little unnerving, but soon you will feel more confident because all you have to worry about, is starting the downswing with your hips and keep them turning ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH. You don’t have to hit the ball… it will just get in the way as you turn though.

NOW… what is really cool about this, is, since the ball is ahead of the bottom of the arc, the club head will be traveling in an ASCENDING BLOW like an upper cut. This will launch the ball and add roll when it lands (as long as you have not flipped with your hands trying to help the shot which makes the ball go left or pop up). If your hands are passive the shaft will lead the club face for a square, solid impact as you keep turning.

You can practice this with a small swing (choke down a bit) to get the feel of just letting your body rotation impact the ball (not your hands)….Oh by the way, this can automatically get rid of that pesky slice you’ve had all these years because the club face has more time to square up and since your hands are passive, you won’t be holding the face open…Ross

* Shaft in Line at Setup:
If you have the butt of the club pointing to your belly at setup… you’re in trouble and will have to fix it during the swing, because every solidly hit golf ball at impact, “The butt of the club was in line with the front arm“. This line transfers the energy up the arm through out the body to support the shot (This can’t happen if the wrist is bent. Plus, causes thin and skulled shots.”)

The FRONT KNEE is the “Anchor” on the Takeaway

One of the worst golf tips, or even accepted as a “Fundamental” in the golf swing, is to actively shift your weight to the back foot on the takeaway. Ouch!! this creates so many variables, I won’t even start. Here is all you have to do get rid of that problem and you will immediately see a HUGE difference in your ball striking.

Once you are setup in balance and you sit down to the ball… look at the target and say to yourself…”When I look back at the ball, I will HOLD my front knee while I push the club STRAIGHT BACK WITH MY FRONT SHOULDER. Its that easy to eliminate the “Slide” on your takeaway while creating a ton of tork and potential. Your shoulders now have resistance to wind against because you’re not sliding! and since you don’t slide on the backswing, you don’t have to slide back on the downswing (move less… get good). Watch this to see an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQIbHK_cCfA . Please remember, start the downswing with the hips unwinding and leading and turning all the way to the finish. A good sign you have completed your turn, is your knees are touching and your back foot is totally up on the toe… Ross

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