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.

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.

Shaft Leads the Club Face, When the Body Rotation Leads the Golf Swing

A solid golf shot will only happen when the shaft leads the club face. If the shaft is behind the club face, the shot will be thin, skulled or topped.

Once you learn how to turn through impact, your body will be leading the golf swing and it will be much easier to hit a solid golf shot. Your body is essentially dragging the club through impact as it is unwinding and accelerating. Since we setup with the shaft in line with the front arm to begin with, it will stay that way, leading the club face, as we turn to face the target. This will also automatically produce a divot after the ball.

Setup vs. Impact – Not much difference

At setup, the elbows point at the hips, then as you turn thru impact, they again point at the hips (tho the hips are slightly turned unwinding). This photo shows setup, then impact during a swing… not much difference. On the downswing the arms and hands are passive and just go along for a ride with the body turn. Notice the hands ahead and how the shaft is bowed (not flipped). This is what automatically hits down on the ball. It naturally happens, if you turn and keep your hands quiet. Oh, one other misconception you hear is, “Clear your hips”…I disagree… you want to use your hips for power thru impact. They are turning, but have not cleared. They are helping.

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.

Please contact me for help

Impact is just inside front foot – Don’t Chop… TURN!

What’s a “Chop”? On the downswing, stopping the body mid-way to brace so the hands can “Chop” or hit at the ball. This is how most amateurs swing. It is not powerful or reliable. This is also why amateurs play the ball in the middle of their stance (Wrong!).

Most golfers have never felt a free-wheeling athletic golf swing because they think they need to do something at impact with their hands. A better way … Keep your hands passive during the swing and let your turn hit the ball. This move is how all other sports work. So why is golf different? Again, if the ball is in the middle of your stance, you will HAVE TO USE YOUR HANDS TO KEEP FROM HITTING THE GROUND.

Once a golfer moves the ball inside the front foot and just unwinds to face the target… the golf swing is so much easier, more powerful and repeatable. But, if you never move it forward, you will never experience the free-wheeling feeling of just turning as hard as you like and the ball just gets in the way and is always hit solid and straight. Unless… your hands try to help, then the ball is PULLED or HOOKS. Keep your hands out of the swing and turn as hard as you like (with the ball position just inside your front foot) and golf is FUN!*….Ross

*Now with Driver, the club face is in line with the front toe, with the ball teed up about 2″ forward (a 2″gap between club face and ball) so you hit it on the upswing and get 40 yards of extra roll… (another post)

Pull with the Left or Push from the Right… Both Work!

As I have mentioned, using the Large Muscles to control your golf swing will greatly improve your miss-hits, direction and distance. This leads to better scoring. Now, what I mean by using the large muscles is, on the backswing the Shoulders wind first while the hips resist… then once the shoulders have gone as far as they can, the hips are eventually pulled over a little by the shoulders. The hips never move on their own on the backswing… Then on the downswing, (the opposite happens) the Hips totally take over and lead the show unwinding and turning and pull the arms and club through to the finish.

I have found, that some individuals like to think of this “Hips leading the Downswing” as a “Pulling” from their left side (right handed golfer) and some like to think of “Pushing” or “Firing” from their right side. They are both great thoughts as long as it starts with the hips turning (not sliding).

For those of you who have been mislead to think that the arms start from the top, or the shoulders start unwinding first… You would never see a pitcher throw a ball with out taking a step, unwinding his hips first, then shoulders, then arm. It is exactly the same with the golf swing.

The gist of this post is to get you to think the “Hips” start and continue leading the downswing… whether it is your left hip unwinding and pulling or your right hip firing or BOTH working together. Just find what works for you, practice, keep your hands quiet and passive and enjoy consistent golf… Ross

Effortless, Balanced Complete Finish – Gives you the Answer

… now for the “Question” … “Am I using the “Large Muscles” correctly and completely or do I still need some work?” The answer lies in your Finish.

I have watched tens of thousands of swings teaching over the years. I can tell you how someone will finish before they swing (by their setup). But the one thing almost every golfer does the moment the ball leaves the club face is… STARE AT THE BALL AND FOLLOW IT AND NOT PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO WHAT THEIR BODY IS DOING AT THAT POINT. Most golfers can not hold their finish and are stepping back or in another direction as to not fall. Even many pros fall back with a reverse pivot from letting their hands take over during the swing.

Now the real solid ball strikers look like they could stand all day in their finish. That is because they’re using Large Muscles to unwind from ground up. Steve Stricker is a great example of this. When he is finished, he is Balanced on his front leg, knees touching, completely up on his back toe, facing the target. He is not falling back or bending right or left to stay balanced.

Don’t be mislead by comments about over swinging making you fall or swing easy, it has NOTHING TO DO WITH SWING EASY. It is swing correctly. Tiger can swing out of his shoes and still be balanced when he’s done, because he unwinds from ground up (when he is swinging well). Now Phil is a perfect example of someone who, when he unwinds and turns (in stead of throwing his hands) finishes balanced and is in control, but watch him on his bad ball striking days, he falls back because his hands took over. Learning to keep you hands passive or constant during the swing will allow the Large Muscles to take control of the swing for very consistent direction and distance. When you don’t manipulate the club face (with the hands) the face is always square and returns square and golf is fun.

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The Front Hip – Where the Golf Swing Really Rotates

The longest point of the golf swing is a vertical line straight down from the front shoulder, down the arm, down the shaft to the ground. This is the bottom of the swing arc (not in the middle between your feet). This point is where every throwing sport pivots… any throwing movement pivots around the front hip. This is where the hips can unwind the lower body and shoulders to throw the arm. The golf swing also unwinds in the front hip. Not in the middle between your feet.

Now, the backswing winds up around the spine with slightly more that 50% weight maintained on the front foot… but again, the downswing unwinds around an imaginary vertical line about where the front hip rotates.

If you are not in a position to comfortably rotate around this hip, you have too much weight on the back side (probably from sliding during the takeaway).

As a drill…you can put most of your weight on the front foot and keep it there (no slide on backswing) and take little shots to feel how the swing unwinds around the front hip… Ross

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