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*.

[vimeo 77235615 w=400 h=286]

* 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.

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.

* 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)

Impact Drill – Video

This video will help you feel what Impact should feel like using the Large Muscles to control your golf swing. It will also let you learn how to continue through to the finish using these Large Muscles. This move replaces using your hands as the source of power to hit at the ball. In a powerful solid golf shot, The ball is “Trapped” by the whole body turning through to the finish (not slapped at by the hands).


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How to Practice Impact – How does it Feel??

One of my students wrote me asking how the body looks and feels at impact. This is what I wrote back:

Here is the best way to know exactly how impact feels:

With a club (7 iron) setup to the leg of a couch just inside your front foot (not in the middle)… now push on the leg of the couch by unwinding your body from ground up (knees & hips slightly lead the chest & shoulders). At this point your hips are slightly opened and your shoulders are even less open but EVERYTHING IS PUSHING (against the couch) EVENLY. All the body is helping at impact. This is how powerful turn players (most of the Ryder Cup team) hit the ball. They are turning all the way to the finish. Their swings are very committed and uninterrupted and the ball just gets in the way and is trapped by the turn. No throwing or flipping with the hands. The hands are PASSIVE during the swing. Then the big muscles take over for a powerful repeatable swing. Hope this helps… Ross

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Like Throwing a Frisbee left Handed

I was teaching yesterday and describing how the body unwinds like throwing a ball (the knees lead and unwind the hips then the torso, shoulders and arms, club) and it dawned on me, that a more accurate way to explain this natural, athletic move is to say … “Its like throwing a Frisbee with your left hand as far as you can. No one, throwing a frisbee as hard as they can, would stop their body half way and the let their arm pass their body (weak, no power)… they would subconsciously get their hips unwinding, and firing all the way to sling their arm through.

This is one of the missing elements in traditional golf instruction. The idea to release the club into or pass the ball. That “release” move, guarantees your body to stop rotating at impact (not good). Then the arms get out in front of the body turn and pull the body around. Or another way to state this bad position, “The arms and club now lead and pull the body to the finish (NOT GOOD)!. That means you stopped all the potential power the body turn had and let the weak hands and arms take over. THIS MAKES THE BALL GO LEFT AND IF YOU FLIP TOO, IT WILL PULL HOOK!!

None of these problems happen in a “Powerful, Athletic, Repeatable” golf swing, that has a complete uninterrupted rotation, keeping the hands quiet and passive. Once you learn to use the large muscles (mainly, hips and shoulders) to control the arms and club, you will feel a complete body rotation all the way to the finish like throwing a Frisbee. You will also hit the ball straight, trap the ball, make a divot naturally (without any of the “You gotta hit down on it bologna.”) By the way … you don’t hit down on a ball to make a divot, it happens naturally if you setup correctly, keep your hands quiet through impact and KEEP TURNING.

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Traditional Golf Instruction – Misconceptions

Here are some of the many “Traditional Misconceptions” that are still being taught today:

1.   Setup with your weight on the balls of your feet.
– This is out of balance and a weak non-athletic position. The body does not like to be out of balance and will try to “Right” itself during the swing. If you setup in balance, square to gravity (Athletically), you will be much more relaxed and consistent.

2.   Waggle the club to relax.
– This is a non-productive, anxious movement getting the hands ready to be used for the takeaway and to hit at the ball. This undermines the large muscle concept that uses the shoulders for the takeaway and the hips and body to turn through to the finish. The ball is trapped during the turn with the whole body, not hit at with the hands.

3.   Shift your weight to the back foot.
– This is not what happens in a powerful takeaway and backswing. In a more efficient swing, the shoulders push back and wind into a restricted lower body for tork and potential. If you slide, or shift your weight back, you will never be consistent in returning back to the ball… For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. Slide on the takeaway, you will slide even more through impact. Lose this variable and you will improve IMMEDIATELY!

4.   Play the ball in the middle of your stance.
The radius of the swing is a line down your front arm in line with the shaft to the end of the club. The longest point on this radius is at your front shoulder down to the ground. Any farther back and the club goes right into the ground, or you have to lift up, or what most do, is flip their wrists at impact and cut the radius in half as to not hurt themselves. When you learn to turn through impact, you will naturally pick up the ball just inside the front foot for all shots! What changes from club to club (Ben Hogan) is the back foot relationship to the inside the front foot ball position. In other words, as the clubs get shorter, the back foot comes in closer to the front foot (not the ball moving back). THE BALL IN THE MIDDLE FORCES YOU TO FLIP AND NOT TURN.

5.   Release the club at the target.
Read “The Body Stops when you use your hands to “HIT” the ball Click Here

6.   Setup with the shaft of the club 90 degrees to your spine.
If you look at impact of the best golfers it is a straight line down the front arm, through the shaft to the ball. The shaft must be leading slightly. This angle is what creates a divot (Not hitting down on it) it happens naturally if you turn. So… if you setup this the shaft pointing at your spine (belly) this is weak and broken and will have to be fixed during the swing to get to the straight line at impact. Also this broken setup of the wrists pre-flipped will force you to flip again at impact thus, cutting the radius in half and the body stops rotating (not good). Answer… setup with the shaft in line with the front arm. The shaft should point at your arm pit.

7.   Club face on plane with the front arm on the backswing.
Coming soon.

8.   Hinge the club  on plane with the front arm.
Coming soon.

9.   The hands and arms release the club.
Coming soon.

10.   Toe up Toe up (hello mishit)
Coming soon.

11.   Keep your head down (LOL).
Coming soon.

more to come…

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