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.

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.

Doesn’t Matter What Grip You Use

A student emailed me to ask what kind of grip I would recommend… here is my answer:

Please read all this to understand my answer to your question: “What kind of grip you use only matters with a golf swing that “hits” at the ball with the hands. The grip acts like an offset to make corrections for what the hands messed up on the backswing”… What you will find with my method is the Big Key is a constant Grip Pressure. Here is why.

With the slightest hint of the hands getting involved during the swing, the body will stop rotating to support a “Hit At Something” with the hands just like chopping a tree (you stop your body to throw the axe into the tree, you don’t turn and chop together).. this is why I believe my method is more Athletic. A quarterback uses his body to throw his arm through, the body unwinds to throw the arm… the arm does not pass the body rotation midway. A good baseball player hitting out of the park, does not stop his hips half way and let the arms and bat pass his turn, he hits the ball with everything while turning (the mass of the entire body hits the ball). This is the element I discovered that has been missing with traditional golf instruction, stopping and letting the arms and hands take over and wasting all the power of the body rotation and mass. Another misconception of “Clear your Hips First” also robs power and causes problems. This is a weak position, because all the potential power of the hips and core already went by and now comes the arms and club stuck behind trying to catch up (Leads to shanks and flipping to save shot).

At a higher level of my method, the hands are completely passive allowing the Large Muscles to Dominate which keeps the club face always square because there is no disruption (by the hands) during the swing. Also, there is automatic perfect hinging and unhinging that takes place when the hands don’t take over. So… use the grip you are comfortable with… keep a constant grip pressure (3 on a scale from 1-10) and learn to hit the ball with your body turn… Start with little shots using the Straight Arm Swing drill … Be aware of your grip pressure during every swing for awhile … takes practice but you will see… Ross

Constant Grip Pressure During the WHOLE SWING

Once you set your grip on the club with both hands equally, you do not want to change your grip pressure again until the swing is finished. That means NO ANXIOUS WAGGLING (a non-productive move that sets you up to flip). This conscious effort to not change your grip pressure will force you to learn (and use) the Large Muscles to control your swing. To replace the waggle, you can simulate your takeaway by pushing everything (arms and club), straight back with your front shoulder. This will give you a feeling (rehearsal) of how the takeaway will start. Now again, once you have the club gripped, maintain a constant equal grip pressure during the entire swing. This takes a conscious effort to learn at first, but will greatly improve your golf swing. This also takes some practice to become part of your swing. Once you have learned to swing the club with passive hands, you will instantly be aware of when your hands do take over and stop the Large Muscles from controlling your swing.

One of my Future websites (http://grippressure.com) will be solely devoted to this (it is that important). I believe a change in Grip Pressure during the swing, to be one of the biggest problems in the golf swing but, once controlled, one of the easiest paths to a much more reliable golf game.

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Make your “Template” … then USE YOUR FEET!

I teach my students to establish a “Template” as they prepare to setup to the ball. What I mean, is there are a few essentials to check just prior to approaching the ball. If you do this, you will eliminate many of the reasons your swing breaks down or is inconsistent.

1. Shaft in line with the front arm (not at your stomach) and keep it that way don’t let it change as you setup to the ball.
2. Elbows towards each other or close together (and keep them that way until you hit).

These (2) items are CRUCIAL TO BE CONSISTENT. This creates your “Radius”. You can not be sloppy with this or let it relax. You want to use this “Template” as a guide during your setup. Anyone that thinks great players have relaxed, loose elbows during the swing, have not looked closely. Some look loose but, just before they take the club back, they squeeze their elbows together to create this radius and tie into the upper body. This also makes the takeaway much easier because, with the elbows close together, the front shoulder pushes this “Template” back as one piece keeping the hands from taking over. If the elbows are relaxed, during the swing they will elongate and your radius will lengthen causing mishits. The elbows must tie in with the upper body to let the large muscles work together to control the swing.

Okay, now that we have our “Template”, maintain it as your use your “FEET” to finish the setup. Like this:

1. I have my template ready.
2. Pick my spot about a foot in front of the ball to align the club face to.
3. Walk up, and turn to face the ball watching that spot (not the target).
4. Now, use you feet to establish the correct distance to the ball with the “Template” as your guide. DO NOT REACH OUT OR BEND TO THE BALL or you will DISCONNECT THE WHOLE THING!
5. SIT DOWN TO THE SHOT while maintaining your “Template”
6. Use your front shoulder to push the “Template” back (takeaway)
7. Use your hips to start and unwind the (downswing) from ground up all the way to the finish. Keep turning!.

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The Hands are NOT Repeatable in the golf swing… What is?

Most golfers use their hands during the golf swing. They use their hands on the takeaway… or use their hands to hinge the club… or to try to direct the club on plane … or hit at the ball … or release to point the club at the target. Fact is, the hands are unreliable and inconsistent. The hands can move so many directions and then when you add in the wrists hinging in many different directions too, it makes it almost impossible to return exactly how you were at setup. Hence, 8 hrs a day practice to try to groove it. (Will never happen) … they will break down under pressure. So what do I use??

A much more reliable, efficient golf swing will use the shoulders on the takeaway first while you resist with the lower body and then use the hips to start the downswing unwinding and continue unwinding with the body all the way to the finish. THE HANDS ARE PASSIVE DURING THE WHOLE SWING!! If you learn to keep them from taking over on the takeaway or trying to forcibly hinge or hit at the ball, all of a sudden the large muscles take over (because something has to generate power. The result … a much more consistent, powerful, repeatable golf swing. And if fixes automatically, any timing issues you may have had. Using the shoulders and hips and core for the source of power will amaze you. It is very natural… like throwing a ball… the knees, move the hips, move the torso, move the shoulders to sling the arm through. You don’t stop your body half way when you throw a ball and let your hands and arm pass… why would you on the golf swing?

Practice hitting golf shots being totally aware of your grip pressure throughout the entire swing. Keep your grip pressure the same (do not let it change even a little) and you will see a dramatic difference…

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The “Hands” … the Real Problem

I always felt the “Hands” were the big problem in golf. The hands can move so many different ways. They also can work against each other. But the real “Key” came when I realized if the hands are active during the swing (like trying to release or hit the ball using the hands), the body always stops rotating (just for a fraction of a second) to support this hit.  Ah Ha! so what happens when the body stops is… the club hands and arms now pass the body and this is a VERY WEAK POSITION.

 First, the radius (which should be a straight line down the front arm in line with the shaft leading the club face) is cut in half (because the wrist is bent at impact).   Also, the “Athletic” aspect is gone which would have ALL THE BODY moving or trapping the golf ball while it turns.  This flipped position also now closes the club face and makes the ball go left (right hander).  As the arms pass the body rotation, they create a new path to the left and pull the ball.  Now instead of the body pulling the arms through, the arms are now pulling the body (not good).

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