Forward Lean at Impact

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    Anthony225 Sep 01, 2017
    I have been having difficulty having a forward shaft lean at impact. I thought I was doing better but when I recorded my swing I can see that I’m losing the bent right wrist prior to impact. It appears that I’m turning my body during the downswing and through to the finish ok. From the slow motion video, I can see that my right elbow straightens early and my right wrist straightens right after it causing me to lose shaft angle. I try tightening my fixed wrists but it does help. Not sure how to fix this.


    Ross Sep 02, 2017
    You want to check that your back elbow is not getting trapped behind your back hip. That can force a flip. The Ross Move (and Ross Move Drill) can help. Make sure your arms have gotten back in front of the body as the body, rotating, drags the shaft through as you hold the shape. You may have to start with the front wrist bowed out a bit to help hold. The gap drill can help.

    Also, make sure the ball is forward and your weight is 60-70% on your front side. Practice very short pitch shots (Fix Wrist Drill) keeping your wrists fixed on the backswing, and then all the way to the finish… then lengthen the shot until you find where you’re starting to flip.

    Keeping the shaft in line with the front arm is not an easy thing. Most golfers have the urge to throw the club head to help… practice/warmup with the short pitch to show your body what you want to do. Become familiar with the correct move.


    Anthony225 Sep 02, 2017
    I don’t understand what causes the back elbow to get stuck behind. Is it an incorrect shoulder turn? Also I do understand that keeping shaft in line with the front arm is quite difficult. I’ve been trying to maintain this by squeezing my grip in the fixed wrist position and focusing on keeping the right wrist back. Is it feasable to focus on keeping the front wrist flat vs focusing on the back wrist during the swing? And hold the club more firmly with the front hand vs equal grip pressure?


    Ross Sep 03, 2017
    The elbow getting stuck behind the back hip can happen for different reasons (and combinations of the reasons I will mention)

    1. You did not wind up correctly on the backswing (shoulders first from top down), so you did not remove the “slack” in your back muscles*. This usually means, you moved your hips and shoulders together on the backswing so, on the downswing (since there is slack in your back), the hips could start unwinding leaving the shoulders behind and the elbow gets trapped.

    2. On the backswing the arms/hands got involved and helped lift up, or pulled the arms way back across your chest behind you (disconnected) so on the downswing, the arms can’t catch up.

    3. The elbows are not staying close together and get separated (maybe chicken wing back elbow) so on the downswing the back elbow gets trapped.

    This is why the Ross Move helps, because it helps teach the student to feel the body being patient bringing the arms/club back down in front vs. the body/hips just racing away leaving the arms/club behind.

    One important thought is … a shorter backswing makes it easier to return back in front. I tell my students when they feel the shoulders finish on the backswing, start the downswing. No extra lifting, hinging, bending or arm/wrist… focus on shoulders controlling the backswing**

    About grip pressure both hands/wrists can work equal and you do not need a death grip… you need the correct sequence of body movements trapping and pulling (with the body unwind not the hands and arms pulling) through impact and accelerating all the way to the finish (not just at the ball). It is much easier to keep the shaft in line with the front arm if the body keeps turning to the finish… if it stops, the club wants to flip.

    * On the backswing, the shoulders can turn some without the hips moving at all. This means the hips and shoulders can move independent of each other causing HUGE golf issues. I call this independent leeway “slack”. When you windup shoulders first and remove the slack in the back muscles, a continuity is created like winding up a rubber band… so on the downswing there is harmony unwinding together.

    ** On a full swing the shoulders turn first and the shoulders eventually turn the hips a little… but it is the shoulders moving the hips, not the hips turning on their own.


    Ray Sep 04, 2017
    Thanks for this response, Ross. It is very helpful information.

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