Stop Flipping or Throwing the Club Head

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    Student Question Jun 04, 2014


    Overcoming 40 years of throwing my arms and hands apparently isn’t easy for me. Any suggestions?


    Ross Jun 04, 2014
    I have really emphasized lately, to some of my other students having flipping, throwing problems, to SHORTEN THE BACKSWING AND FOCUS ON SPEEDING UP THE BODY ROTATION ON THE DOWNSWING. This has worked wonders for them. The reason, if you allow your backswing to get too long, the arms lift slightly or the wrists hinge a bit, and then you are going to “throw the club head” to help catch up, but if you stop the backswing when the shoulders are done (will feel short and weird at first), you haven’t hinged or lifted and can now just focus on turning for the downswing… and I mean go! … TURN. The shorter backswing gives you confidence that you can return to the ball easily and keep going… no hit… just turn… commit! Think of it as a drill for a while and you’ll build confidence and know that you don’t have to help… just turn on the downswing.

    I wanted to add this to help you understand why shorter is better…

    If you take the club back with the shoulders like 1/2 way, the hands and arms are more likely to still be under control. As you lengthen the backswing, generally what happens is… the hands and arms now take over and lift and hinge. That “Action” of the hands/arms (is a disconnect from Large Muscles), but it forces the “Reaction” on the downswing. So, practice with a shoulders only, shorter backswing and your hands and arms will get the idea. As you get better, you may make a bigger shoulder turn if it works… but if not, go back to the shorter backswing.

    FYI… the downswing and commitment to tuning through faster, is what produces accuracy and distance… not the backswing.



    Dan Aug 28, 2014
    I decided to take a look around the forum and I happened upon this thread from June. You know how I “roll” -my hands that is. I took this advice, to shorten the back swing, and the results were a solid shots with the right trajectory. It might take a little time to lengthen my backswing, but I’m really not concerned about that. It’s a good feeling to hit the ball so consistently. Incidentally, the pitching lesson has really paid off. I played UNM North today, and pitched the ball to within a foot on three holes. Now, that’s a confidence builder. Talk to you soon.


    Ross Aug 29, 2014
    That’s awesome Dan!

    Once your brain correlates the “feeling” of keeping the face square, to more solid, straight and consistent shots, it will start to “accept” this swing change as valid, and override the old muscle memory. This takes time and is different for everyone. I’ve seen, that anyone that wants lasting change, will have to put in the time/effort, to give your body/brain time to change and accept. It is like an vague image that becomes more and more vivid and clear over time. This does not happen in a swing or a moment like “now I got it”… you develop it.

    – You get it, you lose it
    – You get it back better, then you lose it better (but with experience)
    – You lose it less often, and get it back much quicker [wink]

    … in time you learn more about yourself and your golf swing.

    Glad you came by Dan…


    JW66 May 16, 2016
    The “get it and lose it ” syndrome has hit me twice (probably more!) One-my shoulders were not level; the right one was way down so no shoulder turn. Then I got lazy on putting my weight to the left and became short and inconsistent. Fixing that was like you waved a magic wand over me. In both instances, a mirror helped. We have a big mirror in the garage and it helps in seeing the swing flaws that may not be obvious while playing. It almost always come back to setup, doesn’t it? I also keep a log of every round and every practice session, which for me is walking a few holes late afternoon, with a few balls. If it’s a bad shot, I get to do it over. Once I write it down, it sticks better. It also helps in seeing the continued progress of learning the Ross way. Tomorrow I’m trying the gap with putting. In the house, it feels pretty good and helps to visualize keeping everything quite except the shoulders. Onward!


    Ross May 19, 2016
    You’re an inspiration JW66 [thumb] I like your drive and positive self talk. This game is tough and needs constant attention…that’s half the fun I think.



    Longest time and compliments of the season to the house.
    About holding the club in the downswing without flipping. Do I keep the clubface on the target line straight through in the downswing facing the sky after impact through to finish? Because this is the only way I have been able to keep the wrists shape at impact and through to finish. Please clarify this area. Thanks.


    just went back and found this article about the shorter backswing. This really helps. I love your last comment,
    “the downswing and commitment to turning through faster, is what produces accuracy and distance… not the backswing.”
    Your method is real genius. It has made golf one of the real lasting pleasures of my life. I almost feel guilty that I have a shot for about every situation.
    Thanks again for your method and teaching skills.


    Hi Dan

    Great to hear from you Dan. Makes me very happy to hear you’re still golfing and enjoying the instruction.


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