Category Archives: golf

Impact Leverage – Weak Wrists vs. Bowed Out Front Wrist

This is an idea that I’ve had about “why” a slightly bowed out front wrist at impact, feels so SOLID and powerful… and thought I’d share:

Given #1:
I’ve mentioned many times, that a solid golf shot at impact, will have the shaft inline with the front arm, leading the club head, and (with my method), the body is unwinding, “dragging” this shape around to the left (right hander). I call this “trapping impact”.

Given #2:
Now, imagine the “weakest” part(s) of the body (related to the golf swing). Hum… Thighs, Hips, Shoulders, Arms, Wrists, Fingers etc.. Well, in my opinion it is the wrists! Especially when they are cupped or bent inward. That seems to be a position that is NOT very strong or can be held very long against leverage.

Given #3:
Okay…lets add the word “leverage” into the mix. They realized long ago, the longer something is, the easier it is to use it to move something else… take a long pole for instance. It works well until it breaks at some point.

So how does this all relate to the golf swing and impact?

Well, my thinking is, that if you are at impact with a bent inward front wrist, the different forces occurring at 80-100 mph, are enough to make it difficult or impossible to maintain that wrist angle, and it wants to flatten out or even bow out (because the club head is lagging behind a little) this due to the “leverage” factor.

The ball getting in the way must play some role in holding the club head back some too. These things make me think the wrists will struggle through impact, unless they are in a very solid shape that fits what is going on. Ben Hogan was aware of this and suggested to supinate the front wrist just before impact.

This bow out shape is the strongest position for the wrists to be in at impact, because of the angle of the shaft and being drug around to the left via the body’s rotation (my method).

Feel for yourself… setup like you’re going to take a shot and let the club head touch the ground slightly. Then, use your body to drag the club head around to the left and find the strongest position for your front wrist or wrists to be in while your dragging. So… if you’re not in this strongest shape at impact, you’re probably in a weaker (not as repeatable) position. This is one reason some shots feel more solid than others.

Hint: The real culprit is usually the back hand throwing the club head at impact that puts you into that weak position.

The Snow Eagle

This is just a fun post of something I thought was kind of cool.

Was the middle of winter and it looked like it might snow, but that didn’t keep us off the course. We had just teed it up on #1 when a few flakes started to fall. We didn’t care and teed off. We always walked so we started down the par 5.

As we walked it started to snow harder. We got to our shots and said, let’s just finish the hole then walk back in. So we hit our second shots. I hit a really good shot to the back of the green where I had about 20′ for eagle. Of course by now, it was really coming down as we trucked to the green to finish.

By the time we got there, the green was totally white (except the hole). Can’t stop now, I said… I’ve got an eagle putt. Well I’m sure you can guess by now what happened. I wasn’t sure how hard to hit the putt, or how the ball would react across the snow. Well, I putted and the funny thing was how the golf ball collected snow along the way, and got bigger and bigger then dropped into the hole. It had turned into a golfball-snowball.

Before, In and After the Moment

Wow, what’s all that have to do with golf?

It is my opinion that, there are 3 types of “focus” or “thinking” needed to perform consistently and develop your golf game. Before, in and after “The Moment”.

Before the Moment:
The “time” during the off season, or before your round, or between holes, or just before your shot (prior to your routine), is what I call “Before the Moment”. This is the time to focus on what your options are, what the goal is, what you’re capable of. Then you commit, you decide “What you will do”.

Each opportunity to “focus” takes different amounts of time, are done at different times, but combine to achieve goal #1 above, “Perform consistently and develop your game”.

In the Moment:
Trust your decision. NO MORE THINKING! At this moment, you MUST be automatic, rehearsed and familiar with the next 15 seconds. This is “recalling an over learned skill*”. This is just like unlocking your car door. You can do that “consistently”, because you learned it a long time ago, were successful, then stored it as a “skill” to call upon when needed. You don’t second guess yourself about writing your “signature”. You “trust” that you know how and just write. You must learn how to do this with taking a golf shot to be consistent. You can’t be learning something and be automatic. You have to have practiced (many times) and succeeded to believe…”I have this shot“. This is when golf gets really fun!

The real key here, is your “routine”. This is your protective “bubble”. It is the time you stop “thinking ahead”, “talking to your friends”, “trying to remember your golf lesson”, “adding an extra new moves”, you get the idea. The ONLY thing you do when it is time to take your shot is … “follow your routine”. This won’t be hard if/when you practice your routine. Hint: Your routine should only be about 10-14 seconds long max. If it’s longer, you’re thinking about too much, or making extra setup movements/adjustments that are not necessary.

After the Moment:
Right after the shot, it is critical to protect your attitude with non-judging self talk. Be productive (not destructive), how you mentally talk to yourself. You do have a choice you know. This is the time to learn from what you experienced and move on. That shot is done! Tell yourself you’ll think about it later and decide then, how to improve or change what happened.

After the round, find time to sit down and recap your total experience. Look for patterns that you can improve (like many putts coming up short), or hitting into the same bunker off the tee (pick a different shot, target line or club). Look for where you waste strokes**. You might take a lesson (or ask me for help).

After the season, you might again recap your entire game. Again, look for patterns (Blocking Driver, choking with 3′ putts etc.), then go search out real answers …practice and put into your routine, so you can take it to the course.

FYI, the lower you go in score, the harder it is to save strokes.

*I think I learned the term “over learned skill” from “Subconscious Golf” instruction I heard many years ago. Awesome stuff!! I learned/taught much from that information and highly recommend listening.

**FYI (again from Subconscious Golf, I believe), you can waste one shot on every hole and still par! So, if you double bogey you wasted 3 shots. Here is how I experienced this:

Way back when, short par 4, cold top Driver about 50 yards dead left under a very low bush. I started to beat myself up and caught myself, stopped that thinking, and said to myself… Okay, how can I par from here. This changed my attitude back to a “challenge” with myself. It put creative mode in gear and sent me visualizations of how it could be done. I got on my knees, knocked a long iron out from the bush back into the fairway… at the time I actually had an old Powerbilt (1) iron, (stayed focused), knocked it up on the green about 12′ and made the putt. Best par of my life to this day, because I was about to give up, but took control of my thinking (didn’t let emotions control me). I have taught this lesson to countless students over the years… Ross