The goal of the golf swing is simple: hit the ball toward a target with the correct distance. Doing that consistently starts with an effective setup — one that makes sense for a golfer’s typical swing, as well as the shot he or she is trying to hit.
The video above shows the top-3 setup flaws I see from my students, as well as how to fix them.
WATCH: How to control your low point and angle of attack in the bunker
Top-100 golf instructor Tom Stickney of Punta Mita Golf Academy demonstrates how to control your low point and angle of attack when hitting greenside bunker shots.
Enjoy the video below!
WATCH: How DJ’s “bent left wrist” move can help fix your slice
While at True Spec Golf in Chicago recently, we spoke with Rick Silva of Movement 3 Golf and True Spec Golf about Dustin Johnson’s bent left wrist position and how it can help golfers. Below, Silva briefly explains “gamma,” and how it can help your golf swing to produce straighter (and longer) shots.
The Science of Square: Is a wrist position at the top like DJ better for your swing?
I recently wrote an article called “The Science of Square: Understanding the relationship between the wrist and the club face,” about the wrist action during the swing and what happens when you change conditions from address to the top, and how that affects the club face. In addition, I suggested that the average golfer plays from a more square condition at the top, rather than one that is radically shut (i.e. Dustin Johnson). I did not say that the average player could not play from a slightly shut condition, but remember, compensations have to occur.
However, there has been a growing number of better players who have had wonderful success playing from conditions at the top that range from slightly shut to super-shut. Think about the swings of John Rahm, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, and Dustin Johnson at the top.
So in this article, let’s examine the shut club face position at the top using Hack Motion’s Wrist Sensor so you can see how the wrist action changes when this type of position occurs during the swing. I took a few sample swings with the new “modern” swing… slightly stronger grip working into a flexed lead wrist at the top, which causes the shut face at the top like DJ. Here is what we saw…
At address we see that the wrist in the stronger position possesses 32 degrees of extension, or cupping at address, which is common with stronger grips showing more knuckles.
At the top I moved from 32 degrees of extension to -12 degrees of flexion a change of 52 degrees from address to the top. I will tell you that moving your wrist from extended to flexed is hard enough and to do so like DJ is superhuman!
Now here is where it gets interesting… in the chest-high position on the way down I still possess -7 degrees of flexion, meaning the club now swinging from the inside has a face that is slightly shut. These two things together will cause the ball to move from the right to the left easier because I won’t have to think about the “release.”
Above is the delivery position around belt-high, the lead wrist is still into flexion and will also deloft the club and deliver some extra shaft lean coming into the ball. Great for players with a ton of speed.
Impact (above) for me is with a neutral lead wrist, which means that the club was delivered with solid impact alignments. But why isn’t mine flexed more at impact? Because with my lack of Tour Quality Swing Speed, I simply cannot get the ball to go high enough or stay in the air long enough to work for me, thus, I have to hit the ball in a more neutral impact position. This is one of the biggest reasons why this position will not work for players without higher than normal swing speeds.
In fact, many great teachers feel that this has merits for the slower swing speeds as well, but with a caveat. Brian Manzella, a Golf Digest Top-50 Teacher and a Golf Magazine Top-100 Teacher, says
“To me, all club faces are open at the top relative to the target, so armed with a stronger grip, the face is less open during the swing. This helps some slicers by giving them less to close by the time of impact, and helps some good players hitting fades easier at high speed, by unwinding their bodies more and having their hands more forward at impact. However, the main advantage for folks with more neutral top of the backswing positions, is that if your wrist is flexed late, you can start to go toward extension to add speed and still have forward lean at impact.”
Basically he’s saying that for neutral players, if you have some bowing of the left wrist within your deliver position, you can get away with some “throw” at the bottom and still have solid impact!
The bottom line is that you must figure out what position works best for you and your game. For me, I play better from a more neutral position due to my lack of speed, but that shouldn’t deter you from trying the stronger grip and more shut position at the top; heck it just might be YOUR key to success.
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