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Top of the backswing: Cupped, bowed or flat?

Dan Carraher left wrist position

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#31 hoganfan924

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

Good write up Dan.  I've found something interesting in my own experimentation regarding that bad feeling of bowing the left wrist.  I  use a strong left/neutral right hand.  What I find is that if I immediately in the take-away try to fully dorsi-flex my right wrist, the left will feel bowed and that's a horrible feeling for me and throws my whole swing  off.  But if I keep the cup in my left wrist for the first couple of feet of take-away, I can then fully dorsi-flex the right wrist and this feels normal and powerful.


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#32 bmellisen

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

View Posthoganfan924, on 01 November 2012 - 09:33 AM, said:

Good write up Dan.  I've found something interesting in my own experimentation regarding that bad feeling of bowing the left wrist.  I  use a strong left/neutral right hand.  What I find is that if I immediately in the take-away try to fully dorsi-flex my right wrist, the left will feel bowed and that's a horrible feeling for me and throws my whole swing  off.  But if I keep the cup in my left wrist for the first couple of feet of take-away, I can then fully dorsi-flex the right wrist and this feels normal and powerful.

I do this as well.  Keeps me from slinging the club inside and behind me. When I don't keep the cup in the beginning, I can end up hitting some weak toe draw pulls with my irons.

#33 blackrabbit7191

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:00 PM

Ok, so please, give me a different drill that I can use so I can get the right wrist bend on the backswing, and am I understanding right that the left hand must be in a strong grip at address, but how is the right hand fit on the club (on top, under ?), I ask this cause I'm having problems popping my driver high and to the left, and have no idea how to fix it..........

#34 iteachgolf

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

I'm not saying left hand has to be strong, left hand will look different when right wrist is bent depending on how it's placed on the club. Right hand should be relatively neutral, hold open hand vertical and place club across hand so the first joint of your index finger is on the side of the grip and close your hand.  From there start with little swings making sure right wrist get bent in the backswing and focus on having them start at your target. Gradually make bigger swings with same goal.  

This won't cure every swing fault and isn't a magic elixir but it will help a specific issue that many people have and places focus on what's important.  Improving at golf is about prioritization.

#35 tembolo1284

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:48 AM

Dan, more articles please!

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#36 genis

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:55 AM

Thank you, great article.

#37 highergr0und

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

It is a great article....  What direction should it feel like the right palm is pointing through impact with a neutral right hand grip?  Down?  Target?

#38 Mob

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

Very helpful insight.  Thanks for posting this.
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#39 dlam

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

Good article
I also notice that cuppers have their club shaft cross the line at top while  bowers have more of a laid back shaft position
Any explanation for this?

#40 sonofagunn

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:34 PM

View Postdlam, on 06 November 2012 - 12:12 PM, said:

Good article
I also notice that cuppers have their club shaft cross the line at top while  bowers have more of a laid back shaft position
Any explanation for this?

My guess would be that cuppers (strong grips) don't rotate their forearms clockwise as much during the backswing since a strong grip is already pre-rotated, whereas the bowers have weak grips, thus rotate the forearms more to get their arms in a similar position.


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#41 hoganfan924

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

View Postdlam, on 06 November 2012 - 12:12 PM, said:

Good article
I also notice that cuppers have their club shaft cross the line at top while  bowers have more of a laid back shaft position
Any explanation for this?

That's true anatomically independent of forearm rotation.  Just experiment in front of a mirror to see how this is true.

#42 geesecougar2

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

Great article, interesting topic, and even more importantly it's high time that golf instruction embraces this way of thinking about cause and effect of individual physiology and preferences (within an acceptable range of course) rather than relying on the oral history of archaic axioms.

For future article(s), just an idea here but I am interested in learning more about shaft angle at address (from face on view), how many great drivers of the ball have the shaft leaning backwards (away from the target) with the driver at address, and what it means to take the club away with the hands leading the clubhead. It's a feeling I'm working on but I've always had a tendency when I'm off to set up to the ball too similar to impact position, resulting in way too much forward shaft lean at address and huge divots.

Thanks again!

Edited by geesecougar2, 06 November 2012 - 02:26 PM.


#43 MountainKing

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:53 PM

Kind of funny this comes up now, I've been in the process this year with my teacher of going from the Faldo position to more of where Tiger is at.   Moving my grip a bit stronger has helped accomplish this.  Ultimately I think this article proves that in the end you can be successful regardless as these three show different options at the top and they are all world class players.  What this move for me has done is move me from being a fader to a draw player but there's now less moving parts in my swing which helps since I don't have the time to practice as much.

#44 markp

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:58 PM

Great article, I myself cup my left wrist I have a strong left hand and neutral right hand grip I recently started working with a friend of mine thats a teaching pro he wants me to flatten my left wrist out. When I do that I always catch the ball in the toe of the club. I have recently taken video of my swing and I get pleanty of right wrist **** with my left wrist cupped.
As pointed out to me on another link from iteachgolf one of my biggest issues is my right arm colapses on the top of the swing.
I also have a tendancy to bring the club inside on the back swing.
Those two items I will work on as for my wrists I plan on leaving them alone.

#45 Jacob Mac

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:21 PM

I took a lesson earlier this week and my teacher pointed out that my club was really open at the top of my swing, and it stayed that way on the down swing forcing a flippy impact.  I recalled this article and cranked my right wrist in the backswing.  It made an enormous difference.  I felt like Dustin Johnson at the top of my swing, when I looked at video I just had a flat left wrist.  Long story short, I played nine today and hit 5/9 GIR and I missed two greens just off the back.  I can't remember hitting the ball so well.

One thing I noticed is that the new wrist conditioned made it much easier to swing down on the proper plane.  It felt like a lot of manipulations were gone from my swing.  Anyone else noticed this?

Edited by Jacob Mac, 21 November 2012 - 06:22 PM.


#46 zerofade

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

more please

#47 iteachgolf

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:53 AM

View Postzerofade, on 21 November 2012 - 06:52 PM, said:

more please
Plan on writing more once I can get some time to sit down and write more

#48 SattP

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:55 AM

A bit of a bump but this was a very enlightening article and I look forward to more of your insight, Dan. Good to see you posting a bit more and we're all better off with articles like the one in this thread.

#49 tkahlm

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

Its tough to say but Dustin Johnson bows, clears his body quick. Ball has no where to go but straight.
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#50 Jon Robert

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

"Should a golfer have a cupped, bowed, or flat left wrist position at the top of swing? The answer is it doesn't matter."

Johnny Miller agrees more or less. He says just don't change the angle you had at address during the swing.


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#51 Fade

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

I have been scratching my head while reading some of the other 'contributed articles' this past week..... But I really liked this one! A very nice, concise, clear presentation. And I happened to like what was said as well. Thank you very much!

#52 Hawkeye77

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:44 AM

This is fascinating, never read about this in this way anywhere before.

Most of the "articles" that have been pouring into the forums the past few months have been superficial rehashes of the issue of the week, or just seemingly created for the sake of doing so.

This is real news I can use, maybe tomorrow in Northwest Iowa in December, because there's no snow and we'll have upper 40s and the guys want to play.


#53 CrisPy3

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:35 PM

Dan,
Problem I've had for a few months that I can't shake. This has happened to me just as I realized how powerful a bent right wrist was. Also I was just striping it, so I'm not sure if I'm over doing it or what.... anyway I have a shut face at the top (P4) . I'm certain I haven't changed my grip (somewhat strong) but have tried to make it weaker and that seems to help. I've even tried to cup (dorsiflex) my left wrist on the way back but then I feel I need to reverse my wrists on the DS to get back into position. The thing is, I KNOW I'm shut at the top and subconsciously my hands are re-gripping the club. Feels terrible. Shots are low pulls that hook... (not exactly high push draws that I came to love)
Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Edited by CrisPy3, 19 December 2012 - 05:37 PM.


#54 iteachgolf

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:07 PM

Check right hand grip. Left hand can be rotated(strong) but right hand should be relatively neutral. Hold open hand on side of the shaft so first joint on index finger on lower hand is on the side of the club, then close hand. Guessing this will feel more on top of the club than normal

#55 CrisPy3

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 19 December 2012 - 06:07 PM, said:

Check right hand grip. Left hand can be rotated(strong) but right hand should be relatively neutral. Hold open hand on side of the shaft so first joint on index finger on lower hand is on the side of the club, then close hand. Guessing this will feel more on top of the club than normal

Thanks, makes sense - I'll give it a try. Also, as it relates to the topic, for the first time I can see I have a bowed left wrist (instead of my normal flat) at the top. Could my insistence of having a bent right wrist be contributing to this?
Thanks again


#56 iteachgolf

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:54 PM

Likely your right hand is stronger/more rotated than your left. Which means as you weakened grip the left hand is the one you weakened I'm guessing which made issue worse.  If anything I'd prefer to see a strong left hand with a neutral right (so right hand is weaker or less rotated than left) Changing grip will change wrist alignments

Edited by iteachgolf, 19 December 2012 - 06:55 PM.


#57 CrisPy3

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:11 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 19 December 2012 - 06:54 PM, said:

Likely your right hand is stronger/more rotated than your left. Which means as you weakened grip the left hand is the one you weakened I'm guessing which made issue worse.  If anything I'd prefer to see a strong left hand with a neutral right (so right hand is weaker or less rotated than left) Changing grip will change wrist alignments

Thanks Dan. Really appreciate it!

#58 CrisPy3

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:14 AM

View Postiteachgolf, on 31 October 2012 - 04:33 PM, said:

View Postswanry30, on 31 October 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

would love to hear more from you DC...!

next article pivot?
I could do that. Something on how open you are at impact is dependant on the location of the arms and how they work.  I'm open to ideas for future articles

+1 on the pivot please. Thx

#59 JasonFL

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

And the one thing they all have in common is that the back of their left hand and club face mirror each other.

I know for me to get my left arm, shoulders, and club shaft all on the same line at the top of my backswing (like in woods photo)....The pressure on my right wrist when its cupped needs between my index and middle finger.

#60 SunkTheBirdie

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:27 AM

View PostHAWKEYE77, on 01 December 2012 - 12:44 AM, said:

This is fascinating, never read about this in this way anywhere before.

Stronggripophobia Rx

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