This article and the accompanying video looks at how to incite the hands-wrists-elbows to react instinctively to the free momentum of the club head into and through impact.
Inciting these instinctive moves into and through impact starts with intending to throw the club heads’ heel directly at the ball from the top;
As I’ve covered multiple times in videos, you can only TRY [intend] to get rid of the club head from the top;
– you won’t be able to get rid of it because when you push down on the handle in an effort to throw the heel at the ball [as long as the plane of the shaft and left arm are aligned as I’ve demonstrated multiple times]…
– the shaft will bow in the opposite direction to make it impossible to actually get rid of the club head too early;
- this is actually the counterintuitive “secret” to maintaining the coveted “late hit” angles seen in tour pro swing freeze frames prior to impact.
By *intending* to throw the club heads’ heel directly at the ball from the top,
> The Golgi Tendon Organs in the left elbow will signal the last 3 fingers of the left hand to curl into the left palm to instinctively protect the elbow from injury.
> The fingers’ protective action creates a left forearm supination that, while reorienting the elbow to protect it, works with the [just prior] left thumb down action causing the left wrist to bow [arch or flex].
Picture from Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons” showing left wrist flexion [arching] into impact.
> This instinctive left wrist flexion pushes the handle forward while the thumb-down [ulnar deviation] action delivers the club face down into the [grounded] ball.
The net result of these forward and downward vectors is dynamic forward shaft lean into and through impact to “trap” [compress] the ball between the club face and the ground.
To emphasize, this dynamic forward shaft lean is completely different than setting the wrists ahead of the club head and trying to hold-maintain forward shaft lean in a static manner.
The right hand is incited to instinctively react to the impending impact with the ball and Earth by,
> Bracing with a cupping [extending] of the back of the right wrist.
> This bracing action must be done while the right elbow socket continues to point outward.
This disassociation between the wrist action and the elbow socket is very different, even opposite, from the common rolling action of the forearm-elbow that creates a wide range of misses.
Also, If you roll here that will cause the right arm to disconnect from the body and this will decelerate the body pivot and force the club head to overtake the hands and cause the common flipping of the club head out in front of the shaft [leaning the shaft backward and leading to an unstable and unsafe impact].
Put another way, if you roll the right elbow socket inward, versus outward, the arms will disconnect from the body causing the pivot to stall-decelerate and the club head to whip and flip out in front of the hands for all kinds of ineffective shots.
The elbow sockets rotating outward connect the arms to the body and automatically syncs the hands-arms with the body rotation; this creates a slack-free, therefore more graceful continuous timing-free swing.
From Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons”
> Note Hogan’s insert on the above most important page to understand in all of golf instruction reads,
“Keep the elbows and arms as close together as possible throughout the entire swing.”
I am showing you how Hogan’s sage advice here can be followed if only we’d take the time to educate the hands to move in ways that articulate the arms such that they stay connected to the body through all phases of the golf swing.
> When we move the hands properly in each phase of the swing, then the arms will be made to dynamically articulate to stay connected “throughout the entire swing.”
When the hands move such that the arms disconnect from the body, then instability is created and we lose balance and the Central Nervous System [CNS] kicks in to tighten us up to slow us down so as to slow down the instability occurring…
- the CNS kind of overreacts but is just doing its job to protect us from injury;
- perhaps from a fall in this case or injury to a vulnerable wrist or elbow joint from instability at impact.
> On the other hand, when our arms stay connected, as a result of moving the hands properly, then our swing has good structure, stability and overwhelming mechanical advantage at impact;
In this case our Central Nervous System feels safe and allows,
- The body to flow rotationally [“turning in a barrel] in sync with the hands, and
- the hands to deliver a definitive precise compressive forceful strike.
Epiphanies await you if you’re open to them – and that is what it is going to take to make continuous sustainable improvement given this insight we’d do well to heed;
“Reverse every natural instinct and do the [exact] opposite of what you are inclined to do…and you will end up with a near perfect golf swing.” – Ben Hogan
Yours In Better Ball Striking,
Ted Williams, Certified Instructor – Croker Golf System