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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nancy Quarcelino on Long Arm Pitching

Nancy Quarcelino is one of Golf Magazine's Top100 teachers and I found this video teaching what she calls "long arm pitching." She says the technique will cut your handicap in half by making 40- to 60-yard pitch shots easier.

And in case you wonder why I'm posting this, it's because it fits right in with my last few posts about Cristie Kerr and Inbee Park's golf swings, which I nicknamed the Hammer Swing. This is a classic example of a way to use it in your short game.

Quarcelino demonstrates long arm pitching

Here's a simple summary of her instructions:
  • Setup: Very narrow stance, weight slightly forward, hands slightly ahead of the ball.
  • Keep your weight on your lead foot during the swing.
  • Keep your arms extended without adding much wrist cock. (Your wrists always cock a little because your trailing elbow bends. If you don't understand why, go back to the 3rd Hammer Swing post last week.)
  • Keep your arms extended all the way through to your finish. With a swing this short, you'll stay very centered and feel as if you pivot around your lead leg. (Actually, both legs do move but you'll feel it mostly in your lead leg because that's where your weight is.)
If you're having trouble hitting your pitches cleanly, this is one very simple way the Hammer Swing can help you improve.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Emirates Australian Open

Winner: Matt Jones

Around the wider world of golf: Charl Schwartzel became the first South African to win the same European Tour event four times at the Alfred Dunhill Championship; Jung-Gon Hwang won the Casio World Open on the Japan Golf Tour; Xi-Yu Lin successfully defended her title at the Sanya Ladies Open on the LAGT/LET; Haimeng Chao won the Nine Dragons Open on the PGA TOUR China; and Jiyai Shin won the JLPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup (bangkokbobby has details).

Matt Jones with Stonehaven Cup

To paraphrase an old commercial, Matt Jones earned his title at the Emirates Australian Open the old-fashioned way...

He EARNED it. (You're supposed to really stretch out the word EARNED but I have no idea how to make that readable.)

After coming in to the final round at -10, with a 3-stroke lead over his closest competitor, he proceeded to post a bogey, a double AND a triple, all on the front nine.

That gave hope to some of the players who thought they were out of the tournament. It started when Rod Pampling went absolutely nuts, shooting a course-record 10-under 61 to post at -6. That got everybody's attention!

Then Adam Scott shot a 6-under 65 to post at -7 as Jones struggled just to get back to par.

At least playing partner and defending champion Jordan Spieth cooperated with his golf buddy. Spieth had to work just to post a par round himself -- although he did give himself an eagle putt on 18 to force a birdie from Jones if he wanted to make a playoff.

Alas, it was not to be. Jordan could only make birdie himself, posting a par round which put him at -7 as well.

But Matt Jones would not be denied. Despite all his problems he managed to birdie that final hole for a 2-over round... and a final score of -8. Oh yes, Matt earned it.

It's only Matt's second worldwide win -- he does have a PGA Tour win, the 2014 Shell Houston Open -- but this is by far his biggest, especially since it's his national Open. It got him a berth in next year's Open Championship and will likely vault him into the OWGR Top50, which should get him into the other majors. But bear in mind that this event launched its last two winners -- Rory McIlroy in 2013 and Jordan last year -- into years that were mind-numbing in their dominance. Could it do the same for Matt Jones?

I don't know, but it's gotten him one of the last Limerick Summaries of 2015. Those are rare at this point!
Down under, Jones came out on top.
He beat Spieth and Pampling and Scott
With a four at the end.
Spieth had hoped to extend
The match just one more hole. (He could not.)
The photo came from this tournament summary page at

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cristie and Inbee's Swings... The Physical Side 2

Before I go on to today's topic -- the downcock at the top of Cristie and Inbee's swings -- I want to add a bit more to what I wrote yesterday. It may help some of you catch on to this quicker.

While the movements I wrote about yesterday are actually very natural movements, some of you may have run into the problem that Bobby Jones observed (and that I wrote about in this post) -- namely, that you may have unintentionally interfered with your natural movements while trying to learn the game, and now the natural movements don't feel so natural anymore. Learning to get out of your own way again can be frustrating.

Unlike a lot of modern swings which are based on angles and positions, this Hammer Swing is based more on feel and movement. (Again, that's why some TV commentators have trouble understanding how it works.) You really don't have to learn any positions -- but if you're looking for one, the closest I've been able to come is shown in this photo, which I put in yesterday's post:

Cristie and Inbee entering the impact zone

The important "position," if you can call it that, is the relationship of your hands and trailing elbow as you enter the hitting zone, which I wrote about at length yesterday. This is what happens during the move that helps you keep your wrist cock long enough to create a lot of clubhead speed at impact.

The irony here is that it's the same position you get into during a short game shot. It's just that you aren't swinging fast during your short game! And since you aren't swinging so fast, it's easier for you to be relaxed. If you're having trouble, it's tightness that's giving you fits -- you're too tight during your full swing.

So, for those of you who found that getting into this position was a little awkward when you made a full swing, try practicing it with a pitch shot. Just swing from waist high to waist high at a comfortable speed. As you start down, your trail elbow will be separated just a little from your side, then you'll just let it drop into the "position" in the above photo and keep swinging through to waist high for your finish.

Once you feel comfortable with that, lengthen the swing to shoulder height, keeping that relaxed feeling. Gradually speed up the swing while staying relaxed until you can swing quickly and smoothly. And then, when you're comfortable with that, stretch it out to a full swing and go through the same routine. It's just a matter of learning to swing relaxed rather than tight. You aren't lifting weights here, so you don't have to create "grunt" power.

NOW let's talk about the downcocking move. Please understand that this is a very personal move -- your natural tendencies play a huge part in how you do it. You don't just say "I want to make this move the way Inbee does" because her move may not be the way you instinctively do it. As a result, my instructions may sound a bit... well, sketchy. But there's more than enough here to help you find the way you do it best.

So let's get on with it.

I don't know if you've been watching the Australian Open but if you have, you might have seen long hitter Lincoln Tighe use this downcock move during Saturday's round. He had a very restricted backswing -- no longer than the photo position Cristie and Inbee are in at the start of this post -- and he used a version of the downcock to create more clubhead speed. (And he used it very effectively too!) This is a very versatile technique once you understand it.

The downcocking move can be fast or slow, long or short, with or without a pause, in any length backswing. It's this versatility that makes it hard for some players to understand. Way back when I started this blog I did a post showing the basics of the move using a flyswatter. I'm going to use that diagram again -- I'll put it just below this paragraph so you don't have to keep going back to the old post -- to help me explain how you use it and how the variations look.

Flyswatter diagram

In this diagram I showed a large downcock, as evidenced by the flyswatter "shaft" getting nearly parallel to the ground in Figure 3, because it was both easier to illustrate and more common when using a flyswatter. But regardless of how big or small the downcock is, there are two things that always happen:
  • The hand moves slightly in the direction the backswing was moving. That's the cock.
  • The elbow moves slightly downward just after the hand starts moving. That's the down.
The combination of these two moves creates a slight downward arc that moves in the direction of the backswing and lets the club continue to cock the wrist as the arm starts the downswing. That's what happens between Figures 3 and 4, as you can see by comparing the positions of those two images in Figure 4. Simple, eh?

Obviously it's a bit more complicated in a golf swing because both hands are holding the flyswatt--uh, I mean the club, and the lead elbow isn't bent. Otherwise we wouldn't need to talk about it -- it wouldn't be any different than swinging a tennis racket. But even when we take both hands and arms into account, it's really not as different as you might think. Why?

Because, as Inbee demonstrates, neither the cock nor the down has to be very large at all. The arms and hands work as a unit, and the moves may feel more like a flexing than a bending:
  • The wrist cock may be no bigger than a wiggle.
  • Your straight lead elbow doesn't have to bend; it only needs to give a little as you start down.
  • And while you may think a pause would happen before the downcock, it may actually happen briefly BETWEEN the cock and the down.
Because a swing like this is mostly a matter of feel and movement, there are no set positions to hit at certain points of the swing. You'll have to experiment to find out what works best for you, but here are some general guidelines that will help:
  • The bigger you make the wrist cock, the slower it will be. Likewise, small wrist cocks tend to be fast wrist motions.
  • It works exactly the opposite with the elbow drop. A big drop is usually a faster drop, a small drop generally happens slower.
  • Small wrist cocks generally work best with big drops, while big wrist cocks tend to work best with small drops. Sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but think about it for a minute. A small wrist cock would be lost too quickly if you dropped your hands slowly. And a big cock/big drop combo would probably throw you off-plane and off-balance.
  • Likewise, if your downcock move includes a brief pause, the pause is most likely to come IN-BETWEEN the cock and the down if you use a large wrist cock. The larger your wrist cock, the more time you'll need to "gather yourself at the top" and make a smooth change of direction. Small wrist cocks may not include a pause at all but, if they do, the pause will most likely come BEFORE the initial cocking action.
Remember, these are only guidelines to help you find your way more quickly. You may discover that your swing works better with that big cock/big drop combo. If so, go for it. Just make sure you try the more likely combos first. It may save you some time and frustration.

And remember that you can go back to the original post and watch both Cristie and Inbee's swings -- and find videos of Stricker's swing as well -- if you need to see the swing in action to get a feel for the rhythm. Each player uses a slightly different method for the downcock, so you'll get to see a variety.

An important thing to remember is that the length of your golf swing doesn't determine what your downcocking move looks like. Take mine for instance. No matter how long or short my swing is on any particular day, and no matter how flexible I may be when making my shoulder turn, I ALWAYS end up using a big slow downcocking motion. That's what's natural to me. If I try to make a short quick one like Inbee, it feels wrong and I simply can't make it work consistently.

The idea here is to make your swing feel as natural and easy to repeat as possible. And if for some reason you can't find a downcocking move that works for you, just stick with the regular Hammer Swing. Once you start hitting that ball consistently on the sweet spot, which that swing will help you do, you'll get more distance from your swing than you might expect.

And that should be enough to get you all going. If you have specific questions, just post them in the comments below or send me an email. I'll try to give you a helpful answer.

Just remember: this is YOUR swing. Take ownership of it and it will serve you well.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cristie and Inbee's Swings... The Physical Side 1

So far I've done a post about Cristie Kerr and Inbee Park's swings, which I've decided to nickname the Hammer Swing because it uses movements that are similar to driving a nail with a hammer.

Inbee at top of swing

I've also done a post about the mindset you need to use this swing effectively.

Today we get down to the physical act of making the Hammer Swing.

I'm dividing the instruction about the physical side of the swing into two parts. Today I'll give you the basic swing -- which, btw, you can team up with the material in my Accurate Iron Play Quick Guide to become much more accurate with your distance control on your approach shots. Tomorrow I'll cover the "extra" wrist move because there's more than one way to do it and, if you know your options, you can choose the one that works best for you.

Inbee's swing probably amazes most of you as much as it does GC's Tripp Isenhour, who frequently remarks that he simply doesn't see where she creates her clubhead speed. That's because we don't recognize all the angles that are created during a golf swing. After all, we cock our wrists, we bend our trailing elbow, we twist our shoulders, we drive our legs, etc. -- and we don't understand the cumulative effect.

Clubhead speed is NOT created by wrist cock alone. Let me give you a better appreciation for just how much you're doing without even trying. Here's Inbee at setup. When she actually hits the ball, the club shaft will be in line with her lead arm. I've added a white line to demonstrate how much wrist cock she gets just by setting up.

Inbee at setup

As you can see, she already has some wrist cock to start her backswing. Everybody gets some wrist cock at the start. It's natural and automatic.

You also get a lot of "cock" from bending your trailing elbow. If Inbee were to do that in her setup position -- without turning her shoulders, which adds speed in its own way -- the shaft of her club would point somewhere between straight up and back over her shoulder. That's important because your trailing elbow doesn't straighten out until just before impact, which gives it a major effect on how much effective wrist cock you have in the impact zone. We'll come back to that in a moment.

Your shoulder turn and natural leg movements also create clubhead speed. That can be hard to visualize, so just be aware of it. You'll also note that Cristie and Inbee have very upright swing planes -- Inbee's is extremely upright -- but that helps them create more speed as it's easier to use gravity that way. My point is that you have plenty of natural "wrist cock" in your swing to begin with.

Bear in mind that we want to stay as relaxed as we can when we swing. Relaxed muscles can move more quickly -- that's something any martial artist or track and field athlete can tell you -- and ultimately we're interested in creating speed here, not the "grunt" effort we equate with power.

Which brings us to acceleration. Most of you think acceleration means starting your downswing by jerking the club up-to-speed as quickly as possible. But think about this for a moment. Let's say you manage to create your maximum swing speed with that move (and without jerking the club off-plane). If you're already at max speed, how can you accelerate during your downswing? All you can do is slow down.

To accelerate the clubhead, you have to start down slowly -- which helps keep you on-plane -- and speed up as you get closer to the ball. To do that, you have to maintain that natural wrist cock as long as possible. How do you do that?

By keeping your trailing elbow bent as long as possible. Here's another quote from the Jeff Flagg article I mentioned in the last post:
WHAT AM I THINKING ABOUT WHEN I SWING? My only real thought is, Right hand and arm drive the swing. That's it. I'm literally trying to make a sidearm throwing motion—like a 3-6-3 double play in baseball. If more golfers swung with the same motion, as if they were skipping stones, they'd pound the ball.
Since Flagg is a rightie, his right arm is his trailing arm. And this is his key thought for developing speed. Why?

If you take your setup position -- with both arms straight -- and then bend your trailing elbow while keeping your lead arm straight, your wrists will cock. Straighten your trailing elbow and your wrists will uncock. Your wrist cock is controlled by the bend in your trailing elbow.

So if you want to create more clubhead speed, you need to keep your trailing elbow bent until you reach the impact zone. And you need to use your hands and arms in order to do that.

Here, take a look at Cristie and Inbee at impact, taken from the videos in my original post. Cristie's elbow doesn't look quite as bent but that's because it's bent more toward the camera while Inbee's is bent more toward the target. Everything about Inbee's swing seems a bit unusual, doesn't it?

Cristie and Inbee at impact

To create this move, your trailing elbow has to move slightly in front of your chest during your downswing. If you have trouble, I bet it's because you're trying to keep your elbow ahead of your trailing hand. DON'T! Look at both Cristie and Inbee -- their trailing hands are AHEAD of their elbows! Practice moving your hand and elbow together, so that if you stand in front of a mirror it looks like your hand is on a straight line between the mirror and your elbow. Here's another pic of Cristie and Inbee during the downswing, just as their shoulders turn square to the ball. See how their hands are even with their trailing elbows?

Cristie and Inbee entering the impact zone

Just to make sure you understand where their trailing elbows are in relation to their bodies... From this photo angle their elbows look like they're laying against their bodies, but those elbows are actually extended toward the camera. You could see that from a down-the-line view; it's not that different from their setup positions.

The easiest way to practice this is to get your arms up to the top of your backswing -- lead arm straight, trail arm bent -- and practice swinging your hands down to waist high without altering their positions. That includes keeping your elbows the same distance apart as they swing down. Don't turn your shoulders when you first try this! It will feel as if you're swinging your hands in a diagonal line from above your trail shoulder to your belly button -- almost like a slashing move with a sword. When you actually swing a club and your whole body is turning, this move will look like an arc.

One other thing to notice here. See how the upper part of Cristie and Inbee's leading arms are pressed against the side of their chests? This is connection, and Hogan wasn't the first to teach it; I've found it taught in a Harry Vardon book from 1907. You don't twist your forearms to square the club; you roll your lead shoulder. Here's how to learn what that feels like:
Stand up and straighten your lead arm against your side like you're standing at attention. Then bend your lead elbow 90° so your forearm points straight ahead of you. Now, while you keep your upper arm against the side of your chest, make a sweeping motion with your lead forearm back and forth across your chest from left to right to left to right -- you know, like you're backhanding something.
Once you get used to that, straighten your lead arm again and make the same motion but with your hand swinging up and down as your upper body turns "away from and then toward the target." Your upper arm "rolls" up your chest on your backswing, then "rolls" down your chest during your downswing and separates during your finish. (That rolling motion helps square the clubface during your downswing.) This is how your shoulder should feel as you swing the club through the impact zone.
It's much simpler to do than to explain. Combine that diagonal arm move with the shoulder roll and do them together as you make your shoulder coil; the result should feel pretty natural. The diagonal arm move won't "swing parallel" to your toe line until you combine it with the shoulder turn -- by itself, your hands will move out away from you at first, then in toward your lead hip as you near "impact." But if you get comfortable with the diagonal move first you'll find it's very easy to square your hands at the impact position when you add the shoulder turn.

And you'll wonder why it seems so much easier this way, so I'll tell you. Because you haven't added any wrist cock besides what happens naturally, squaring the back of your lead hand at impact also happens more naturally.

Because you're using your arms so much, you can use shafts that are a little softer. Exactly how much softer depends on how strong you are, of course, but back before Hogan became "the guy," most folks turned to a book called How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time by the legendary Tommy Armour, aka the Silver Scot. (He taught Babe Didrikson Zaharias, among others.) And one of the things that Armour advised his students was to get shafts that were a bit softer than they thought they needed because it would help their feel and rhythm. You can certainly play with stiffer shafts, but that's worth knowing.

Okay, there's plenty more I could write -- maybe I'll do a Quick Guide about it -- but this should be enough to get you started. This is a very natural way to swing, once you learn to trust your feel, and you'll find that the correct way for you is generally the way that feels best.

Tomorrow I'll teach you some of the ways you can add that little "downcock" move that adds some extra zing to your shots.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Cristie and Inbee's Swings... The Mental Side

I noticed that, based on the number of hits it got, a lot of you were interested in the post I did on that unusual "quirk" in Cristie Kerr and Inbee Park's swings. (We could add Steve Stricker to that group, as well as a number of other players who use variations of their method.) And I think your interest is a good thing because, to paraphrase an old saying, "one swing does NOT fit all."

Inbee Park at top of swing

So, for the next couple of days I'm going to try and teach those of you who are interested what you need to know in order to make a swing like this your own. It's really not that hard but it does require you to know some things that instructors don't often talk about on TV or in books.

In my original post I wrote that learning this swing is "as much a mental adjustment as a physical one." Tomorrow we'll look at how the physical adjustments work but today I'll focus on those mental adjustments. And understanding these mental adjustments will probably help improve your existing swing as well, no matter what it looks like.

The more I study the differences between classic swings and modern swings, the more I realize that the differences are caused by THE SHAFTS. The classic swing developed around soft but inconsistent shafts, the modern swing around consistent but stiff shafts. The classic swing fell out of favor not because it was an inferior swing but because the equipment was inferior. Without going into a lot of detail -- I can do that later if you guys tell me you need it -- the fact is that now we have soft shafts that are as consistent as stiff shafts, so these days we have a choice.

However, these days we also have a new problem: Modern golf has become brainlocked because of an obsession with Hogan and Trackman. Don't misunderstand me -- I'm not saying Hogan or Trackman are evil! But Hogan's technique demands stiff shafts, so Trackman studies focus on stiff shaft performance, so no one takes soft shaft technique seriously anymore -- even though Hogan's technique hasn't created a huge number of major winners.

To see what I mean, look at this Wikipedia list of golf's major winners. You'll see that very few of the multiple major winners have followed Hogan's lead -- which, if Hogan's approach was really that much more superior, you'd see more multiple winners who use Hogan's approach. After all, Hogan's techniques are nearly 60 years old now, which is plenty of time for them to have demonstrated their dominance.

Instead, just going down through the 5-time winners, the only ones that would likely fall in that category are Tiger (for his later majors under Haney), Hogan (of course), and perhaps Gary Player and Nick Faldo. If one player has had more influence than any other on major winners, it would appear to be either Bobby Jones or Sam Snead... and both originally played soft shafts, which affected Snead's technique even after he changed to steel.

The reason I spent so much time on this is because soft shaft technique requires a different mental focus than stiff shaft technique. "Softies" tend to focus on hand and arm movement while "Stiffies" focus on lower body movement. And this focus difference has a huge effect on how we swing the club.

Why is this true? It's all about loading the shaft. Soft shafts loaded easily, so players focused on controlling how much they loaded with their hands and arms. But it takes a lot more force to load a stiff shaft, so players had to create more power during their swing... and hands and arms alone just aren't strong enough to do that.

So -- and this is the important mental point -- "Stiffies" (like Hogan) built their games on developing power to load the shaft, which then had to be converted to clubhead speed. But "Softies" didn't have to worry about loading the shaft, so they simply focused on speed. If you follow that line of development out, the "Softies" ultimately end up with a simpler swing since they only have to worry about one thing... but the difference in focus makes the swing feel different.

Which brings us to Cristie and Inbee's (and other similar players') swings. Although everybody is using their whole body to make their swing, and while the fundamentals they use are all basically the same, what they actually THINK ABOUT during their swings can be very different. So if you want to swing more like Cristie or Inbee, you'll probably have to focus differently than you do now.

Let me flash you back to some recent posts I've done, featuring thoughts from some very different players at different points in time.
  • From What Bobby Jones Said About Slow-Motion Video: "...But even slow-motion pictures need interpretation. The one great difficulty from the standpoint of the average golfer has been in separating the consciously controlled movements from those that are purely instinctive."
  • From Jeff Flagg on Hitting It Long: "IN TRUTH, MY HIPS LEAD THE DOWNSWING. But I don't think about that. They just do. Do you think pitchers, quarterbacks or javelin throwers think about clearing their hips before they throw? Their arms dictate all of that motion subconsciously." (Remember, Flagg was the 2014 REMAX Long Drive Champ.)
  • From Why Shoulder Turn Is Important: "If we just get our shoulders fully coiled at the top of our backswings, then starting the downswing with our lower bodies is the most natural thing in the world. A full shoulder coil stretches the muscles of your torso, and that tension causes you to shift your weight back and then drive your legs forward to start your downswing."
All of these posts -- and I could find a dozen more if I needed to -- tell us how mental focus during the swing creates the proper fundamentals.

If you want to try a swing more like Cristie or Inbee's, you'll still end up using your whole body -- which includes your hips and legs, of course -- but you'll have to start thinking more about your hands and arms.

To build on what Jones was saying about slo-mo video, you tend to EXAGGERATE what you focus on. When you focus on your hips and legs, you tend to exaggerate the movements -- and since those movements affect your balance and stability, focusing on those movements results in more inconsistent contact. When you try to consciously control movements that should happen subconsciously, you overdo them and get results you didn't plan on.

When you try to swing like Cristie and Inbee -- and Stricks and all those other players -- you'll need to focus more on your hands and arms, which (as Flagg said) is what you naturally do when you play other sports. Using your hands and arms this way is so natural to you that you focus less on movements and more on TARGETS, and that helps you keep it all in balance.

Tomorrow I'll give you some help learning the physical side of swinging like they do. It's really not hard once you understand what you're trying to do.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!

Even if you don't live in the US -- where we have a national holiday to remind us that we have a lot to be thankful for -- all of us can think of something good in our lives. I hope all of you can think of a lot of good things and find time to celebrate them today!

Disney Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Tip from Cristie Kerr (and Inbee Park)

Cristie Kerr, like most of the successful golfers on the pro tours, has a unique swing. Since she won this past week, I thought it might be fun to take a quick look at something in her swing that most of you probably would never think about doing in yours.

In fact, Inbee Park does this as well. We'll take a quick look at both of them. I'm including some video footage of both players -- three videos in fact -- and I'll tell you what to look for. We'll start with the Playing Lessons with the Pros show that Cristie did for GC a few years back.

And yes, this is the entire show... but back then it was only a half-hour, which means it's about 20 minutes or so when you remove the commercials. There's a lot of good material in this show but we're only going to focus on about 20 seconds of it, starting at around the 1:40 mark. That section shows Cristie hitting an iron to the green.

What I'd like you to notice is that Cristie doesn't really cock her wrists during her backswing. Isn't that odd? This move is part of the reason she's so accurate. But you'd think that would make her an extremely short hitter, wouldn't you? Yet Cristie averaged nearly 255 yards off the tee this season... and Cristie is only 5'3" tall.

Now there's a little trick to this, of course, but you can't see it so well with this short iron swing. So I've pulled up a YouTube video of Cristie hitting driver at the 2014 CME Group Tour Championship a year ago. The longer driver swing makes it easier to see what's happening, especially in the slow motion part.

There! Did you see it? Although she doesn't cock her wrists on the way back, she DOES cock her wrists a little as she starts down. This is an excellent way to make a small amount of wrist cock last much longer into the downswing.

And despite what you may think, it's not all that difficult to do. The trick is simply to relax your wrists a bit as you start down. The change of direction takes care of creating that small wrist cock if you do. Take the club back slowly, and don't let the club flop around at the top. Then, as you change direction, relax your wrists and forearms for a moment and that little wrist cock will happen.

Now, if you listen to Golf Central, you've probably heard Tripp Isenhour say (many times) that he simply doesn't understand how Inbee Park creates any power with her swing. Inbee is 5'6" and she averages 248 off the tee, nearly as much as Cristie, despite having a much slower swing. Well, just take a look at this video of Inbee hitting driver. As an interesting side note, Lydia Ko's driver swing is shown here as well. Lydia is 5'5" and also averages 250, but notice how much more effort she has to put into her swing to get the same results as Inbee:

It's not just about how fast you swing the club, folks. It's about how you use it. A golf club is a tool for driving balls, just like a hammer is a tool for driving nails. This little "lag" move at the start of the downswing is very much like the way a carpenter swings a hammer. And because you cock your wrists as you start down, you don't have to jerk the club from the top in order to get more clubhead speed.

Cristie and Inbee both use this move. It's not a big move so it doesn't show as much as the clubs get shorter because the shorter shafts don't flex as much. But this also makes it much easier to deliver clubhead speed to the ball with accuracy, so you'll hit more fairways and greens.

This is something that's worth practicing. It's not hard to learn but you do have to stick with it until you get it. It's as much a mental adjustment as a physical one. But it can really help you poke that ball out there!