Part of the Route 67 series
Yes, today we're going to talk about the REAL secret move in golf. It's the move that causes most of the differences between one teacher's technique and another's.
I call it the REAL secret because nobody really talks about it. If a teacher mentions it, they just assume that it's obvious... and yet sometimes I wonder if they really understand how much it shapes the differences between the various swing methods.
If you follow what I'm talking about over the next few posts, you'll be able to quickly figure out if a tip you saw on TV or heard from a pro will really work with your swing, or whether you should look elsewhere for help.
Intrigued? Good. Stick with me for a moment.
We already talked about how easy it is to make a short game swing with no conscious wrist action; that's something anybody can do. We've talked about how having your wrists cocked until you're almost ready to hit the ball is the secret of power in your swing; that was the whole point of the "swoosh move" posts. And hopefully you tried a full swing using that "no conscious wrist action" swing and found you could get a good amount of distance for very little effort. So far, so good.
But I probably left the impression that you'd have trouble making a power swing with this technique. I hope you tried it; if you did, you understand why: Your wrists start uncocking almost from the moment you start your downswing.
That's not a completely bad thing. If you look at the posts in my "Basic Principles of the Game" category, you'll find that this short-game-swing-stretched-long is what I call an approach shot, and I spent 4 posts describing it as "The Deadhanded Approach Shot" (which you can find on the "Some Useful Post Series" page). That gradual uncocking of the wrists gives you a great amount of distance control, which is why it works so well for both the short game and for improving your GIR percentage from the fairways.
But if you want to hit the ball as far as possible, it's a bad thing. To hit the ball as far as possible, you've got to keep your wrists from uncocking until your hands are down near the ball. How can you get your wrists to cock at the top of the backswing, but not uncock until you reach the hitting area during the downswing?
That's what the REAL secret move in the golf swing is: It's the move that keeps your wrists from uncocking before they get close to the ball.
Now here's the trick: There is no one way to do it, but the way you choose will shape your entire golf swing.
Over the next few posts, I'll be looking at some of the different methods golfers have devised to solve this problem. If you can identify which method is being used by a given teacher, you can decide if that teacher can possibly help your game. This will both save you time and help you avoid a lot of frustration.
I bet you'll recognize the first one immediately, but you probably didn't realize it was meant to solve this problem...