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Saturday, April 5, 2014

How to Stop Flipping, Part 1

Stephen left me a comment earlier in the week asking if I could help him stop flipping his hands. Since everybody responds to different approaches -- and since this is a common problem -- I'm going to do more than one post about the problem.

For this post I'm enlisting the help of Martin Hall. This video came from one of his recent appearances on Morning Drive. Here he tries to help Damon Hack "hit down" on the ball with an iron, which he calls de-lofting the club:

Here's the deal: To hit down on the ball at impact, your hands have to be ahead of the ball. That means they're also ahead of the club head. This drill helps you feel as if you're "dragging" the club head through impact, which will prevent you from flipping your hands.

You don't actually have to use a Sharpie on your clubs if you don't want to. Just make sure you feel as if you're hitting the ground with the front edge of the iron.

Make sure you pay attention to one thing in particular that Martin told Damon, starting around the 2 minute mark: "To you, it will appear as if your hands are outside your lead foot when you hit the ball." (Stephen, in case you haven't picked it up yet from the posts you've read, I use the terms lead and trailing instead of left and right. That way, left-handers and right-handers can use the same instructions. Your lead hand is the one closest to the target.)

A second key to help you get this down more quickly: Finish around waist high with the shaft pointing straight toward the target. Martin shows this shortly after the 3:30 mark. You simply CAN'T flip your hands if the shaft doesn't swing past your hands!

I'll have some other drills for you in a few days, but since the weather has finally gotten nice this drill will let you actually go out and hit balls. That way, you'll learn what it feels like to hit down on the ball instead of just learning positions. I'll give you some positional drills next week.


  1. Thanks Mike,

    "To you, it will appear as if your hands are outside your lead foot when you hit the ball."

    Thats a simple concept/swing thought that I can practice with.
    I like the camera shot from above, that helps a lot

    My initial thought is, it will require an active trail side of the body otherwise my back arm (right for me) wouldn't reach.
    The guy in the video gets into a very awkward position,

  2. When you're learning this move (as Damon was) you'll tend to overdo it at first. That's why it looks so awkward.

    And yes, it does require a more active trailing side of the body. Here's a thought that may help that feel more natural:

    I know you've heard instructors say that your belly button (or belt buckle) should face toward the target when you're halfway into your finish. What I want you to do is make sure your belly button is pointing almost halfway between the ball and the target when the club head reaches the ball. That should make you turn more than you're turning now and should automatically get your hands where you want them to be.

    Part of the reason you flip your hands is because you stop turning too early in your swing, then you hit the ball, then you start turning again to finish your swing. The positional drills I mentioned in this post (and will post for you next week) will help you smooth that out.