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Friday, July 29, 2016

Luke Donald on Making a Good Backswing (Video)

I'm posting this video from Golf Digest and Luke Donald about the backswing simply because you may have heard conflicting advice on this subject. There are two very different approaches to cocking your wrists during the backswing, and I want you to understand how to know which one may be best for you.

Now, Luke is recommending an early wrist set in the backswing. There are a lot of instructors who teach this method, and there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, when Carl Rabito taught me the fundamentals, he taught me to make a similar move because I had problems with my takeaway.

By comparison, I now use a late wrist cock, and you'll hear a number of instructors recommend the same approach. The question becomes, how do you know which one is best for you? It may sound very confusing.

In practice, it isn't confusing at all. The key is in the length of your backswing.
  • If you have a shorter, more powerful backswing, then an early wrist set will probably work very well for you. You'll need to create the wrist cock sooner because your backswing is a bit faster. If you delay the cocking action with a shorter backswing, the amount of force on your wrists when you change direction at the top can be painful. In additon, cocking your wrists sooner can help you square the clubface better at impact.
  • But if you have a longer and more "leisurely" backswing, a late wrist set can help with your swing rhythm. Since your backswing changes direction more slowly, it won't hurt your wrists when you change direction at the top. But it will also help you keep that wrist cock -- or "lag," if you prefer -- for a longer time during your downswing.
As you can see, the idea is to match the timing of your wrist cock to the overall shape of your swing -- an early wrist cock for a faster, more compact swing and a late wrist cock for a longer, less violent one. The reason I changed from early to late is because I now make a much longer backswing than I did back then.

Are there exceptions? Of course, because there's an exception to almost everything in golf! But more times than not, this simple guideline will work well for you. Try it and see.

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