Improve Golf Swing – Wrist Action and Swing Performance

In order to improve golf swing performance, golfers must correctly incorporate proper wrist action into their golf swing.

For many golf instructors and their students, this is easier said than done.

To truly improve golf swing performance golfers must understand that, during the swing pattern, the mechanical action of the wrists is to be both “passive” and “reactive”. Properly applying this “passive” and “reactive” wrist action, however, is where most golfers struggle.

The reality is proper use of the wrists in the swing pattern is critical to swing timing. A mistimed swing will forever ruin your drives and your game. Get this action right however, and golfers will improve golf swing performance almost instantly!

In the book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer offers some professional instruction to help reader’s improve golf swing performance. Boomer focuses attention on the wrists and their confusing role in the golf swing.

Boomer writes;

“There is no action in golf less understood than the use of the wrists, for curiously enough we do not have to work them, but we have to let them work themselves —like the hinges on a door.

This is important because the wrists will only be used correctly when we have the right idea of their correct mechanical action. If we get the wrong idea, the opening of the wrists in the region of the ball is bound to be mistimed. You will never get perfect timing if you try to flick the club head through the ball by wrist and hand action—perfect timing will come only when the opening of the wrists is brought about automatically by the momentum of the whole swing.

To put it in another way, the movements of the feet, legs and hips belong to the active, intentioned part of the down swing; the opening of the wrists belongs to the passive, purely reactive part of it. So keep at the forefront of your mind that the hands and wrists do not and must not “nip the club head through the ball.”

The trouble in learning to let your wrists open them¬selves (which is what they must do) is, that at the top of the swing, the club head seems so far from the ball that you feel that, if you do not help it down with wrist and hand action, it will never get there—or will get there so late as to make a horrible slice. The result is that you do work your wrists, you come down too soon, and pull instead of slicing! Low ground shots to the left are most frequently due to this premature and faulty wrist action.

Now this feel of the club head being a long way from the ball and a long way from your left side is actually a most desirable one. Register it in your feel cabinet, and if you can widen the gap between the club head and your left side, do so; you can never get it too wide. The gap means that you are “coming down one after another.”

Personally I detest the word “flick”. It suggests a local effort where there should be none. That is why teachers now prefer the word “flail” to describe the function of the wrists…

…Another image that has helped some of my pupils to visualize the development of a correct swing is that (in this section of the swing) our arms and the club form a fan—the line of the left arm being one edge of the fan, the club being the other. The two are pivoted together by the wrists and (like the two edges of an actual fan) may be shut close together or opened out at quite a wide angle. We open the fan partially on the up swing, complete the opening at the beginning of the down swing—and snap together again some two feet or more past the ball.

The hands and wrists are passive agents, they are not free agents—they do not decide in which direction they shall go; they go in the arc set out for them by the turning of the pivot. This is true of the up swing as well as the down. The pivot not only provides the power, it also controls direction—guiding the club head in its correct plane through the ball. That is why a good pivot is so important.

But we must not forget that we are going to learn golf by feel; so here is a little exercise that will teach you to detect and ever afterwards to recognize the difference between feet activity and hand activity at the beginning of the back swing.

Take up your normal stance before the ball. Then without movement of feet, pivot, shoulders, or arms, take the club head back a full three feet entirely by wrist and hand movement. Note the feel. Then re-ad¬dress the ball (being careful this time to keep your left arm and the club shaft in a straight line from shoulder to club head). Now turn your body around from the knees only until your club head is a yard back again—making no use of any movement above the hips. Note the entirely different feel.

In the first case, your hands lifted the club head back; in the second, your pivot carried it back, and you will have felt at once that the latter is much the smoother and much the more consistent way. It is this carry back beginning at the pivot which I want you to cultivate“.

Learning to correctly incorporate proper wrist action into your swing pattern will dramatically improve golf swing performance!

Use Boomer’s professional tips and techniques to help guide your swing practice.

Check back soon for more articles and posts to improve golf swing performance!

The Proper Golf Swing – An Exercise to Improve Your Downswing

Every golfer wants to consistently perform a proper golf swing.

But learning the proper golf swing involves a great deal of time and practice. The process can be both overwhelming and frustrating for the golfer.

A little coaching however can greatly accelerate the golfer’s success in developing a proper golf swing.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King becomes such a “coach” to the reader. To help achieve the proper golf swing, King recommends a training exercise to better improve the golfer’s club head delivery to the ball. King refers to this exercise technique as “hitting and stopping”.

King writes:

“The art of making a delivery of the club head within the framework of a shaped swing is not one to be learned overnight. The answer is to be found in that all-important eight o’clock position of the club head as the hands arrive almost at ball level.

There is an exercise which I have proved can help enormously, though you will not find it easy to perform at first. This is the swinging of the club head down into the impact position and stopping, otherwise known as “hitting and stopping”.

The object is to increase hand-control of the club head. To allow you to stop it at impact the hands must retain control in the downswing with the back of the left hand in line with the forearm as the club head comes into the impact position.

If you find persistent difficulty in stopping the club head it can only be because the club head has been allowed to overtake the hands too early. Remember that while you are aiming to stop at impact the club must still be SWUNG down. Work on this exercise and train yourself and your hands to master it. Utilise all the phases of the movement I have outlined in the backswing and the downswing and when you bring the club head to a stop, check that your impact position left hand in line with forearm and square to the line of flight, left shoulder up, right knee folding in … is precisely the posed position we arrived at in the chapter on the downswing.

You will not be able to perform this exercise unless you keep firmly in your mind the need to WAIT FOR IT, and to keep the movement from the top smooth and unhurried.

But master it and perform it repeatedly. When you feel your hands and forearms aching as you persevere with this invaluable exercise you will know you are really achieving something.

You will be training the hands to do their work, gaining control over the shoulder-action (remember what I wrote in the chapter on the backswing?) and consolidating the delivery of the club head.

Furthermore it will help to keep the head steady. “Head up”, as rife in golf as the common cold in everyday life, is caused by hitting too early. Bear in mind the phrase, “Hit early, look early”. Better still make it the positive maxim, “Hit late, look late”.

And look at the back of the ball with BOTH eyes. You have two. Use them.”

To learn the proper golf swing, a golfer must take advantage of the knowledge and experience of professional instructors.

Try incorporating Kings “hitting and stopping” exercise into your practice routine and practice sessions.

Check back soon for more articles and posts on learning to consistently perform the proper golf swing!

Beginner Golf Instruction – Does Your Practice Session Suffer From an Iron Deficiency?

Let’s start our beginner golf instruction post with a question.

Why, in the golf bag, are there more irons than any other type of club?

It isn’t by chance or coincidence.

The irons make up the most versatile set of clubs in the golfer’s arsenal and any beginner golf instruction program should include lessons on how to maximize the potential of these clubs.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Dan Collett both believe that in any beginner golf swing instruction program, sufficient time should be devoted to learning these clubs.

They both feel mastering the irons can truly accelerate the success curve of all beginner golfers.

Littler writes;

“I can give no better advice to the novice golfer than to practice with the irons at every opportunity. Do it intelligently, with patience and persistence, and the time spent doing it will be well rewarded.

This is not to suggest that you should neglect the other phases of your game. You should strive to perfect all of your shots, but the point I wish to make here is that you should divide your time and not spend it all trying to knock the cover off the ball with a driver. If you stop to consider the fact that under the rules of golf you are allowed a maximum of 14 clubs in your bag—generally 4 woods, 9 irons, and a putter—then the mere ratio of these clubs would dictate that you spend the greatest share of your time practicing iron shots. There is versatility in these clubs, and you must find and develop that versatility to the greatest degree of skill possible. Since you have a maximum, medium, and minimum range for your short and medium irons, you should learn these ranges and variations of the iron swing so that you can become a better golfer.

You must, of course, have the desire and inclination to want to improve. A sense of pride will inspire most golfers to take lessons and work on their weak points, and I am sure that ninety-nine out of a hundred players have the desire and time to accomplish this work. The only drawback is that they do not fit this desire and time together at a common meeting place, namely, the practice tee.

For beginner golf swing instruction, time spent learning the irons is time well spent.

Beginner golf swing instruction should teach the novice golfer to understand the importance and versatility these clubs possess.

Master the irons and you’ll master your golf game!

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction.

Use Forward-Shaft Lean To Hit Crisp, Clean Shots

All golfers want to improve. Those serious about doing so take golf lessons from professionals or study golf tips offered in books, magazines, and newsletters, like mine.

Usually, the golf lessons and golf tips focus on swing flaws. Refining your swing to eliminate flaws is a great way to improve ballstriking. Understanding how club design dictates the quality of impact is also a great way to improve ballstriking. In fact, it may be just as good, if not better than, working at eliminating swing flaws.

When we discuss club design, we usually talk clubhead size or shaft materials. These can affect your ballstriking and shot distance. But here we want to discuss a different aspect of club design.

A club has three key design features:

* shaft lean toward target,

* significant lie (or shaft lean toward body),

* center of gravity These features exist in every club, even your putter.

They contain secrets on how to swing your drivers, wedges, and irons to improve your ballstriking, if we interpret them correctly. In other words, if we look at the features closely, we’ll see how they dictate proper golf swing mechanics. Shaft Lean Toward Target Shaft lean is the first, and possibly the most important, club design feature to consider.

If you sole a club properly in your normal address position, you’ll see that the club sits on an angle where the handle leans slightly toward the target. The angle is important. It represents the angle at which the club must be delivered to the ball at impact to create optimal pressure.

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