The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
By Tim Horan on 8/5/14
oober Tim Horan is an Englishman who considers here some of the effects of wrist action on your swing. As usual, we hope you find his thoughts as provoking as we do. Enjoy!

I have never been a fan of Zach Johnson's golf swing. But man oh man, how effective it is from 150 yards in!

On the other hand, I could watch Bubba Watson all day long. He is like watching six golfers in one.

And then there is... boring. It used to be American college golfers... textbook-perfect swings... but not anymore it ain't. Adam Scott, great though his swing is, is — let's face it — boring, dull, nothing to observe.

Bear with me here; there is a point to the above — and it is in how each uses his wrists in performing the golf swing.

Wrist-hinge – The Good: Keeping your arms out in front, with palms vertical and together, firstly point your hands downwards away from you and then upwards towards you.

Wrist-roll – The Bad: Keeping your arms out in front with palms vertical and together, rotate both hands clockwise so the palms become horizontal — and then counter clockwise, so that the right hand becomes the top hand.

Wrist-flip – The Ugly: Keeping your arms out in front with palms vertical and together, keeping the palms perpendicular to the floor angle, both hands left and right like a fish tail.

In a sound golf swing, wrist-hinge should be the only conscious wrist movement. It should be present at address, as your spine angle increases and your hands get lower.

The wrist-hinge should then keep the club head outside the line in the early stages of the takeaway and as the backswing progresses and you pick the club up, increasing wrist-hinge will get your shaft on plane until at the top it completes your backswing.

Wrist-roll will have happened as a mechanical result in the backswing and will continue unabated through downswing and into the follow-through. If the fundamentals of your swing are sound, this wrist-roll or rotation will be a natural movement needing no correction.

Wrist-flip is, to some small extent, desirable in releasing the clubhead through the ball, increasing clubhead speed through the impact zone. However, the movement is also the last-resort, subconscious movement and the bastion of that area of the brain that commands hand-eye coordination.

If your wrist-hinge (or rather, "unhinge") in the downswing is late, then the club gets "trapped" behind you, coming in flat and well inside the line. Alternatively, your lower body has fired too early, having the same effect: The hands will flip unchecked into action, with really ugly and quite diverse results. This may result in duck-hook, hard left pull, or more surprisingly a blocked right shot.

The causes are quite difficult to pin-point, as the results are so variable.

Well, Zach Johnson has found a cure: He doesn't release through the ball at all. Instead, he relies on core rotation to achieve power and speed through the ball, and to square the clubface at impact.

On the other hand, Bubba uses his hands all ways to hell and back. Some days he is unbeatable, some days not — but always entertaining to watch.

I am tempted to say here that he is flippin' brilliant.

Adam Scott? Well, just study his swing it is the best, great wrist hinge, practiced control of roll and release, a very simple swing. In fact, everything a golf swing should be... yawn!

Don't you just love this game?

This column was written by Tim Horan, a Londoner / reader / follower / fellow "oober." The opinions stated above are 100% his and do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf in any way. Enjoy! And remember, he's ready for your feedback.

Do you have an idea for a guest column? Send it here!

[ comments ]
Tim Horan says:
@Torlief and the OOBGOLF team. Thanks for pepping up this column with the video analysis.
[ post comment ]
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