2018-04-16 / Health & Fitness

Tee Box TIPS: Aim for fluidity and think less about the swing

MIKE DERO, PGA

I just had a lesson with an 80-pound 11-year-old girl who can smash 220-yard drives. How do they do it, I often get asked. The physics answer is “effective use of rotational and gravitational forces and timed levers.” This article attempts to answer the question in a way that might help your golf swing. The golf swing speed must come through your amazing wrists, but energy can’t be from your wrists.

The golf swing is a double pendulum, which means your arms swing from your shoulders and your wrists hinge from the bottoms of your arms. Timing the wrist hinge to release at the right time is the elusive goal that all golfers strive for.

The starting point for this discussion is that several of the most important timing keys will happen naturally in the golf swing as long as you attempt to swing in a circle and not fight or force the clubhead in the attempt to hit a ball and you don’t worry about the ground. Make a practice swish with the club about one foot off the ground and notice that your swing will be more fluid and free. Notice what your forearms and wrists feel like as the club swishes with acceleration. This unconscious “grip flip at the zip” (your zipper) drill is the key to an effortless swing, especially when your lower body begins to synchronize its rotation.

The wrists should hinge on the back swing about 90 degrees. They remain hinged at the beginning of the downward arc until they natu­rally release into a straight line and then rehinge fully on the follow through. What happens is that angular velocity, angular momentum, gravity, centripetal force and rotation all occur while the club arcs around the center of your body. It’s thanks to those amazing wrists.

Your wrists need to be supple and pliable, and will crack out like a whip, rollover and rehinge in less than a half second.

Here is the counter-intuitive part to avoid. The wrists need to be following flails, not leaders.

Any attempt to apply force by thrusting or rolling or speeding things up with your wrists will actually ruin the speed and force of the swing circle.

Let everything from the elbows down to your wrists just “let go.” Be free. Que sera, sera. Let the movement happen without conscious thought.

Mike Dero is director of golf, Quail Creek Country Club. He can be reached at dero@swspotlight.com

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