Flat Left Wrist at Impact?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Today I would like to answer a question from a regular reader of the blog:

"I'd like to ask a question about golf if I may?

In the golf machine and other conventional teaching, a lot of emphasis is placed on a flat left wrist at impact.

Is this compatible with the Mike Austin swing ?  I don't think mine is and i'm not sure if I should work towards it or not.  Your thoughts would be much appreciated."

hi Stephen!

Well, still pictures don't quite tell the story of what the left wrist should be doing at impact.  Sure, the left wrist should be flat at impact - but we should not be keying on that because we would be swinging to a position not through a position, and that makes us rigidly slow.  Thinking about the left wrist being flat at impact actually slows us down.  Mike Austin, and Hogan for that matter had this wrist position, but it is more of a timing issue.

The left wrist is acting as a free hinge through impact.  We are looking for acceleration of the hands though the hit, so we want to learn the entire motion of the left wrist from the top of the swing. 

As we start down, we will combine pronation of the left forearm with a powerful and quick ulnar deviation (uncocking force).  Through impact we are in full ulnar deviation and starting to supinate the forearm aided by external rotation of the left humerus.  This is not to square the blade up but rather to allow the clubhead to continue freely accelerating.  The left wrist hinges into extension after the ball is gone, flapping like a hinge.

Fred Couples is a great example of this wrist and forearm sequence.  Watch him on TV whenever you can - not for a second is he focusing on a flat left wrist at impact.  Although he is doing that, he is instead concentrating on whipping the clubhead through freely and loosely with the hands.

If you are arriving in a cupped left wrist state at impact, I submit that you are not releasing the club too early, but rather not making a good strong pivot over to your left leg post.  When the two motions are timed together, you are hitting the hell out of it and just coincidentally at that flat wrist position.  Good question.

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