At Top of Swing Demonstrates Simplicity of Wrist Action in Stroke

There is a way in which a golfer can be brought into a fairly good position at the top of the swing by making only three movements. Of course, it is not intended that he should be able to go on from there and hit a ball, but the routine does provide a valuable illustration of several important points.

The procedure is this: (l), illustrated in Figure 8. From the address position, using only the hands and wrists, lift the club-head over the right shoulder. (2) Rotate the body toward the right employing the correct foot-action and leg movement already described, and keeping the head still. (3) Raise the arms until the hands are on a level with the eyes. The result is a position from which a very good golf shot could be hit were it not that rhythm and timing are lacking.

Figure 8

Figure 8

Gives Picture of True Wrist Action

Some instructors have made use of these movements as a means of giving a pupil a “feel” of the proper hitting position to which his backswing should bring him. But I think they are of particular value because of the splendid demonstration of the simplicity of the wrist-action during the backswing. The average golfer tries to do queer things with his hands rolling his wrists or turning them under—in the effort to make his club behave as he thinks it should. But when he sees that he gets to the top quite well without any great amount of pronation or supination, he begins to under-stand better what wrist-action is required. He can see it all in the first of the three movements. Although the face of the club often appears to be “opened” by the hands, in the correct swing it is actually opened by the turning of the body, and then lifted to the top by the arms and hands. After the club-head has caught up the lag produced by the drag away from the ball, the hands move exactly as in the first movement illustrated.

Figure 9

Figure 9

Both Wrists Under Shaft at Top

Another point of importance forcibly demonstrated here, see Figure 8, is that at the top of the swing both wrists are under the shaft, the left cocked inward and the right merely flexed in the direction in which it is easiest for it to move. Here, as in a proper golf stroke, the fingers of the left hand, though maintaining a positive hold upon the club, have opened slightly to allow the angle between the left arm and the shaft to be increased.

Very few players use their hands correctly or enough. Most average golfers have “wooden wrists”, not because, as they often believe, the joints and members themselves are incapable of movement but because they are locked or placed at a disadvantage by incorrect handling. The way in which the hands are seen to move in these exercises is the only way in which they can attain a full angle of cocking. Whenever either wrist becomes humped outward, or when the back of the hand must move in the same plane as the top of the forearm, illustrated in Figure 9, the action becomes restricted.

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