Tip of the Month
Flat Left Wrist – You can kid yourself but you can’t kid the ball
Of all the Key alignments in the golf swing, the most elusive and indispensable alignment of all is that of the Flat Left Wrist. It is the Key alignment that destroys any hopes of playing good golf. It is the Key alignment that drives golfers to the lesson tee for assistance but is the Key that usually is not addressed. When it is addressed it is usually done so in a manner that is one of constraint and restriction rather than a dynamic and athletic motion.
Without a Flat Left Wrist, or its equivalent, a golfer may have a fleeting amount of success but sooner or later the lack of both knowledge and training of this Key will have the golfer constantly searching and never achieving steady improvement.
At Purestrike Golf Academy, today and forever, this is the main theme of our instruction system. The Flat Left Wrist theme has been stated, worded and reiterated over the years and again we will do so today. If you do not consider any other mechanical aspect of the golf swing, most of you, or at least many of you, will break 90 and then 80, by simply learning how to develop the Key alignment of the Flat Left Wrist.
From Driver to Putter, if you are struggling with your game, it basically stems from a faulty movement pattern and from faulty hands. You can swear on a stack of Rules of Golf that you did not bend your Left Wrist but, you can keep kidding yourself but you cannot kid the golf ball. The only bullet-proof vest for good performance on the golf course is……a visibly Flat and Vertical Left Wrist through impact.
The definition of a Flat Left Wrist in the golf swing is one that assures that the left arm and the clubshaft form a straight line.
Instructors, as well as those who are avid students of the golf swing, will many times see very talented golfers who have a slight bend in the wrist. The bend viewed in this instance is one of a physical nature which still achieves the left arm and clubshaft forming a straight line. This is what is termed as an equivalent Flat Left Wrist.
What a Flat Left Wrist Isn’t
The Flat Left Wrist alignment is not one of restriction or constraint. It is not the maintaining of anything frozen or locked but rather freedom of movement, power and speed. It is dynamic.
At address the majority of golfer’s setup with the grip end of the club pointing somewhere at the navel. This places the wrist alignments where the right is flat and the left is bent.
At impact all the greatest ball strikers in the game have their hands under the left shoulder. To achieve this alignment this requires the left wrist to go from bent (at address) to flat at impact and during the impact interval.
What Makes the Flat Left Wrist a Key?
It is the design of the golf club which requires that the left wrist must be flat at impact and during the impact interval. This can be seen clearly by doing the following. Take a golf club and place it on a flat surface with the sole (bottom of the golf club) flat. Observe when you perform this test of how much the shaft is leaning forward.
On the lesson tee we see the opposite of this even in a simple 2-foot chipping motion. We observe golfers who have the clubhead passing the hands which in turn places the clubshaft in a leaning back rather than a leaning forward alignment. This effectively changes the golf club, designed for striking a golf ball, into another type of instrument used to perform a different task. Many times we refer to this as changing the golf club into a “pooper scooper”.
There are times when a particular specialty shot is required when the skilled golfer can manipulate the golf club and the flat left wrist alignment to achieve a certain effect.
How to Train
- Envision hitting under an obstruction in front of you such as a tree limb
- Practice hitting irons out of divots and sand bunkers
- Practice hitting low punch shots
- Have the clubshaft leaning forward as you hit the ball
- Make a lowercase “y” through impact rather than an uppercase “Y”
- To feel the proper flat left wrist extend the shaft/grip up the left forearm. This is even better than an extended shaft smacking you on the ribs.
The whole essence of golf is this. If I can help you learn to swing through the golf ball while maintaining a Flat Left Wrist, you’ll be light years ahead of the majority of golfers and well on your way to shooting lower scores.
Do you desire to get better? For many golfers, though they desire to have a better game, they do nothing to change their swing. Bottom-line? It’s impossible to get better without change. Together, let’s start making the effective changes so you can develop a game that you can be happy with.
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