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jboren

A Couple of Questions from a Self-Taught Golfer--first post

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Hello everyone! I'm a long time reader, but this is my first post.

I started playing golf last June while on summer break from college. I'm self-taught, piecing together advice from various sources (mostly the Internet, but a few single digit handicappers as well) to create the swing that I have now. Over the last year, I've changed from swinging mostly with my arms to now swinging with a shoulder/hip turn. I can't really post a video of my swing at this time, but I have some general questions that I hope someone can answer.

High Trajectory:

I have always hit very high shots with all of my clubs. I hit a 9 degree Cleveland Classic 290 as high as most people I play with hit their 5 wood or 5 hybrid. While at the range today I bombed one drive 300 yards (as measured with a google maps distance calculator that I found after some googling) but I don't think that it got very much roll based on the trajectory it came down at. It was also a 30 or so yard slice so that probably took some distance off as well I assume. I was playing on a level range with a 5-7mph wind at my back. My problem is that when I do hit lower trajectory shots (what I would call a normal trajectory) I don't come near that. I probably carry those 260 and get 20 additional yards of roll. I guess my question is why do my high trajectory shots go further than a standard trajectory shot. It seems like the opposite should be true (from what I've read). It seems hard for me to believe that I just don't get good contact every time I hit a lower trajectory shot. I was thinking ball spin might play into this...can anyone help me out?

**btw I am really not trying to impress anyone with these numbers. I've read many posts where people argue over high handicappers hitting 300 yard drives. This is not my average drive distance, and I realize that longer hitting almost never equates to a low score--the goal of this great game. I will be the first to tell you that I am not good at golf. I shoot over 100 almost every time I go out--typically well over 100 on relatively short courses. However, I truly love this game and have a strong desire to get better at it. I'm learning that I'm much more accurate and consistent when I don't swing so quickly, but eventually I would like to find a middle ground between power and accuracy.

Wrist hinge:

I used to struggle with pushing all my shots right (typically with a slight fade to a severe slice--but always pushed). This year, I have been setting up with a flat left wrist (I'm right handed) at address with the club shaft forward of the ball. Basically I just turn my shoulders and don't try not to move my wrist at all. I've gone from pushing the ball right regularly to hitting slight draws or slightly pulling the ball (not near as severe as my pushes and fades/slices used to be though. Is this something I should continue doing or not?

I've read about a wrist hinge, but I must not understand something about it. It seems to me that I can't have a wrist hinge while keeping a flat left wrist--both things that I have been advised to do. Is the wrist hinge just an upward hinge and not a bent wrist hinge like what Dustin Johnson does? Am I losing power by not doing a wrist hinge? It it something I must be doing, but not realize it?

Thanks in advance everyone!

Sorry for the long post. If something doesn't make sense, please forgive me and ask questions. I cut a great deal out and rewrote it a bit after realizing how long it was. It was at least twice as long as it is now. haha

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Haha fail on my first post. I just read the post a few before mine talking about "how high should I hit my driver?" Sorry for making a rookie mistake. However, my question IS slightly different since I'm wondering why my standard trajectory shots don't go near as far as some of my high shots. However, since I've not been on a launch monitor I guessing you all probably can't give me accurate answers to my question. Sorry again!

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If you are hitting the ball as far as you say, you are using some wrist hinge.
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Thanks for your reply!

Like I said I definitely don't hit it that far every time. I edited out a large portion about this. Most of the time I hit it around 270 (total distance).

I guess I just don't understand what the wrist hinge is. Is it hinging the wrist so that the palm side of my hand becomes closer or further from my forearm or hinging the wrist so the thumb/pinky sides of my hand come closer to my forearm?

And just so I'm sure I understand, wrist hinge adds power to your swing? Am I correct in assuming that I need to incorporate a wrist hinge in my full swings, but not my pitches? Or do most people perform pitch shots with a wrist hinge?

Thanks again!

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Originally Posted by jboren

High Trajectory:

I have always hit very high shots with all of my clubs. I hit a 9 degree Cleveland Classic 290 as high as most people I play with hit their 5 wood or 5 hybrid. While at the range today I bombed one drive 300 yards (as measured with a google maps distance calculator that I found after some googling) but I don't think that it got very much roll based on the trajectory it came down at. It was also a 30 or so yard slice so that probably took some distance off as well I assume. I was playing on a level range with a 5-7mph wind at my back. My problem is that when I do hit lower trajectory shots (what I would call a normal trajectory) I don't come near that. I probably carry those 260 and get 20 additional yards of roll. I guess my question is why do my high trajectory shots go further than a standard trajectory shot. It seems like the opposite should be true (from what I've read). It seems hard for me to believe that I just don't get good contact every time I hit a lower trajectory shot. I was thinking ball spin might play into this...can anyone help me out?

Generally the best way to get the most out of your drives is high launch - low spin. Higher trajectory without adding a lot of spin comes from hitting up on the ball and from making contact higher on the driver face.

So chances are your higher trajectory shots are just more optimal than your lower trajectory ones. A launch monitor could help show the numbers to back this up, and video of your swing could help explain what you're doing that causes these results.

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Take my words with a grain of salt as I'm not a very experienced player, but...

Wrist hinge is basically the angle created between the club you are holding and your forearm. Maintaining a higher angle during the downswing and releasing it at the right time will help to optimize your club speed. It's hard to describe in words without showing you exactly when that time is, but a quick youtube search will give you plenty of results.

I like to think of a trebuchet. It gets much more power compared to a catapult because it has additional level which generates snap and thus, more speed.

However, maintaining that angle is the hard part.  From my experience, and I may be wrong, maintaining this angle is very much a result of proper swing mechanics and not something that is done consciously.

I hope that helps!

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Thanks everyone! I've been reading some other threads and looking at Youtube videos and I believe I am correct in assuming the wrist hinge or wrist cock is the bending of the wrist toward the thumbside forearm along the pinkie-thumb plane of the hand. That sounds confusing now that I've typed, but I think I got it.

I'm a picker of the ball and I think I haven't been maintaining my wrist hinge like most people who take proper divots do. Without slowmotion video it is hard for me to be sure. I may be brushing the top of the grass after the ball with my irons, but I think my high launch may be the result of not doing that. I believe I am slightly casting the club on most of my hits and only occassionally maintaining what might be considered a proper wrist hinge.

I'll try and post a video of my swing eventually, but the only camera I have access to is the one on my cell phone.

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Originally Posted by 14ledo81

If you are hitting the ball as far as you say, you are using some wrist hinge.

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Originally Posted by logman

It's pretty unlike he's hitting it that far without wrist hinge.. and also because most golfers hinge their wrists

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Originally Posted by onephenom

It's pretty unlike he's hitting it that far without wrist hinge.. and also because most golfers hinge their wrists

I agree, because I'm sure it would take a crazy swing speed to be able to do it without wrist hinge. While I think I have a driver swing speed over 100mph, I definitely do NOT think even my fastest swing speed is over 120mph.

Since I bought clubs without getting fitted, I'm unsure how to get my swing speed accurately checked where I live. There is a Dick's Sporting Goods, an Academy Sports and Outdoors, and a Golf Galaxy. I'm unsure how accurate the first two would be based on what I've read about their clubfitting, and I've heard GG is expensive--more so than it should be to just use their launch monitor.

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