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Left Wrist & Clubface Control - i'm confused....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Okay, so i understand that twisting/rolling the wrists/forearms (supination and pronation) opens and closes the clubface.  This is easy to see by doing either move in the takeaway and observing what happens to the clubface.

 

What i don't understand is how cupping the left wrist (dorsiflexion) during the backswing opens the face and why bowing the left wrist (palmar flexion) during the backswing closes the face.  I can relate a bowed left wrist to a delofted impact position (a la Hogan) and a cupped left wrist to a flip impact condition which adds loft.....but i don't see these as closed and open face respectively, i only see these as delofted or lofted clubheads, independent of how square the clubface is.

 

So, i'm hoping some of you wise students of the game can help me get my head around this issue!  Help appreciated....

post #2 of 13

i'm not sure, its not something i thought about, but i am going to take a guess. The bow and cupping of the wrist don't cause as much open and face closing as the forearms but they do. grip the club with your left hand, take your stance, and then keeping your left arm still (hold it with the right hand if you can't), just cup and bow the wrist. You see that the clubface moves laterally down the line, not around the body. Now for regards to open and closing a clubface, think of this on the golf plane, that moves around your body. If you at impact, you add loft, but you also change the impact position along the arc, meaning the clubface relative to your swing path will now be open compared to if you didn't. If you bow your left wrist, you change your impact position, and the clubface will be closed. 

 

So really its just something you have to be concious about in the swing. I believe i heard announces say Dustin Johnson, who bows his left wrist, has to hold off rotating the clubface through because if he does he will duck hook the ball. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

i'm not sure, its not something i thought about, but i am going to take a guess. The bow and cupping of the wrist don't cause as much open and face closing as the forearms but they do. grip the club with your left hand, take your stance, and then keeping your left arm still (hold it with the right hand if you can't), just cup and bow the wrist. You see that the clubface moves laterally down the line, not around the body. Now for regards to open and closing a clubface, think of this on the golf plane, that moves around your body. If you at impact, you add loft, but you also change the impact position along the arc, meaning the clubface relative to your swing path will now be open compared to if you didn't. If you bow your left wrist, you change your impact position, and the clubface will be closed.

 

So really its just something you have to be concious about in the swing. I believe i heard announces say Dustin Johnson, who bows his left wrist, has to hold off rotating the clubface through because if he does he will duck hook the ball. 

I'm sure it all makes sense, saevel, but i didn't understand this bit. b4_blushing.gif

 

I've been playing around with it in front of a mirror and have some new thoughts.  It strikes me that cupping the wrist during the backswing changes the shaft plane.  Specifically, it gets steeper, so that at the top of the backswing you are above the plane.  So you come down over the top, approaching impact on an out-to-in path, and so you have to open the clubface relative to this path to square the face to target.  Hence a fade/slice.

 

Similarly, if you bow the wrist during the backswing, this flattens the shaft plane, so at the top of the backswing your bowed left wrist puts the shaft under the plane.  From here you approach impact from the inside, on an in-to-out plane, and so you have to close the face relative to this path in order to square the face to the target.  Hence a draw/hook.

 

In summary, i'm wondering if it is the effect on the shaft plane more than the effect on the face of cupping/bowing during the backswing, that leads to compensatory adjustments to the face (opening or closing it) at impact.

post #4 of 13

Well wouldn't that be relative if the person is on plane or not? What if that person has a very upright swing, then bowing of the wrist would put them on plane? 

 

Honestly i don't think it matters, all that matters is a flat left wrist at impact. There's probably players who can go from a bowed left wrist to an over the top move and hit a slice. I honestly think its much like the grip, if the position is causing you a problem, then fix it, if not then its not really that important in the long term. 

post #5 of 13
This is a very confounding issue that I have been trying to figure out for some time. What I have come to believe is that the least amount of hand involvement in the golf swing the better. If you are moving your wrists during the back swing than you are adding another variable to correct for during your downswing. My only positive knowledge regarding supernation/flexion in the golf swing is at impact. It results in solid contact.
post #6 of 13

You will have wrist movement no matter what, don't turn this thread into another, "Keep the face square to the path" crap. It doesn't happen, you can't make a full swing doing it, the clubhead will rotate 90 degrees from its set up position at address. The problem people have is, if they rotate there forearms and get the clubhead behind the ball. You can get the required forearm rotation and keep the clubhead on plane. Pro's do it. 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Top teachers believe it does matter a great deal in that it influences your chances of achieving the desired impact position.  Martin Chuck, for example, says that it is very difficult to play good golf from a cupped left wrist at top of backswing position.  A few tour pros have a bowed left wrist at the top (Johnson, McDowell), but a cupped left wrist at the top is extremely rare.  I'm keen to understand why, the cause and effects.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

You will have wrist movement no matter what, don't turn this thread into another, "Keep the face square to the path" crap. It doesn't happen, you can't make a full swing doing it, the clubhead will rotate 90 degrees from its set up position at address. The problem people have is, if they rotate there forearms and get the clubhead behind the ball. You can get the required forearm rotation and keep the clubhead on plane. Pro's do it. 

Completely agree with this. 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryH View Post

Top teachers believe it does matter a great deal in that it influences your chances of achieving the desired impact position.  Martin Chuck, for example, says that it is very difficult to play good golf from a cupped left wrist at top of backswing position.  A few tour pros have a bowed left wrist at the top (Johnson, McDowell), but a cupped left wrist at the top is extremely rare.  I'm keen to understand why, the cause and effects.

Just seen the bowed left wrist thread where there is a difference of opinion on this.  Hogan is mentioned as a cupped left wrist player which of course is true. 

I hope this thread is not seen as a duplicate of the bowed left wrist one.  I'd recently seen the Martin Chuck Tour Striker Educator video which brought this issue, which has always bugged me, back to my mind.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryH View Post

 

What i don't understand is how cupping the left wrist (dorsiflexion) during the backswing opens the face and why bowing the left wrist (palmar flexion) during the backswing closes the face.  I can relate a bowed left wrist to a delofted impact position (a la Hogan) and a cupped left wrist to a flip impact condition which adds loft.....but i don't see these as closed and open face respectively, i only see these as delofted or lofted clubheads, independent of how square the clubface is.

 

The face angle will generally just match the alignment of the left hand.  So more dorsi the toe will "hang" down and more palmar the face will aim more towards the sky.  You also mention dorsi flexion adding loft, be careful not to get into the mind set that to hit it higher you would need dorsi flexion at impact, that's what high handicappers do and tend to have the face aimed left, they also hit it lower than good golfer.  Best players tend to have a flat left wrist, handle forward, hit the ball high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

So really its just something you have to be concious about in the swing. I believe i heard announces say Dustin Johnson, who bows his left wrist, has to hold off rotating the clubface through because if he does he will duck hook the ball. 

 

The ball comes into contact with the face and the ball is gone, the rotation of the club head through impact, which lasts about 400 microseconds, really has no significance on curve.  If anything "rolling the face" has the opposite effect.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks mvmac.

 

I am aware of those top of backswing clubface positions and their relationship to the left wrist but my problem is i don't understand why the sky-facing clubface is considered closed and the toe hanging down clubface is considered open. 

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryH View Post

Thanks mvmac.

 

I am aware of those top of backswing clubface positions and their relationship to the left wrist but my problem is i don't understand why the sky-facing clubface is considered closed and the toe hanging down clubface is considered open. 

 

I see what you're asking now.  Open or closed is in reference to a few things.  There are various ways instructors define it, some think "toe up" on the back swing is a square club face.  Some draw plane lines and want the leading edge of the clubface to be parallel to certain ones at certain positions.  Here's how we would define it. At A2, left pic, when the leading edge of the club face is roughly parallel to the golfer's inclination, the club face is square to the plane, if it were "toe up" it would be open.  At the top of the back swing, right pic when the leading edge roughly matches the left arm, the face is square.  So Dustin Johnson's face isn't parallel to his left arm, so it would generally be seen as "closed".

 

post #13 of 13

Great Topic

Have you ever read the Life Magazine article where he tells his secret

He explains how he rolls his wrists back and through impact. It is a theory he learned from Scottish pros that cam to america but had been abandoned long ago due the perception of out of style.

It is explained in a book by David Hunter called Golf Simplified written in 1921

I was amazed at his connections as son of the Prestwick pro who took over after Old Tom Morris retired

Thank you

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