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lipout

Hand action: I'm confused and frustrated. Help! Please!

14 posts in this topic

In the book "How to feel a golf swing" by Bob Toski and Davis Love, Jnr, the section on hands starts with:

"Some players might as well stick their hands in their pockets....for all the use they make of them"

In Hogan's 5 Lessons, he says (he uses capitals) "HIT THE BALL AS HARD AS YOU CAN WITH BOTH HANDS".

Bobby Clampett (The Impact Zone) is primarily concerned with lag.  It seems to me that what he advocates is keeping the wrists cocked as long as you are physically able to and then the club releases automatically, on its own.  To my confused mind, this is the opposite of Hogan's view.

Nick Bradley (The 7 laws of the golf swing) talks about a "puck release" and a gradual release of the wrist cock through the whole of the downswing.

I could go on, I have many more books!  My point is that every book seems, to me, to be different and some flatly contradict the others.

I play a tidy game but lack distance.  I would say that my swing is mostly body rotation, and that I don't do much with my hands.  If I do try to use my hands more, I find that I usually get "the lefts" and back off.  Plus plenty of commentators, like Nick Faldo, say "keep the hands out of it", so I wonder if I should be doing this anyway.

I know from my teaching pro, and my divots, that I am swinging out to in.  I think that is why adding hand action creates the lefts.  What I have been working on for almost a year is trying to fix my path to in to out and trying to add hand action.  I want to develop a push draw.

My teaching pro describes hand action as forearm rotation like Tom Watson.  I have Tom's book too!  I also have books that say this is NOT a good move, it just helps square the clubface whilst creating other problems.

What it boils down to is:  I am trying to add "hand action" but I have no idea what I am trying to do, and the books and my local teaching pro's are NOT helping!

I feel that I face a choice:  either I give up on "hand action" and go with improving my pivot speed and action (I have the stack and tilt book, for example).  Or I find, with the help of my fellow sandtrappers, some way to finally understand hand action.

Expert advice most welcome, I am getting desperate and frustrated.

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Originally Posted by lipout

In the book "How to feel a golf swing" by Bob Toski and Davis Love, Jnr, the section on hands starts with:

"Some players might as well stick their hands in their pockets....for all the use they make of them"

In Hogan's 5 Lessons, he says (he uses capitals) "HIT THE BALL AS HARD AS YOU CAN WITH BOTH HANDS".

Bobby Clampett (The Impact Zone) is primarily concerned with lag.  It seems to me that what he advocates is keeping the wrists cocked as long as you are physically able to and then the club releases automatically, on its own.  To my confused mind, this is the opposite of Hogan's view.

Nick Bradley (The 7 laws of the golf swing) talks about a "puck release" and a gradual release of the wrist cock through the whole of the downswing.

I could go on, I have many more books!  My point is that every book seems, to me, to be different and some flatly contradict the others.

I play a tidy game but lack distance.  I would say that my swing is mostly body rotation, and that I don't do much with my hands.  If I do try to use my hands more, I find that I usually get "the lefts" and back off.  Plus plenty of commentators, like Nick Faldo, say "keep the hands out of it", so I wonder if I should be doing this anyway.

I know from my teaching pro, and my divots, that I am swinging out to in.  I think that is why adding hand action creates the lefts.  What I have been working on for almost a year is trying to fix my path to in to out and trying to add hand action.  I want to develop a push draw.

My teaching pro describes hand action as forearm rotation like Tom Watson.  I have Tom's book too!  I also have books that say this is NOT a good move, it just helps square the clubface whilst creating other problems.

What it boils down to is:  I am trying to add "hand action" but I have no idea what I am trying to do, and the books and my local teaching pro's are NOT helping!

I feel that I face a choice:  either I give up on "hand action" and go with improving my pivot speed and action (I have the stack and tilt book, for example).  Or I find, with the help of my fellow sandtrappers, some way to finally understand hand action.

Expert advice most welcome, I am getting desperate and frustrated.



For you to hit a push draw your club face needs to be open to the target but closed to the swing path.  So swing path absolutely needs to be inside out.  Weight forward and handle forward can help with this.  The more down you hit on the ball the more you will also hit out on the ball.  With that said, for you to hit a proper draw you do not need to "roll your wrists".  Simply open face to target, closed face to path.
If you could post a video of your swing I could probably give you better advice.  Hope this helps.

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sk golf

good of you to reply, thanks.

I just got the Stack and Tilt book, I really like it and especially liked the explanation of the push draw.  You can see I gave it a decent mention in the thread about "how did you score today".  It was this book that made me question the Watson forearm roll, and you have confirmed that point, thanks.

However, MY interpretation of S+T is that there does not seem to be much in the book about anything to do with the hands, it just says "you don't have to unconsciously unhinge your wrists.....".  For someone totally baffled by hand action, that sounds like great news.

S&T; is definitely plan A for me at the moment, because the the method does not seem to require hand action as such.  I feel I can deinitely improve my upper body action, hips and my leg action instead.

My thread, really, was me making one last effort to try and understand hand action before I basically concluded either that there was no "proper hand action" or that it was somehow personal and too difficult to explain.

I have one other part of the plan, I ordered The Golfing Machine today, thinking perhaps that that might also shed some light on the topic.  I only learned about this book from the mention in the S&T; book.

Thanks again for helping

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I have used Stack & Tilt since it came out and I wouldn't do anything else.  Very easy to learn and I went from a 7 to a 2 in about 4 weeks.  With this swing you don't do anything with your hands, there is no conscience effort to do nay manipulation with them.  It's all about rotation and the hands just basically hold on to the club.  Stick with it really works!!

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Originally Posted by HeadGolfool

I have used Stack & Tilt since it came out and I wouldn't do anything else.  Very easy to learn and I went from a 7 to a 2 in about 4 weeks.  With this swing you don't do anything with your hands, there is no conscience effort to do nay manipulation with them.  It's all about rotation and the hands just basically hold on to the club.  Stick with it really works!!


Well, for some people there are plenty of things to do with their hands. Some roll the forearms too much, some don't hinge or cock the wrists properly, etc. Glad the pattern worked for you, though. :)

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I can appreciate your frustration as I spent years going through the same books answering the same questions. I am happy to be able report today that I have it figured out. Let me do my best to explain it to you in the manner for which it works for me. First, let me tell you that I experiemented with many concepts and thought I had it figured out but always lacked distance. Than, once I got the concept I began crushing the ball with less effort than I had used before. Let me say this, when you get it right you will know for sure. I have a hitting cage with with hundreds of balls - many of them years old and dry rotting. When I got this right, I litterally started cracking these balls in half. Here's the best I can explain it. Power comes from body coil + timed wrist release. You MUST have both for it work. Without upper body coil this method will not work. Use your right leg as a brace to coil around. Take your left hand and lead your left arm back in a controlled swinging motion. Ensure that you obtain the critical 90 set wrist on the way to the top. You must reach the top with momentum which maximizes your body coil and further sets the wrist angle. So, your right hand andaem simply stayed relaxed. Your left hand and wrist became the eyes and ears of your swing. The left hand took the club back on plane with momentum and set the wrist angle. So at this point you are coiled with 90 degree wrist angle being pulled tighter by your back swing momentum. Now, you must do 2 things simultaneausly, use your lower body to begin turning turning your hips back into the downswings using the traditional motions described in many books. The key here is that you do not Yank your hips but begin a gradual turn which helpful bring your left arm down - ensure hat you do this on plane - and the hip motion also helps keep that wrist angle set. A big key for me is to think about beginning my lower body action with my right hip as a focal reference. The left hand continues to be a guide of theclub and continues to maintain the set wrist. Once the downswings is underway - powered by your hip uncoil - I begin thinking about impact. I want my left shoulder and left wrist to sort of hold their ground at the impact position. To do this, I continue focusing on my left hand. It must have already built up speed from the uncoiling of my body. If the left hand with he 90 degree set wrist has travelled down on plane to the impact area than use either your left hand to release the 90 degree angle and wallop the ball. Keep in mind that the pier is being supplied by the uncoiling and momentum of the set left wrist travelling down on plane so three is hardly any strength required by your left wrist. This is more of a timing move. What is important is that when you let go with your left wrist you must have a supple left wrist as the club will travel much faster than upswing your muscles could make it go. When done correctly you will. It even get close to being able to keep up with the speed. To recap... leisurely backswing with the left hand where you create a 90 degree set wrist. And reach the top with momentum that coils the upper body around the right leg base. In a lzy fashion, allow the lower howdy to swing he set left wrist down to the hitting area. Time the release of the set wrist into he ball. Bam. I believe that all the authors are describing the same swing. Hogan says start the downswings with the hips and then think about hitting hard. This is, in my opinion, the same as what I describe but wit different words. He gets that set wrist moving down - powered by body coil - and simply waits for the moment of truth to release or as he describes it hit. Again, the key to the hands is there support, primarily the left, in building the upper body coil and the 90 degree wrist hinge and timing the release as you near the impact zone.
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tshapiro and headgolfool,

thanks for the replies.

I am glad I am not alone in finding all of this confusing, I was worried that it was just me.

I like the way that tshapiro describes release, it is literally a hold, hold, wait for it, let go.  I had been thinking it was hold, hold, wait for it, then HIT.  I suppose the clue was there all along in the term "release", but I was thinking HIT because of the books that used that term.

Also, I don't think the way you both describe this is incompatible.

I will wait for any more suggestions, but I think that a plan to structure the swing around S&T; appeals, and if I can think in terms of holding the lag and then letting go, rather than trying to fit a HIT into my action, I think that might work well with S&T; and do nicely.

Appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by HeadGolfool

I have used Stack & Tilt since it came out and I wouldn't do anything else.  Very easy to learn and I went from a 7 to a 2 in about 4 weeks.  With this swing you don't do anything with your hands, there is no conscience effort to do nay manipulation with them.  It's all about rotation and the hands just basically hold on to the club.  Stick with it really works!!



Had my second round with S&T; after getting help from Sandtrappers on hand action.  Played the whole round exactly like you say, HeadGolfool,  no conscious hand action in terms of release.  I did work on the S&T; idea of taking the hands round rather than out.  I was mostly working on the S&T; left leg pivot and trying to get the hips sliding before they turn and really letting the club follow and do its own thing.

Its working, I must say.  I even had a hint of push draw, which really pleased me.  This time I reckon I was at 100 - 105% of my normal distance, compared to about 95% of normal on my first round.

Another thing that really pleased me today was that I was working on some of Utley's pitching drills, and it occured to me that there seems to be a lot in common between Utley short game and S&T; full swing.

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One follow up for Release. This is all dependent on having created a good coil at the top (think left hand and right leg), starting back down with the hips (think right hip) and then holding the wrist angle. Creating the coil at the top with the left hand as a guide is not comfortable and takes practice to do so without losing your form and most high handicap golfers avoid it. If you simply work on the release by itself than its not going to work. You must develop that good coil that you see every tour player has. Without a good coil at the top you will always always resort to hitting with the hands because there is nothing to release. Even Hogan who says to hit with the hands first describes building a coil and specifically says the body gets the hands moving in the downswing. He says starting the downswing with the hips practically makes the swing. He says start the swing with the hips (uncoil) then hit (release). He does NOT say all I think about is hitting (hitting). However, so many people read Hogans book and come away thinking Hogan said I can use my hands to hit and ignore the coil and hip part because that's the hard part. Then, they go out and start hitting with their hands which builds tension and slows things down prior to impact.
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Originally Posted by lipout

Had my second round with S&T; after getting help from Sandtrappers on hand action.  Played the whole round exactly like you say, HeadGolfool,  no conscious hand action in terms of release.  I did work on the S&T; idea of taking the hands round rather than out.  I was mostly working on the S&T; left leg pivot and trying to get the hips sliding before they turn and really letting the club follow and do its own thing.

Its working, I must say.  I even had a hint of push draw, which really pleased me.  This time I reckon I was at 100 - 105% of my normal distance, compared to about 95% of normal on my first round.

Another thing that really pleased me today was that I was working on some of Utley's pitching drills, and it occured to me that there seems to be a lot in common between Utley short game and S&T; full swing.


Glad it helped you, I have to work on this all the time.  When i start going sideways I find that it usually come from not turning my sholder in a circular motion and not enouh tilt forward on backswing.  If I do this then it's easy to rotat and keep the hands outf the swing.

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i think it was lynn blake who said that we need to feel a "constant, driving pressure in the hands" thru the ball, that you need to be driving them hard in the direction of down, out, and forward, driving thru the ball, feeling pressure in the appropriate pressure points of the hands.

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"down, out and forward" is the biggest thing I can think of that screwed my swing up. The golf swing is rotary and trying to make it linear messes it all up for those of us whose minds take things literally. I ended up hitting every shot as a huge great push shot or the occasional hook if I over-corrected my grip for a draw.

I agree completely with that Lynn Blake phrase though (http://youtu.be/fXkx0YsCJIA?t=2m30s) for those interested. It's all about constant driving pressure.

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i can totally see how that might happen.  my misses are also big pushes and smother hooks sometimes.  but it helped me with what i needed to picture mentally with getting my stupid hands in front of the stupid ball.

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hi a guy called sam goulden has just posted a video on you tube, where he talks about diferent types of release i think you will find this intersting and helpfrull. my other comment would be that we now live in this wonderful world full of information, just take one method and stick with it for a few months

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