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Is It Possible to Hold on to the Wristcock for Too Long?


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  • Is It Possible to Hold on to the Wristcock for Too Long?

    I've read a million books on golf and many emphasize keeping the wristcock for as long as possible in the downswing. I think this idea has hurt me most of my golfing life. Doesn't that just make it harder to fully release the club into the ball? You're basically dragging the club over the ball, and not really swinging it like a pendulum. Or should I have the feeling of letting that angle open up right from the top as long as I accelerate my arms? Any thoughts?

  • #2
    lag is a result of proper sequencing. it is not something that should be artificially created. lag is useless unless you release the angles.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by McLovin View Post
      lag is a result of proper sequencing. it is not something that should be artificially created. lag is useless unless you release the angles.

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
      100% this, lag is created by your down swing because your wrists are loose. If you have to create it yourself your probably gripping the club too tight.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by McLovin View Post
        lag is a result of proper sequencing. it is not something that should be artificially created. lag is useless unless you release the angles.

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
        Absolutely this. If you're trying to consciously hold wrist hinge, you're screwed.

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        • #5
          If you ha e a death grip on the club it wont properly release. Holding the angle is needed to maximize distance and launch. Like Captain Chris stared its all about proper sequencing and tempo. You are not dragging the club over the ball. The angle or lag starts to release around the back hip. This release combined with arm swing and hip release provides the launch and distance we all strive for.

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          • #6
            Rod White and Dave Tutelman have written some good articles on the Tutelmans site links below (also Jorgensen did a lot of research ) - all based on the double pendulum or driven double pendulum models. It also delves into wrist cock angles and negative and positive wrist torques , natural/early/late release.

            It may help you understand the physics for generating clubhead speed but its based on modelling and not a real human body. The big drawback (imho), is that it fails to provide any insight on how the golfer needs to also square the clubface by impact (which I think is probably just as important , maybe even more so).



            Rod White

            Summary for Technique
            Work done by the golfer builds up kinetic energy in the torso, shoulders, and arms. This is then transferred via tension in the shaft as the club and arms unfold away from the golfer’s body.

            The good: the greater the fold (wrist cock) the more efficient the transfer of energy from the body to the club.
            The bad: the greater the wrist torque (use of the hands) the earlier the club unfolds and the less energy is transferred to the club.
            These two effects, the negative effect of wrist torque and the positive effect of wrist cock, account for most of the 70 m difference between the beginner and the scratch golfer.

            These effects are also counterintuitive – not what the beginner golfer expects. This perhaps explains why a good golf swing is so hard to learn.

            Another factor making a good swing hard to learn is that it is mentally difficult to hold onto the club firmly while not holding the wrists firmly. It is curious that most people, when asked to throw a golf club as far as possible, would swing the club around their shoulders without using wrist torque, and this is exactly the action required for a good swing. Swinging a club loosely around your shoulders as if you were about to throw it will help to train your brain to not use your hands. I have also found it helpful to visualise throwing the club through the impact zone. In fact a full vigorous swing around your shoulders like a baseball swing, including hip and shoulder movement, captures all of the important parts of the swing.

            One of the benefits of the overlap grip is that it keeps the combined length of the hands short and the right hand weak (for a right-handed golfer). This enables the golfers to grip the club firmly, but limits the ability to apply wrist torque.

            During the first part of the downswing, the golfer holds the club in a cocked position and accelerates the shoulders and torso. Initially some positive wrist torque is required to stop the club from being pulled into the golfers neck (the hub). Remember the passive, steadily rotating model on the previous page? There, a string (providing negative torque) was needed to keep the club from swinging outward. Here, during the initial build up of speed, some sort of "brace" (providing positive torque) is needed prevent the club from being pulled inward. The positive torque required to brace the club falls rapidly as the club accelerates. When the positive ‘bracing’ torque falls to zero, the club can be allowed to swing out -- ending the first phase.

            The second phase of the downswing occurs as the club swings out. If the golfer lets the club swing out when the bracing torque falls to zero, then this is described as a swing with a natural release. If the golfer holds the club in the cocked position for a short while longer, this is described as a late release. If the golfer releases the club early, the club will swing in towards the neck for a small moment and then swing out. We won’t look at the effect of release timing because to a good approximation release timing has no effect.

            During the second phase the golfer continues to turn his body and arms, but no torque is applied via the hands – they are no more than a hinge during this phase.

            1. An increase in the shoulder torque (the strength of the body rotation that provides the power to the swing) increases the clubhead speed. Not surprising so far. But the increase in clubhead speed is not proportional to the increase in torque. You have to increase the torque by about 3% for every 1% increase in speed.
            2.All other things being equal, the greater the initial wrist cock angle, the higher the clubhead speed at impact.
            3.Reducing the amount of backswing (the body turn at the transition) leaves the clubhead speed almost the same as before. Moreover, it tends not to allow the wrists to over-release to a cupped position, but instead encourages a solid-hitting position with the hands leading the clubhead at impact. Another way of saying this: Overswinging leads to a bad impact position, with very little gain of clubhead speed.
            4. Wrist torque ("hand action") affects clubhead speed at impact in a very surprising way. So much so, in fact, that Jorgensen refers to it as "The Paradox". Here is the essence of what he found:
            a. The good golfer he measured used just enough wrist torque just long enough to maintain the initial wrist cock angle until inertial forces started throwing the club outward. That typically takes .1-.15 seconds. After that, the golfer used no wrist torque at all! Jorgensen recalls a gem from Bobby Jones' instructions that the club feels like it is "freewheeling through the ball."
            b. So the paradox: any wrist torque during the downswing that aids release will result in a lower clubhead speed at impact. Oh, it will indeed increase the clubhead speed through most of the downswing. But you don't care about that; you want the maximum clubhead speed you can get at impact. And using hand action to release the clubhead works against that aim.
            c. In fact you can increase the clubhead speed at impact by using a hindering hand action. This is paradoxical, counterintuitive -- but the model says it is true. And I know at least one instructor who gets very good results teaching a hand action that tries to hold the wrist cock right through impact -- a swing key that creates a hindering torque.
            5.Gravity provides about 8% of the clubhead speed.
            6.The forward shift provides almost 9% of the clubhead speed.

            Tutelman Summary Of Findings By Rod White /Jorgensen

            It is always a bad idea to apply positive torque early in the downswing.
            It is always a bad idea to apply positive torque throughout the downswing. (We knew that already from Rod White.)
            It is generally helpful to apply negative torque (that is, hold the lag angle, retard release) throughout the downswing. (Also Rod White.)
            What is new and interesting is his analysis of adding positive torque late in the downswing:
            "Let us look at such a helping action of the wrists late in the downswing. Extensive calculations with the standard swing modified by a constant helping torque of 2 ft-lbs by the wrists late in the downswing show that indeed such a helping torque does produce an increase in clubhead speed at impact. The maximum increase in clubhead speed at impact comes with the torque starting about seven hundredths of a second before the ball is hit. The resulting clubhead speed was found to be only about 0.7% greater than that of the standard swing. This constant torque acting for a longer time or for a shorter time at the end of the downswing produces clubhead speeds less than the maximum."
            In other words, there is room for a properly executed push or slap to increase power. But it is not much of an increase, and it has to be timed very precisely. Not extremely promising, but not a closed door either. The other giants didn't offer any hope at all.

            General consensus among those who have investigated the swing mathematically:
            1. A strong shoulder turn increases clubhead speed. (The model does not say whether the turn should be a product of the shoulders, the torso, the hips, the legs,... Just that a strong turn powers the swing well.)
            2. Wrist torque that helps release usually winds up hurting clubhead speed at impact. You may get higher clubhead speeds earlier in the downswing, but those speeds don't hit the ball; by the time of impact, the clubhead speed is lower than with no wrist torque at all.
            3. Wrist torque that retards or delays release usually winds up increasing clubhead speed at impact. #2 and #3 are recognized as paradoxical, but they work time and time again on the computer -- and also on the driving range.
            4. When it comes to a "pulse" of helping torque just before impact, there is no consensus. Jorgensen found there is some small advantage to be gained. Wishon believes it is nearly impossible for a real, live human being to achieve that gain.

            Important note:
            By pure coincidence (perhaps), the golf swing can be executed with the natural release. This is not necessarily true for all stick-and-ball sports, not even if the stick is a golf club. Consider:
            With baseball swings, the natural swing time is much shorter because the bat is shorter, and the base-baller must restrain the bat using negative wrist torque to stop it from swinging out early.
            With professional long-drive golfers, the shaft length is longer (up to 50 inches), the natural swing time is much longer, and a swing with a natural release is anatomically impossible. Professional long drivers must use positive wrist torque (forcing the club out) to complete the swing.
            The normal golf swing does not require positive or negative wrist torque during the second phase of the downswing; therefore the hands are passive, and the golf stroke can be more accurate with fewer muscles involved.

            Tutelman's Own Opinion
            Hitters and swingers
            I'd like to take this opportunity to state very specifically what I mean later in these notes by the terms hitter and swinger. Most clubfitters and many instructors make this distinction, but it tends to be intuitive and imprecise. I believe that:
            A swinger is a golfer who depends exclusively on centrifugal force for clubhead speed, and adds no wrist torque during the downswing except that needed to hold a 90 wrist cock.
            A hitter is a golfer who depends to some extent on torque applied to the club's grip via the hands and the wrists.

            Of course, there are few pure swingers and no pure hitters. But, comparing two golfers, we now have a way to say which one is more of a hitter and which more of a swinger. And, in fact, we can tell from this whether a golfer is primarily a hitter or a swinger.


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