Hand Action During Release

This was posted over on SITD. Watch between 4 and 5:30. See the left wrist add cock right before impact. This was a little nugget that John shares on my SITD a few months ago. Perhaps he can elaborate on it. I see it as the beginning of orbit pull, and a necessary part of “pulling the sword from the stone”. It was a piece I didn’t have. I think most of us pull from the top instead of sinking into that 4:30 line on the right instep.


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Holding wrist cock is exactly that. The wrists want to uncock if the hands are relaxed. This is why our hands need to be firm through impact. Not only to resist the forces of impact, but to keep the shaft as flat as possible and on plane.

This is why I teach students to practice taking heel heavy divots. When you do this, you start to feel the orbit pull against CF.
What this does is put more feel into the hands, more pressure. Golf is a game of feel and the more feel we have the better we can play. If you can’t feel the club through impact, golf becomes swing and hope. Better to command total control of the club through the impact arena.

So if you can learn to take a heel heavy divot at full speed, then you can flatten your lie angles and start taking advantage of all the good things that has to offer.

The more you slot the club, the deeper you get through transition and the downswing, the better you have to be at doing this.
We always have to remember that we have to tighten the screws at both ends… pre AND post impact.

This is the danger facing all the Hoganites. They go for that “look” … big lag angles etc on the downswing, but they rarely if ever have the hard low left and around release post impact. That is where the work is, and why it’s so important to strengthen and tighten things up especially if you are going after big angles, lag etc. It’s really great if you can do it… and most players can do it a lot better than they do. But you have to work at it. A lot of it is simply a strength issue.
Strength is the easy part. It’s just doing the work. Takes time and dedication, but if you have that, then no reason you can’t get it.

So getting back to the concept, yes, you have to feel like you are increasing wristcock through the shot. So then the third element is to make sure you then accelerate the torso post impact to make sure you keep stress on the shaft and keep holding shaft flex. This way, you bring into impact a pre stressed clubshaft, AND you keep the shaft locked on plane through the strike by opposing forces. This is the master way of striking a golf ball. Advanced stuff yes, but it’s the worth pursuing. Holy Grail stuff for sure.

Of course, then you have what Moe did… he took all that out of it and just set up on a shoulder plane and swung around that idea. Pretty brilliant. You would have to play more upright gear. What Moe did was the other side of the rainbow.
I never explored that but I can see what he was doing conceptually. Moe still flattened the shaft through transition to eliminate any OTT tendency. What I don’t know is if Moe needed to be such an obsessive ball beater. Regarless, Moe was the greatest striker I ever witnessed with my own two eyes.

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These pics are instructive at showing this adding of wristcock right in the impact area:

Hogan at P3 Aimed.jpg

I always liked this series because you see the forearm rotation and you see where he is aiming…down is taken care of by forearm rotation…we need to aim high!

From behind:

Hogan Delivery.jpg
John near impact.jpg

Trevino bump.gif

It’s all there.

youtube.com/watch?v=UMJQFAeS … 4-overview

It’s interesting to note how his head slides forward so much.
Better to slide forward through the shot than hang back on the right side.

Where do you feel the pressure in the right hand?
Is it in a different place than if you use the swinger release?

I could watch Lee Trevino swing a golf club all day long.
It takes me back to when I played as a single-handicapper as a late teen/twenty-something back in the 1970s-80s (yes, I had persimmon Power-Bilts, and they were wonderful). I was completely unschooled, hit with an open stance, and was a fairly consistent hitter.
After many, many years away from the game, I am playing again (resumed this past summer) as much more of a swinger. I’m thankful I found this forum (only a couple of weeks ago), because there is a lot of crap out there. ABS makes me feel like I can be myself again. I’m going to begin looking for that former self this weekend at the range.
More later…

The pressures in the hands for hitters differ than for swingers due to the fact there is so much more of it. Both will have to deal with the CF element of simply holding onto the club, but the hitter will have much more lateral pressures building in the right hand.

Right hand pressure is usually bad news for swingers. There are pictures of VJ and Couples where their right hands are falling off the club at impact. They do this for good reason because they are pulling only… than being with the left side.

A good hitter is going to both push and pull at the same time.

The TGM guys will argue that you can’t push and pull at the same time, but I disagree.
Why? Because if I take one hand off the club just prior to impact I lose a tremendous amount of distance. Swingers, not so much of the take off the right hand.

I feel that hitting is superior because you can stabilize the club better with an opposing force supplied by both hands which aids in resisting torquing of the clubface from off centered hits. Swingers can play great golf as long as they are flushing every shot perfect, but they will be subjected to horrific shots if they miss the sweetspot. It doesn’t take much. It’s a better way to both support the club, and pressure it through impact from both ahead and behind.

Welcome to ABS. Those Powerbuilts will still play fine. If you need a set, I might have some laying around. Playing persimmon feels better, sounds better, you’ll hit it straighter, give your brain better feedback from each contact, and you’ll be embracing the long and storied history of this great game. Plus it’s fun to go beat up on the guys using all the lightweight stuff! :wink:

Clubs were called woods and irons because they were meant be just that.

Trevino was a great shot-shaper for sure, but I also am starting to wonder why Jack doesn’t get more love as a great ball-striker.
Of course stats weren’t available unto 1980, but I was comparing the two and Jack hit a similar number of fairways from 1980-1985 while averaging 10-15 yards more than Trevino off the tee. He also consistently hit more greens than Trevino during that span as well. His wedge, bunker, and short game was fairly poor so he won most his tournaments on the merit of his ball-striking and putting.
I am not saying people don’t realize he was a great ball-striker, but Trevino is talked about much more often as the best ball-stirker of their generation. I personally think it’s because Jack didn’t have the great geometry through the strike that many people judge swings on.
Why don’t more study Jack’s move while many are going crazy about Trevino’s all the time?
p.s. I am guilty of this too, I love watching Trevino footage and don’t spend a ton of time studying Jack, but that might change

Jack Nicklaus won the most majors and is arguably the greatest player to ever walk a fairway. Jack had an edge on the competition with his ability to concentrate, manage his game, play strategically, and had a combination of length and accuracy that was unmatched. Jack was also probably the best pressure putter ever, and created an intimidation factor that that leveled his opponents. Only Tiger would ever create such a presence years later. Jack won his majors against a long list of Hall of Fame players that don’t exist today. In my opinion, Jack’s record will always be more impressive than Tiger’s because of the strength of the fields he had to beat every week. Tiger has not had the depth of Hall of Fame players to contend with.

We have a lot of footage, pics and articles on Jack inside “The Vault” I also posted a video of Nicklaus playing Watson at Pebble Beach that everyone should see in the Classic Rewind thread.

advancedballstriking.com/Nicklau … Watson.swf

Jack used a swinger’s release which in my opinion is much more difficult to “time” and rely upon day to day. But this in reality makes Jack’s record even more impressive. Jack made golf look difficult and painfully deliberate. But there is no arguing his accomplishments and Jack’s ability to position the golf ball around the course was unmatched. There is a lot more to winning golf tournaments than just striking the ball flush.

Good video of Jack here. Around 7 minutes the instructor notes that at impact Jack doesn’t try to hold on to that lag…he just let’s it go. There you go…swinger v hitter.


I think Jack had good post impact pivot thrust so even though he had a swingers release the club wasn’t flipping closed past his body post impact, so I don’t think it was very difficult for him to time day in and day out. Bradley also had more a swingers release with the longer clubs but he had very good post impact pivot thrust.


That is correct.

Good swingers will also have great post impact pivot thrust. Just like Nicklaus and Bradley did. Moe also.
The two main differences is that the swinger is timing the straightening of the shaft flex right at impact, while the hitter holds and maintains shaft flex through and beyond. Both methods will of course be dealing with CF, and the visual detection of shaft flex hold in a hitters swing can be difficult to see even with a high speed camera because CF does pull longitudinally on the shaft which straightens the shaft like a tight rope. This doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Homer Kelley made note of this in TGM which should be noted.

Moe is the only great player I ever saw that came into impact with a swinger’s release on a shoulder plane… where the shaft and left arm were inline. Most swingers come into impact on an elbow plane or slightly above that. With a dead relaxed hand throw into impact, the swingers shaft will work out and away from them and start moving off plane right after impact. The right arm is relaxed and needs to be because the right arm needs to straighten to aid in closing the clubface. This is a huge timing element that does not need to be part of the golf swing. It can be there obviously, but it’s very difficult to master.
So many things have to be working and lining up perfectly. The swinger will have much greater clubface rotation post impact to have to manage correctly. Again, it can be done, but it adds a whole other dimension to controlling the golf club.
Nicklaus overcame this by having great concentration. You can see how he prepared for it over every shot in his pre shot routine, waggle, his entire approach to playing. He mastered it no doubt.

I have great respect for swingers because I was once one, and know the difficulty of the method. The flow, the tempo, the timing of it… the beauty of it. The silky swings of Fred Couples or Luke Donald. It’s poetic and more aesthetically pleasing to watch than Peter Senior or Palmer slashing at it.

I’ll post some images of Jack’s release here shortly and we can compare and learn something.

an aging Jack showing the full swinger’s release with a short iron.

This is one of the great attributes of Jack’s swing, the great load downward into the legs at transition. Hard to find a better capture than this by anyone.
Using the right arm to aid in the closure of the clubface. An unnecessary and difficult skill set.


Now this is a great set of gear.
Musclebacks and some solid MacGregor persimmon.
The feedback Jack got from this gear is about as good as it’s going to get.

Jack had an up and under move. He could not get square without the help of that right arm. It worked for him for sure, but very hard on the lower back. VIPs are beautiful. I hope to have a set one of these days.