So not many people might like the terminology I’m using here but I’m looking for golfers who play what is traditionally called “shut” at the top of the swing. I suppose the poster boy would be the legendary lee trevino youtube.com/watch?v=xA9NXE6HIEk . Generally what you might see is a bowed left wrist at the top of the swing and a cup in the right wrist.
I’m hoping we can have a discussion about this type of hitting the golf ball, the differences in feels between this and what is normally taught here, and all the different ways this can be done (flat, upright, fade vs draw), etc.
I’ve recently gone toward this feel as it seems to simplify release and gets me to pivot better.
If you think about it… an arched left wrist at the top of the swing is more open to a plane line that is shifted out to right field.
Suppose you were to mimic Trevino’s position at the top… arched wrist and shut face. If you were to freeze the clubshaft and face and then rotate the rest of your body… feet, knees, hips, shoulders 20 degrees out to the right, then the shaft would be more laid off and the clubface much more open relative to the new target line.
Point being… that unless you set up with a rotated plane line like Trevino did, a shut face at the top is going to inhibit the need to use the pivot to rotate the club back square to the ball. Doing this would decrease both range of motion and power.
So what Trevino did was loop the club down and into the slot and was about as flat as anyone who ever played the game at P3. This opened the face relative to the strike. He certainly was not steep and shut as most hackers prefer.
A square to square ideology seems intuitive, but it doesn’t work well because our body is not oriented directly above the ball in a perfectly vertical disposition. The golf swing is not a pendulum. But trying to feel a pendulum post impact is a good intention if executed properly.
Interesting. What you say about the arched wrist is true, we would have to essentially play a push shot all day. But has anyone had any experience where the face is shut but the left wrist is not arched, or minimally arched?
Essentially, the left wrist maintains a slight cup or is simply in a neutral position at the top of the golf swing. The reroute becomes slighter and the need for downswing path out to right field is eliminated.
At the top of the swing, flat left wrist, cupped right wrist instead of the hogan cupped left wrist, straight right wrist. The club goes up more closed than in comes down, the swing has a little loop at the top that “opens” the clubface by dropping it under. Granted, this is a half shot with my pitching wedge but the ball had velocity. I feel it removes a little forearm rotation you can use into the shot, but not enough to start having to hit a 6 iron a distance you used to hit a 7.
Another, this time a pitch. I feel like the movement I’m trying to do can be shown more exaggerated with this short shot to see what I’m really feeling. It feels like shut to open and it feels good. Wondering if anyone else has felt good results with this. I think it’s totally compatible with the hitter’s release.
Yeah lots of really good players have done this, but as Lag already pointed out most of them had to aim well left. Trevino, Duval, and Azinger are the first three shut face players that jump to mind. I don’t think I would be on board with saying Burke was shut at the top though. To me it looks like the face may be closed a tiny bit, but not close to facing the sky like other players.
As far as power… In general it’s hard to say, but Duval hit the ball miles with a cut every time.
I play with a shut face at the top and also have to aim well left of the target. Draw or fade, the ball starts well right of my feet line.
With all of that being said though I am not sure that you should teach yourself to play this way, I just kind of fell into it and it works pretty well. But I think Trevino once said it would be better to have a weaker grip like Hogan and a more neutral position at the top. I can look for that quote later for you
“Changing from a strong grip to a neutral or slightly weak one takes time and is not easy, but it’s a great way to become a versatile player. I played in a tournament with Ben Hogan toward the end of his career, around 1970, and even then there wasn’t a shot he couldn’t hit with ease. Mostly he hit the ball dead straight, but he could play all kinds of little squeeze fades and low hooks. What made Ben great was his slightly weak grip, both hands rotated counterclockwise so the “Vs” formed by his thumbs and forefingers pointed at his right ear at address. Shotmaking-wise, it gave him tremendous control. To draw the ball, he just released the club a little more. To hit it straight, he released a little less, and to fade it, he didn’t do anything. You can play good golf with a strong grip; Paul Azinger, David Duval and I are proof of that. But none of us is known for drawing the ball. When we tried, we hit too many duck hooks.”
I play with a weak grip, as described in Hogan’s 5 Lessons. I have a cup in my left hand at the top of my swing, in fact what I feel is extreme. My thought is flat right wrist from the top of my backswing all the way down to P3. I am trying to retain as much “punch” in my right wrist as possible to fire into the ball at impact. Martin Ayers describes this in some of his videos.
How much of a bow in the left wrist do you have at the top? Have you ever tried toning down the bow of the wrist and seeing how that affects how much you have to reroute it or the starting line of the shot?
I think everyone here is assuming a strong grip because that’s how lee did it but I’ve been experimenting with a very slight bow and a more neutral-to-weak grip. It seems to negate the disadvantages brought up here, but I’ll keep trying it out. It has just made it much easier to return the clubface square to the target for me so I’m keeping it until it proves to be bad
A bow at the top can also happen with a reall weak left hand grip. Search Bill Rogers Player of The Year 1981. He had the weakest left hand grip I have seen in person. Watched him win 81 Australian Open all four days. Guy was a machine that year
Yeah I see what you are saying.
I am the opposite though, because I have a strong grip so I don’t need much bow in my wrist to end up with a closed face at the top. I couldn’t say how much because we are in a cold spell and am a little busy. But soon enough I will be able to find time and maybe get some footage to figure it out.
Anyway, if it is working for you then keep with it.