So how difficult is it to hold wristcock into P4?

Thought I’d throw this one out to Mandrin and see if he might be able to model Lag’s hitting protocol and provide us with an idea of just how much force we have trying to uncock the wrists from impact into p4.

Personally I think it’s an important piece of the puzzle and is more force than most appreciate. Having an idea of what “the number is” might be illuminating. Mandrin has a good enough understanding of the ABS principles and he certainly has the smarts to do it.

Anyone else here curious? I bet if we have enough interest that Mandrin will take it on.


I am curious. Been wondering a lot about it lately. While it doesn’t measure it, here’s what John Schlee said about how it FEELS to him. From his Maximum Golf page 78:

"The un-cocked release: vs. feel
In my golf swing, I don’t feel my wrists un-cock. I’ve spent years and years working as hard as I can not to let them un-cock. At impact, or a shade after, they do. But I am certainly not aware of it. "

Rats are always curious! :sunglasses:

I hope Mandrin and others will post on this topic even if only a handful of readers express interest in advance.


Golf is an intriguing sport. It forms an interesting mosaic containing many paradoxes. There are those who teach or taught an early release from the top - e.g., a Peter Croker or the late Tom Tomasello. Brian Manzella refers to it as 'drop and catch '. But also those teaching just the opposite, indeed asking to make a deliberate effort to not release the club - Mark Evershed and Paul Bertholy come to mind. Retaining the angle is not all that easy as anyone can readily experiment for himself. Just swing at normal speed and do all that you can muster to retain the angle right through impact and beyond. Darned large torque to fight.

There is some interesting anecdotal information on this subject in 'The Physics of Golf ’ by the late Prof. Jorgensen -

A friend and I were discussing this subject when he asked me whether I had a club that he could swing to feel this large torque. We stepped out onto the patio with a driver. He took a few practice swings, and then told me he was going to swing the club keeping his wrists cocked throughout the swing. This he did. To his utter amazement the shaft broke in his hands near the lower part of his grip and the clubhead and most of the shaft flew out over the garden. … I have not sacrificed another club to discover the size of this torque.

It is not easy to analyze mathematically in true 3D as it is rather complex and it really requires experimental back up to tweak and adjust the assumptions to be made in any realistic 3D mathematical model. But we are here not to find the precise behaviour but rather to get some first order impression, an order of magnitude, of such retaining torque. For this purpose a simple planar double pendulum model will suffice. Hence it is assumed that arm and club are contained in one plane and hence also no roll of the arm.

We assume the inner arm to have a length of 0.6 m and a mass of 6 kg. The club is approximated by a slender homogeneous shaft, 1 m long with a mass of 0.11 kg and the clubhead is taken to be a point mass of .26 kg. This could perhaps be a 5 iron.

The inner torque is taken as a constant torque of 80 Nm. This torque would give for a normal release an maximum clubhead of about 80 miles/hour. It will be somewhat less when the angle is actually retained throughout the whole down swing. But the mathematical golfer than also completely misses the ball as he swings over it.

In the mathematical model the wrist torque is calculated to produce at each moment the exact opposite of the torque developed at the joint and when applied in the model as an external torque produces than a complete and total angle retention throughout the swing.

Figs 1 and 2 respectively show the swing and the associated retaining wrist torque. The retaining torque gets indeed very hefty. In English units, 75 lb-ft. Hence a torque created by a force of 75 lb acting perpendicular at a distance of 1 ft from the pivot. I wonder if someone can produce such a big torque with the wrists. Well just try it - take a rigid light rod of about 3 ft and attach 25 lb at one end and try keeping the rod horizontal with your wrists acting at the other end. :wink:

Notice in Fig 2 that the retaining torque changes polarity during the down swing. First the clubhead tries to move closer to the pivot (red) and than when some angular speed is developed the clubhead enter into its release cycle (black). In this particular case however release, either way, does not happen due to the action of the applied retaining torque.

That’s a nice description, and I don’t think you are too far off with the feeling of 75 pounds. That is why we see so few players or tour players preserving wrist cock angles from a DTL view through impact over to P4. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I have no doubt this is the best way to hit a golf ball if you can do it… because that weight ultimately produces a massive feel into the players hands. The more of that pressure I feel in my wrists and swing, the better and straighter I hit the golf ball.

Mandrin: Great work…math and science is well beyond my range of full understanding…so, given the static starting point for that 5 iron…what would be the torgue for a 3 iron…the same?

Geez…a torque of 75 pounds is 62% of my body weight. Gotta eat some more Wheaties I guess. :laughing: RR

That is an interesting example about the fellow breaking the shaft on the driver. And given the information Paulsey has posted about breaking shafts, I wonder if there is another reason Hogan used such stiff shafts …maybe he had to or he’d break them.

Anybody else been breaking shafts? That might be an indicator of a good swing. Another vapor trail.


Thanks for that assessment.

It’s safe to assume that if we include some roll of the arm from p3 thru impact over to p4 that the 75 pounds would increase further. I agree with Lag that 75 pounds seems like a reasonable number (who would’ve thought they’d be doing that kind of work making a lil old golf swing?). Sort of makes sense why you’d want to do some module 1 every day.

When I think of many of the players whose swings we like to reference in here as having good post impact wristcock retention it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of big strong forearms in the bunch.

Thanks again M,


Mandrin said:
Well just try it - take a rigid light rod of about 3 ft and attach 25 lb at one end and try keeping the rod horizontal with your wrists acting at the other end.

I have a 6 lb. sledge hammer …with my arm straight vertical, I have to move my hand approximately a foot from the weight to hold the hammer parallel to the ground…for just a second.


The incitement to try was done kind of tongue in cheek. It needs some clarification.

Remember, the centrifugal force when club is aligned with lead arm is quite large and yet goes almost unnoticed, because of the time scale involved.

Not so much but nevertheless also true somewhat for the retaining torque. It is more akin to impulsive loading/torquing.

Perhaps a karate chop could be taken as a comparative situation. A short impulsive application of large force/torque.


I was not questioning your numbers…just remarking on how difficult it is. But I am wondering if that is a strength worth developing.


I know that you are not questioning my numbers, but have the impression that you misunderstood my point, of static vs dynamic.

In a dynamic situation and for very small interval of times we are capable of either exerting or resisting quite large forces.

The centrifugal force for a very small time interval can reach over 100 lbs. Not quite the same as lifting 100 lbs. :wink:



Ok…key concept here, again, is DYNAMIC. So easy to forget/overlook.

Like the guys who jumped off a bridge thinking they had a strong enough bungy cord to stop their fall…

one_axis.GIFtwo_axes.GIFIt is perhaps interesting and useful to distinguish between two type of swings as shown very schematically in Figs 1 and 2.

The angular velocity vector and associated plane are perpendicular to each other.

Fig1 shows the case for a single plane downswing. This case is rather close to the mathematical double pendulum swing. The calculated retaining torque should be rather representative.

However I do feel that the type of swing I think lag is teaching, Fig2, has a very different behavior and results in a much lower retaining torque if desired to keep angles.

In the latter swing, where there is first rotation about a horizontal axis and then subsequently around a vertical axis, the behavior of the shaft relative to the lead arm is different.

Just swing gently primarily with the lead arm, keeping the club on plane. Notice how the shaft behaves relative to the lead arm. (2D swing)

Next swing with two arms keeping the shaft in front, bisecting the arms throughout the down swing. First vertical down and then turning horizontally towards the ball. (3D swing)

Notice a very different behavior between lead arm and club shaft in the 3D swing. I feel that it is much easier to maintain angles through impact and beyond.

Perhaps lag can chime in, I am not very good describing real swing motions. What do you think ? :question:

Hence my feeling is that the retaining torque required is less for the 3D swing compared to the 2D swing.

It is understood that the 2D and 3D swings are rather schematic indications, a bit extreme, to ease discussion. :wink:

How do you guys define wristcock, and when you talk of holding it do you mean all of it? Both wrists? Do you distinguish wristcock from shaft flex when you talk about holding it into p4? I wonder about the validity of this stuff…

I think they’re talking about mainly the left wristcock. The kind you can demonstrate by addressing the ball and then cocking your left wrist so that the club head goes straight up (vertical) in the air (clubface stays aimed down the target line). It’s also referred to as the #2 Power Accumulator in TGM terms. And it’s what Steve Stricker waits to do until the top of his swing.
Hopefully, they’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

Left wrist would not be my take on it… although I suspect the answer is tucked away in the modules for safe keeping :laughing:

My money is on…a heavy hand hitter will maintain R wrist bend thru impact and at least thru P4…and will not allow the shaft to get left of center of both hands until after P4. Left wrist unload automatic due to shaft flex downward thru impact interval-physics. That’s how I do it anyway…hand controlled pivot on the way back…set, turn and fire going the other way…with a lot of hand pressures and hand awareness. :slight_smile: RR

I was having a similar conversation with a student today about wrist cock angles.

I am not obsessed with exact angles by any means, but more simply put…
If we started at address with a 120 degree angle (DTL), then closed that angle to 80 degrees at the top,
then it would open back up to 120 at P3, maintain that 120 over to P4…

It would not however continue to open up into an inline position of 180 degrees. That would be the typical
TGM swinging stuff I was taught as young player.

This is where I really had to depart from TGM because would encourage that full inline opening by it’s own definition of
the right arm being pulled straight passively or driven straight actively… (hitting or swinging TGM version)

Homer failed to catalog a bent right arm or a right arm resisting straightening… and this goes against the entire objective
of Homer’s attempting complete categorization of “useful” or even “remotely useful” options regarding right arm participation and release.

I would strongly argue that this is the best option to hit a golf ball when done properly with a pivot driven protocol.

Mandrin’s illustration is very good… the only advancement upon that would be the sequencing of the various acceleration rates that each need to be in place to work properly.

Mandrin’s (2) needs to at some point be rotating or accelerating faster that (1)

The rat stands corrected…I think :laughing:

Tried it today…held the L wrist cock more than I usually do, as well as saving R arm, and R wrist bend, at the same time. Never done it exactly like that before…pretty neat…it’s like a battering ram. RR