Achieving left wrist supination in the golf swing (Drill)

Hogan - left wrist actionBen Hogan was right that the best swings in the game have this supination action at impact.  It allows the club to come into the ball square.

But many players do not fully understand how to achieve this supination.  Here is how you can begin to get this feeling in your swing.

One of the most important things I have discovered about this supination is that it is NOT achieved by the wrists or the small muscles in the hands.  The wrists are too weak to force this position and too weak to overcome the huge forces that the swing is generating.  The way to achieve this supination is to use the large muscles of the body properly in the golf swing.

That sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it?  Here is an image of the left wrist supinating, but you can’t force it to happen.  You allow it to happen by doing the right things in the swing.

Drills for supination

1. Left hand only half swings (do not hit the ground or a golf ball with this drill)

Start with you normal stance, but only your left hand on the club.  Take the club back only until the shaft is parallel to the ground with the toe pointing straight up.  On the way back you should feel your left forearm rotating.  If you are wearing a watch, the watch should almost face the sky or ceiling when the toe of the club is pointing up.  Your shoulders should rotate too and their rotation should stop when the shaft reaches parallel.

Initiate the downswing by rotating your hips to the left.  You should feel a small delay in the arms.  Take the club through until it is also parallel with the ground.  The toe should be up and have rotated somewhat to the left.  While you are doing these short swings, take a look at the position of your left hand, it should match the drawing.  If it is not matching, don’t force it match by using your wrists.  That doesn’t work.  You need to feel large muscles actually driving the rotation of the club face.

It will take some practice but this drill will help you to feel the club releasing and rotating through impact.  As you do this drill, you will improve your left hand arm action and it will help you hit the ball longer and straighter.

Hitting the ball with your entire body

After a few days away from the game (10 actually) I went to the driving range today.  Amazingly the swing thought of throwing the club down the range was still firmly ingrained and I was hitting some really good shots.  I began to play around with a new swing thought to see what would happen.

1. The no shoulders swing.

As I’ve been documenting a battle with an OTT move I realized that the first thing that usually happens with an OTT move is that the shoulders turn before the hips do, sending the club over the top.  So this thought went like this: don’t rotate the shoulders on the downswing.  Now obviously you can’t not turn and still hit the golf ball.  This thought does really force the hips and lower body to turn first.  I had one swing with this thought that felt like the perfect swing.  It was with the driver, the club I fight OTT with the most.

I hit one drive with this no shoulder swing, and the swing felt slow.  At impact it felt like I hit the ball with my entire body, and even though the swing felt slow, the contact was completely solid.  The ball sailed over the back fence at 240 yds.  It seemed that it hit the apex just above the fence, and I have no idea how much further it carried but it was the best drive I had hit in some time.  It was dead straight and it had an awesome trajectory.  In Five lessons, Ben Hogan talks about hitting the ball with your entire body.  I don’t think I had ever truly experienced that until this swing.  It was pretty amazing and something I want to feel on every shot.