After last week’s blog about the wrists and what the PGA pros do to manipulate the club head, let’s just say we have only just begun. This week I am going to discuss the half way back position. That is the terminology I am going to use for when the club head is parallel to the ground, half way back. Nobody allowed the club to get to an open position at this point in the swing, even though there were 15 players out of 61 that got the club face open at the top of the swing. To review, there were 21 players that were square half way back, 17 were slightly shut, and 23 that were shut. So what conclusions can be drawn.
Obviously, whether it be consciously or unconsciously, no player wants to fan the club open early in the swing. My thinking is that by opening the club face early in the swing, it would have a tendency to make the swing really on the flat side. You would get a lot of forearm rotation early in the golf swing, which apparently is not a good thing.
I think some of the shut face positions are due to a natural tendency to want the club face to continue to look at the target line for as long as possible. I see a lot of beginning golfers get in this position half way back.
There were only 12 players or about 20%, who were both square half way back and at the top of there swings. This to me would be the ideal way to swing and I am sure would be the way most instructors would try to teach. Eighty per cent have some variation on the square and square method. You have to wonder how much of this is consciously done or is this something that players work on and just can not seem to correct. Surely they know that they do this with all the video they watch of their swings.
Within this 80% group, there has to be a lot going on to make some of the moves they make from the half way back position to the top of the swing. So lets look at the three that make the biggest moves, that is going from the shut position half way back to open at the top. There were 3 players Ray Floyd, Colin Montgomery, and Jack Nicklaus who did this and I mentioned last week that Ben Hogan went from slightly shut to wide open. All four had pretty distinct swings with Floyd’s being the most unorthodox. Again it’s pretty hard to draw any conclusions from those 4 players about why their hands and wrists worked the way they did.
In conclusion, the lesson to be learned here is don’t start opening the club face until you get at least past the half way back part of the backswing. That is even if you want to open the club face at the top but that will be discussed in later blogs as we get to the top of the swing and bring it back to the ball. Heading to San Diego to see the grand kids for Christmas, so it will probably be about 2 weeks before I continue the wrist study.