The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The blog is back as the Burgh got it’s first real snow fall of the year, around 7 inches. Today I am going to look at the golfers who are closed or shut faced half way and closed at the top of their swing. There were 10 out of 61 pros who were both although 3 of those you could argue were close to square at the top. I am going to list the 7 who were definitely shut at the top. As you will see it is quite a diverse group.

The seven, in no particular order, are David Duval, Nancy Lopez, Arnold Palmer, Lexi Thompson, Paul Azinger, Lee Trevino, and Dustin Johnson. Do these players have any common denominator, other than they were all at one time or right now great players. Certainly they all don’t have a common ball flight. Azinger and Trevino were faders or the golf ball and Palmer and Thompson draw the ball. I not too sure about the ball flight pattern of the other 3 but those 4 were opposite. One thing you can say is, that Duval, Lopez, Palmer and Trevino had pretty unique swings. The only comment that I could find any of them make about their shut faced position at the top was by Palmer who said that he felt that this position helped keep him from hooking the ball too much. He must have felt that the clockwise rotation of the club head to get to square accomplished this. I do find this to be a unique way to fade the ball, but this obviously worked for Trevino, one of the all time greats. You will find the same diversity in any of the other 9 combinations that are possible, half way back, and at the top of the back swing. One of the other interesting things is that a lot of the so called classic swingers are not square at both positions. That could be the reason that even though their swing is very technically correct, they don’t play as well, as some people think they should. I am not sure this is a correct conclusion, but the more correct your swing is, maybe its more important for you to be in the square and square position.

I haven’t been able to draw many conclusions from this study of wrist movement in the golf swing, because I haven’t been able to take much to the course. I still believe that wrist action is misunderstood or totally ignored in golf instruction. It will take care of itself syndrome is definitely wrong. Do I have any ideas? Of course I do. Speaking of ideas, that’s what the future blogs are going to be about. A synopsis of the ideas I have had about the golf swing, over the last 5 and 1/2 years of this blog, that were mostly wrong, but that I have refined to get to the pathetic state that I am in today.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The blog is back after about 3 weeks and today we are going to take the wrists from the top of the swing to impact. I did not try to get into gray areas when it came to the position at the top. I judged the player to be open, square or closed. I would not argue that some players that I called open or closed, somebody else may say they were square. The two extreme positions of open and closed at the top are club face pointing to the sky when closed and the toe pointing to ground when extremely opened.  The model golfer swing is square throughout and that is what I used for a comparison.

Of the 61 swings I looked at, there were 31 that were square, 15 that were open, and 15 that were closed at the top of the swing. If the players maintained that position all the way through impact then the players that were open and closed would wind up hitting big right to right slices or big pull hooks. Obviously this is not what pros do. There is manipulation of the club head to produce a good shot. The players that are closed at the top have to rotate the toe of the club in a clockwise direction to begin to square the club head. The opposite is true of the open at top. They need to rotate the club head in a counter clockwise direction in order to square the club head. You can open the club more  than you can close the club at the top of the swing, so there can be even more manipulation club head from the open position. These are the elements of what the wrists are doing during the golf swings of professional golfers. I will go into specific examples in future blogs. I haven’t drawn any conclusions because I haven’t been able to take much of this to the golf course, because of the holidays and I have been felled by a mild cold. Even though the weather has not been too bad, when you get to my age you don’t take any chances with the weather, when you are feeling a little under the weather.

Speaking of the holidays, which were great, I must relate two stories. First I was in San Diego for one week, from Dec. 22 to the 29. With the exception of one day, it was warmer in Pittsburgh, than in San Diego.  That may never happen again.  My grand kids got the X box for Christmas. One of games they got was the PGA tour one with Rory on the front. That’s the answer to golf, just put the game on the easy mode and you will be shooting in the 50’s for 18 holes  every time. My 6 year old grand son hit ball extremely well. The game can be set up for a Tour event. Here is what he liked to do. Even though he could hit the ball well, his favorite thing to do was to hit the ball on purpose into the crowd. On the game this would send people ducking and the ball would hit people in various places. He would get the biggest kick out of this and just laugh and laugh. A new perspective in golf. In future blogs I will be looking at some individuals players and try to make sense out of those very interesting wrists.