The Pyramid Of Learning (P6)
THE 45 DEGREE PRACTICE DRILL
How can you begin to correct either of the two fault sill ustrated above? Well,the simple drill you see here (right) is one way to realise the correct arm swing– I call it my 45 degree drill, and you can do it with both the left and right hand.
To start, get your self in to perfect posture and find your natural ‘arm-hang’. Then, repeating the good body action, allow your right arm to swing and fold in to this 45-degree position. This will give you the sensation of the body action and arm swing working in harmony. Repeat the exercise with the left arm allowing the wrist to cock up to find this same 45 degree position.
[Note: The 45 degree ang leisan approximation– the exact angle will vary from club to club, player to player.]
The relevance of this drill can be seen clearly in the good image (A) above – the swing is in a good, neutral position.
UNDERSTAN DTHE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ‘HINGEING’ AND ‘COCKING’ OF THE WRISTS
For the past 25 years or so golfers have debated whether the hands are used in the golf swing or not. The truth is that there is hand ‘action’ in a correct on-plane golf swing and hand ‘manipulation’ in an incorrect off-plane (and out of balance) golf swing.
When thinking about hand action, and applying it to your golf swing, you must first understand the distinction between two phrases you have probably heard of – ‘hingeing’ and ‘cocking’. Some coaches regard these as one and the same. But there’s a definite difference, as you can see here.
HINGEING THE WRIST (ILLUSTRATED ABOVE)
When you assume the correct ‘arm-hang’, the hinge of the wrists is from side to side, similar to the opening and closing of a door.
COCKING (ILLUSTRATED BELOW)
Again assuming the correct arm-hang, the cocking of the wrists is an up and down motion, similar to cocking a gun.
A sound swing demands the correct blend and balance of hingeing and cocking. Too much hingeing of the hands will take the golf club away on a horizontal plane (i.e. too flat), where it will be off balance. This will generally lead to a ball flight which is low and to the left.
Too much cocking of the wrists, in contrast, will generally see the club follow too vertical a plane, resulting in a ball flight which is predominantly high and to the right.
When they are playing well, you’ll often hear good players say that they do not feel as though they are using their hands in the swing at all; when they are struggling they often complain that their swing feels much too “handsy”.
The truth is that they are using a corect natural feeling hand action when they are swinging well and on-plane; when they are swinging off-plane they are relying on years of practice, experience, talent and hand-eye coordination to get the club on the ball.
That last point explains the huge difference between tour players and amateurs; even when he is swinging badly, a tour player they can use incredible hand-eye coordination to get the ball around in a decent score, something that is beyond most amateurs (in Level 3 we I discuss how you can improve your natural hand-eye coordination – see the complete series on the Gi website).