Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wrist Action

Reading the title new visitors and indeed seasoned readers may be forgiven for thinking they've logged onto "Carry on Golfing" or indeed a less salubrious type of website. Rest steady me hearties. The good ship Homer sails a much calmer passage. Dodgy wrist action (stop sniggering) is apparently hindering my game.
Regular followers will know that my game has been in somewhat of a lull for a while now. Granted we've had the odd glimpse of promise such as the decent ball striking at Caversham Heath, albeit in a fruitless effort to avoid defeat, but in general terms it hasn't been very good and the lesson booked for last Sunday couldn't come quick enough.

It was back to Maidenhead Golf Centre for another session with Paul Harrison who has been patiently stripping away the faults from the last twenty plus years and slowly, bit by bit replacing them with stronger more repeatable moves.

A man working tirelessly with very poor raw materials!
I've got arguably the biggest competition in very a long year next week when I go to the Forest of Arden for the Golf Monthly Centenary Finals and so I was reluctant for Paul to make too many swing changes or radically overhaul the spluttering excuse of a swing I already had.

I already knew, and I've posted it on here before for the world to see (and mock) that the fundamental issues stem from over-rotation causing the head to rise at the top of the backswing and to lose spine angle significantly on the way down. Paul took some footage which we perused and surmised that the root cause of a lot of issues stemmed from a poor cocking motion of the wrist. Basically it was hinging way too late in the swing and so the hands were always playing catch up. The only way to give myself room to get to the ball was to move up and out. Great when the swing is in perfect sync but a bitch to get right if the pieces don't move at the right time.

By cocking the wrists much earlier in the takeaway not only does it create a steeper angle and theoretically on a better plane but it should stop me over rotating as the body physically can't go any further back. The result should be a solid base, firm coil and ready to unwind into impact. Paul is a great advocate of rehearsing the move in slow motion. The slower the better for him. I have to say I could really feel the correct turns in relation to a tight right hamstring and definitely couldn't get back any further.

When we moved on to hitting the ball, the good ones delivered a much more powerful delivery and with less of high hand finish and more body rotation after impact (something else that needs a lot of work - that's for the Winter though). The biggest issue comes back to that favourite word - TEMPO. Most coaches have said my swing is too fast and even though I've worked a lot on slowing it down, it is still far to quick to be ideal. The quick ones didn't give me a chance to cock the wrists, set the position or turn properly.

The good news is that I've been back to the range and it is coming along nicely. On the downside I took a few videos and somehow I've still found a way to overswing and move my head. It comes back to not cocking the wrists correctly as the club moves back and its something that is going to take time, effort and a lot of repetition.

I did manage to film a swing from my practice just after the lesson finished. It's still not ideal. The backswing is still too long to be ideal but you can see how the turn and coil is more powerful. It is the transition and downswing that needs the work and that should keep Paul busy over the Winter months. Still, I got club on ball and hit it high and straight and so with the Finals coming up next week I'd take that for 18 holes.

So where next. Well there is the usual Saturday roll up and the monthly stableford at Royal Ascot on Sunday to take the swing onto the course and give it an airing. I'll hit the range Friday and again at the weekend if things go horribly astray Saturday or Sunday. Then it's off to Birmingham on Wednesday and the Finals itself on Thursday. After that the season is more or less over and we can start work on stopping the body moving up and out and making a better rotation down and through impact. Like a lot of things, it's going to take time to be competitive and that is one commodity I am preciously short off before next Thursday. Still it will be what it will be. I got there and so anything else is a bonus. So in summary, the latest stage of my fix is all in the wrist apparently (ooo errr!). Not sure I'm too keen to share that with the good wife or some of my fellow golfers mind as it could get me in some trouble.

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