Golf Tips - Hands Inside the Club Head During The Swing

By Joe Sullivan

This tip is in response to something I saw at this week's Phoenix Open. Actually, I have known about this for a few years, but I thought I should share it with you upon seeing a lot of these pros doing it.

I am not about to suggest some untested, revolutionary, breakthrough, space-age type of techniques. No way! It's what the best players in the world do, and because it's what the best do, it just might work for you, too.

"Keep your hands inside the club head as you swing back to waist level".

This is an especially good thought for the open-clubface-at-impact slicer. Most of these slicers create their open clubface because they roll the club wide-open during the first three feet of the swing. As a result, the club usually gets way behind them at the top, and from that position, it is very difficult to square it up. There must be some wild, compensating move made coming down. If you think "hands inside, club head outside", this will keep your clubface square at waist high, and will also help put you in the proper shape at the top of your swing. It will definitely prevent that clockwise, rolling-open action of your forearms and club, which has led to many disastrous shots over the years.

I received this tip a few years back at a lesson I had with the renowned teacher, Rick Smith. The lesson was almost completely rained out, but he did give me this one tip. The image he suggested to help me achieve "hands inside, club head outside" was to feel as though the butt end of my club traveled right past my right thigh. There was still a gap between my leg and the club, but the butt end momentarily pointed at my right thigh. This, in turn, would keep everything "one-piece", as well as keeping my clubface square, and also improving my swing plane.

If you look at many of the great ball strikers in the game today, you can see how clearly they do this. Both Nick's, Faldo and Price, are very noticeable with this move. Faldo, once he gets to waist high, will plane off with his wrists, whereas Price will do more so with his arms, but they both reach waist level in practically the same fashion.

Or look at Hal Sutton. Maybe you saw him today on television. He was getting a decent amount of coverage until he made triple bogey at 17. Perhaps you took note of his nice hands-in, club head-out takeaway. There is no rolling open action in that move. Hal also happens to be one of the premier ball strikers in the game today.

Another image you can use to achieve this is to think of the swing as two circles, or two hoola-hoops. One would be on the outside where the ball and club head are, and the other on the inside where your hands are. From there, just swing the club on the outer circle, and your hands on the inner circle. It's that simple. Don't get too aggressive and follow the circle all the way around. Just do it to waist level and you?ll be fine.

So remember, "your hands are in, the club head is a result, you will be square throughout". *

Columns ©1999 Joseph K. Sullivan and GolfLink Inc. All rights reserved.

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