Golf Tips - Understanding How the Hands and Arms Work in the Golf Swing

By Tom Ward

Tom Ward demonstrating vertical alignment with club

It's the only contact you have with the club and, unfortunately for most golfers, this is where all the problems begin. When playing we all get nervous and tense, and experience varying degrees of anxiety throughout the round. Under pressure we revert back to squeezing the club tighter than we intended, thus creating an improper chain reaction culminating in less than desired results.

Here is an excellent way to warm up before your round - a great drill that will help counteract the tendency to "hit", and instead will allow you to train your golf muscles - not just your golf mind - to make the swings you've imagined in your practice sessions.

As you can see in the photo at left, I have lifted the club to about chest level high with my left hand only. I am using my right arm as a support, and this also helps me isolate the amount of movement in my left elbow. You can do this exercise without the aid of your right arm as a support system if desired. The purpose of this specialized drill is to increase flexibility in your wrists and forearms which, in turn, will prevent injury due to the sometimes jarring downward blows that golfers impart on their iron shots.

Tom Ward demonstrating right-angle wrist stretch

This drill will also teach you the feeling of how your forearms (bigger muscles) need to control the smaller muscles which are your hands/wrists. Most golfers are under the impression that the hands/wrists controls the arms, when in reality it's the other way around.

Next, you'll notice in the photo at right that I have gently allowed the club head to be lowered by my left forearm to almost a horizontal position. My left elbow has maintained the same position that I had in the first photo, thus beginning the muscle building process. This is essential in order to maximize the resistance, and really work this particular muscle group which is vital in your golf swing.

Tom Ward demonstrating right-angle wrist stretch, opposite side

Finally, after bringing the club head back to its first position I have now lowered it slowly to the right, as can be seen in the photo at left.

You'll find that a series of 3 reps of 15/12/10, and alternating to the other arm, will more than suffice in the beginning. Doing this type of specifically designed program daily will reap benefits quickly by preventing injuries and increasing your swing speed - which means longer straighter drives.

Remember: most of your bad shots are caused when you use your "hands" to hit the ball. Any attempt to use your hands in your shots will ultimately lead you to break down your wrists, thus causing you loss of power and control.

The best part of this golf drill is that you can practice this in the luxury of your home or office, and don't have to be hitting thousands of golf balls to train yourself to the correct movement of your hands/arms and their important use in your swing.

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