Golf Tips - Building A Long Distance Swing

By Tom Ward

Distance is clubhead speed. Clubhead speed is produced by body motion swinging the club in vertical, circular and horizonal directions. With the clubhead moving in these three directions it's important to understand why you need a proper lever system in your golf swing.

If a player were to swing with the arms only and with no wrist movement, that would be one lever system. This would produce accuracy, but no power. A two-lever is created by allowing the wrists to hinge. A two lever system increases the clubhead speed.

The question is when or where in the swing should the wrists hinge? Starting the backswing, top of the backswing or on the downswing? Learning to time this action is the key to added distance without sacrificing accuracy.

The grip has a strong influence as to when and how the wrists hinge. The grip position will be determined by the size, strength and flexibilty of the hands. With a strong grip, the wrists will hinge early in the backswing. With the left hand on the top side of the grip("V" pointed towards the chin), wrists will hinge much later. A tight grip will interfere with the hinging of the wrists as well as restrict left arm action. The golf ball doesn't care when the wrists hinge as it only reacts to the angle, speed and clubface at impact. The key is to never let them unhinge prematurely( casting the clubhead) as it's commonly referred to in golf lingo. Allow the law of physics to unhinge your wrists as centrifugal force will get the job done quite nicely.

Wrist action in the golf swing should be a natural movement, and is, if one can swing the club instead of trying to force a hitting action. Swinging and hitting are opposite methods of applying power. The wrists should be used as the hinges connecting the arms to the club. The natural outward pull of the clubhead will create the proper wrist action throughout impact. The swinging action has both ends of the club moving in the same direction. In the hitting action, the two ends are moving in the opposite directions. Most people have a natural instinct to try to hit the ball as hard as they can. Unfortunately, this urge will get them into a lot of trouble with wayward shots and painful muscle joints. Remember: Don't force the feel(hitting action), feel the force(swinging action). So may the force be with you(ha)! *

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