Don’t Spin the Shaft

By Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

Few things will disrupt your ball flight more than too much forearm rotation. Two bones in your forearm rotate over one another to allow the palm of your hand to turn skyward and to the ground. These are ‘handy’ movements to have in your survival arsenal, but if over/under occurs during your golf swing, it can cause trouble. This is important because it’s your forearms that rotate the clubface and the position of your clubface at impact is responsible for 85% of your accuracy.

The key to accuracy is to cock your wrists with minimum rolling of your forearms during the takeaway. It’s important to understand how to set your lead wrist without spinning the shaft, so here’s a drill: Extend your lead arm straight out and aim your hand at a target as if it were a pistol with the hammer (your thumb) cocked and ready to fire.  Ideally, your wrist should be directly in line with your forearm, with no cupping of the wrist. Once you understand the movement, take your address and practice cocking your wrist so the club sets upward, making sure it stays in line with your forearm while you create a 90-degree angle between your shaft and your hand.

The Swing

To keep your lead forearm under control during your takeaway, cock your front wrist (per the drill) by moving your thumb back toward your lead shoulder as you swing your arm across the middle of your chest. Here the butt of your club points between the target line and your toe line. Please note that your arms swing up/back as your wrists cock up, but the forearm doesn’t rotate.

Here is the guiding concept: the arms/wrists do the up and down, the body does the around, and they don’t get into each other’s business. Thus, the amount the club travels behind you equals the amount of body rotation. The amount the club goes above you equals the arm/wrist elevation – and here is the key point – as you rotate your body, the momentum tilts the shaft so that it now points at the target line (on the plane angle).

You don’t force the shaft to rotate but allow your friend “MO” to do it; when momentum is your friend, the destructive clubface twirl that troubles so many golfers will disappear.

Summary: Cock the club straight up, then let the rotation of your body tilt it onto the swing plane angle. And remember: Don’t spin the shaft – with a quiet face comes consistency, and you quiet your clubface by cutting back on your forearm rotation.

Our model has begun to cock his wrist so that the shaft is in line with the lead arm.

Now you can see the blue on his shirt, indicating that his body turn has begun to deepen and adjust the club on the plane angle. The arrow shows the depth; i.e., the shaft is now pointing at the target line.

The College of Golf at Keiser University can help. With PGA professionals on staff and state-of-the-practice technology available to our students, we can prepare you for the golf career of your dreams. Contact us today for more information.

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