Faulty Forearms Destroy Release

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

Faulty Forearms
Most golfers lack clubhead speed through the hitting area because they fail to release their forearms properly. Faulty forearm action also produces either too much or too little clubface rotation through impact, disrupting the ball flight.

On its own, your hand can hinge back and forth horizontally (toward and away from the target), and it can move up and down vertically in a cocking action where the thumb moves toward and away from the forearm, and a combination of the two motions called circumduction. But because of the way humans are built, your hand can’t turn over on its own.

To prove it, extend your left arm in front of you with your palm facing the ground. Hold your left wrist very tightly with your right hand so that you immobilize your left forearm. Now, with your right hand resisting, try to rotate your left palm to the sky. You’ll find that you can’t rotate it because it’s the forearm that rotates the hand – not your wrist – and in the golf swing, it’s this action that squares the clubface to the ball.

It is ironic that the first part of learning the golf swing involves active involvement in making sure the hands, body and club operate correctly. You learn how to be involved in your swing sequence. You can make conscious adjustments to control your backswing. The second part of learning your swing involves learning how to be uninvolved. You must learn to give up control and all thoughts of manipulation and turn the swing over to physics and biomechanics.

This relinquishment of control is the hardest thing you ever have to give up — harder than alcohol, nicotine, drugs or chocolate (well, maybe not chocolate). Control is the hardest single entity for humans to let go of, and once you embrace this fundamental, you’ll play your best golf: You control your backswing in order to cede control of your downswing to physics.

Takeaway: If you are out of control going back, you must take control coming through – it’s called compensation. But if you are under control going back, you can take your hands off the steering wheel and let it rip.

If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.


  1. I rotate and finish my swing on the range but not the course. Sounds like I’m trying to control my swing on the course. Would you agree. Any suggestions for how I break this. I know I loose distance on the course because I don’t finish. Your thoughts. Thanks.

  2. TJ your a great teacher. You gave me a lesson when you were in Atlanta (Heritage golf club) . Reading your article on compensation on the backswing, So it’s ok to be more deliberate on the backswing to really rotate forearm aggressive through the impact (ball) area?

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