Educated Hands: Key to a Great Golf Swing

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By Ian Passwell

AAA Rated PGA Pro at Thornleigh Golf Centre

WITHOUT doubt, the most important position in golf is IMPACT. The only thing the ball reacts to is where the clubhead is at the point of impact.

The result of the shot whether it is good, bad or indifferent is totally programmed into the ball during the brief time the clubhead remains in contact with the ball – just 4/10,000 of a second.

For more consistent programming, the hands have to adopt a particular position known as “Educated Hands”.

The number one imperative for the right hander is to have a “Flat” back of left wrist at impact and into the follow through.

Golf as a two handed game requires the right wrist to be “Bent” to accommodate the “Flat” left wrist. Therefore, the “Flat” left and “Bent” right wrist at impact constitutes “Educated Hands”.

When “Educated Hands” are achieved, you will note that the shaft will have a forward lean so that your hands are closer to the target than the clubhead and your weight moved more onto your left side. At impact the shaft and left arm should form a straight line from a “face on” perspective. With your irons this should create ball impact first before ground contact thus creating a divot.

Let us now discuss the DIVOT. Many new golfers believe to get the ball airborne they must get the clubhead under the ball and scoop it into the air. This is 1,000% WRONG!

To achieve proper impact with an iron, hybrid or fairway metal when hit off the ground, the ball must be struck a descending blow, not ascending. The downward force will squeeze the ball between the clubface and the ground compressing  the ball into the air with correct spin creating required trajectory.

Because the golf swing is based on the geometry of the circle there is only one ground “low point”. A well struck iron will create a divot starting after the ball is struck and not before. As the divot progresses it may measure 20cm or more in length. The “low point” or deepest part of the divot is approximately 10cm past the ball for the very best ball strikers.

Unfortunately, the divot for the average amateur commences before the ball is struck causing much loss of power and accuracy.

For that reason many golfers are reluctant to take a divot because they have no understanding of the correct compression concept.

Without true compression there little chance of major improvement.

As mentioned earlier, to achieve compression, you must create a forward leaning shaft at impact. When this occurs, you automatically achieve “Educated Hands” with “Flat” left and “Bent” right wrist. The longer you sustain these conditions through impact, the better you will be able to create a long thin divot and sustain your line of compression.

The divot depth should be like a “rasher of bacon NOT a pork chop”. If your divot is too deep and chunky, your angle of attack is too steep. If the divot is heading too far left across the intending line of flight, you are swinging “outside to in” across the target line causing a slice OR pull depending on clubface angle. I will discuss these matters in subsequent articles.

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Many drills can be practiced to train your “Educated Hands”.

PUTTING: Focus on “Flat” left or “Bent” right wrist keeping thumbs pointing down.

IMPACT FIX: Go from address with hands opposite body centre weight even to hands opposite left leg and weight more left side.

IMPACT BAG: Used to simulate impact by striking the bag with forward leaning shaft so that clubhead and shaft make contact with thumbs pointing down.

For further information or tuition contact Ian Passwell at Thornleigh Golf Centre 98755445 / 0413538560.

Thornleigh Golf Centre


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Golf Driving Ranges, Mini Golf Courses, Golf Shop & More

Thornleigh Golf Centre, located in Sydney’s north, is one of the leading golf facilities in Australia with two levels of Golf Driving Ranges. The centre has been designed by golfers for golfers and has everything you need to improve your game whether you’re a single marker or a beginner just starting out. The team of AAA rated golf professionals is led by Steven Aisbett and includes Pete Hayhoe, Allan May, Ian Passwell, Jason Wood, Jeremy Ward and Grant Kenny.

Visit the website to find out more or book a lesson on online by clicking here: Thornleigh Golf Centre. Phone: 02 9875 5445

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