Handsy swing or big muscle swing?

Hi Folks,

I'd like to hear opinions about swing technique, specifically if you consider yourself a handsy player or a big muscle player/swinger.

I practiced the past week working on the fundamentals of Jim McLean's 8 step swing - I hit the ball nicely, solid, accurate, etc.  Then I practiced the past two days using a more handsy swing - basically not thinking of anything else except swing the club with my hands and hitting the ball.  I hit the ball so much more consistently and solidly using my "handsy" swing - and it was much much easier for me to repeat.  

I'm a 12 hcp and have been playing for quite some time, and I'm surprised that there is not more written about the proper use of the hands in the golf swing - I think it is detrimental for golfers to ignore this vital power source, and shot-shaping technique.

Thoughts?

   

Online advisors tell you what works with someone else. If I'm not releasing in tempo, there is a local pro that can (remind me) quickly see what I'm doing to hurt my game (again). I can no more swing like Ben Hogan than Jim Furyk. Or come close to Bubba for club head speed, although he hardly looks like the most athleletic on tour. If handsy gets your clubhead through the ball faster and on target, I wouldn't change a thing.

The "big muscle" swing has been the predominant swing model for a decade or two or three? I've seen a newer swing method using some kind of coil or "X" factor. I can't make any sense out of it.

Interestingly in Golf for Women (Suggs et al, 1960) there is no mention of large muscles rather a constant theme of coordinated movement.

You have the coordination to use your hands so be grateful and hit the ball to your heart's content.

I think your title of "big muscle swing" is confusing.

What I think you are asking is if someone is advocating a handsy swing where the wrists and forearms really turn over a great deal during the downswing (ernie els, tiger woods, bubba watson) or a less wristy swing more closed at the top and holding it open on the way through (Steve Stricker, Furyk, Zach Johnson, DJ).

I guess that depends on how good your timing is, less hands usually equals a square clubface through the hitting zone if your holding the swing open from a closed position at the top.

Everybody does it different, I personally have the DJ type swing shut at the top, very little wrist action.  Then on the way through I hold it open otherwise I hit a 100 yard duck hook.  I have yet to meet a PGA pro that advocates one method over the other since each person has their own swing.  Both methods work, just don't try combining them.

The best tip on wrist motion was from a volunteer teaching pro at www.allexperts.com.    The motion of your front arm and hand is palm vertical at address, palm down at the top of the backswing, palm up at follow through.  Front wrist and arm are an assembly.   This works for me.

Does anybody remember the Wally Armstrong "Circular Power Golf" video series from the 1990s? The one with the coathanger and sponge as training aids?  This is probably where Leslie Nielsen got some of the ideas for his "Bad Golf' video (opening scene showing "Billy" with a beach ball between his legs and a stick on his back).

Hi im in high school and can drive 290-310 accurately.  I'm a baseball player, too.  Hitting for power in baseball, hitting long drives in golf, and dancing are all the same, its all in the hips.  Well its really your core, hips and legs.  If you think about its its really simple.  You can produce much more torque with the big muscles in your mid-lower body then the small muscles in the arms.  

Your lucky, hitting the ball straight is the easy part.  If you want to hit the ball farther then you need work on your hip and core rotation.  if you look at your swing in slow-mo your hips and core should be completely rotated by the time your club head reaches the ball.  this will create the natural snap of the wrists that you we talking about.  You wont need to think about, it will be natural. Good Luck

P.S.  Watch you swing on video anytime you have a problem, dont try to fix it with feel or you'll develop bad habits

Well i like the Jim's 8 step swing its a set of fundimentals that have been taught for along long time. What jim is teaching isnt new its just repackaged. As far as Hands vs Big muscle. Its Big muscle every time. Handsy swings feel good and when your hitting well you feel more controling. Problem is handsy in the long run is less consistant. it takes a lot of hand eye cordination to be handsy and with age the first thing to go is this hands eye cordination. That is why the short game is the first to go. Building a good swing from the core fundimentals of big muscle swings are the best.  Heres a few reasons.

1. less moving parts. what i mean by this is you are involving the less muscle groups threw the majority of the swing. Yes i know you'll use almost the same amount. but you'll use them at diffrent times and less of them for the majority of the swing. = less room for error. 

2. with using less muscles you'll have an easyer time repeating. yes I will take a while to change to this swing but it will last you longer. 

3. there are three major rotations in a big muscle swing. Hips, shoulders, and wrist (but only one major rotations in the wrist)

when your using the big muscles your holding the shaft angle as long as posible. (that 90 degree angle of shaft to forearm.) the only rotations at this point should be a natural rotation. what i meen by this is if you hold your club straigh out with the face 90 dgree angle to the ground. in front you see your wrist about 45 degree upward angle from your left to your right wrist. Now then sitll holding the club straight out in front move the club fase to parallel. you'll notice the the head moves back  from straight out and the wrist now are parallel to the ground. This movement only required your forearms to. (for the most part) Now then i know what your thinking what about that 90degree shaft fore arm thing. its there when you bend your right elbow in like you would on a normal swing. 

If you master jim's 8 step swing you might lose a few yards but you'll gain consistancy. and you'll have a swing you can repet for life. 

I might have lost alot of people with that one but i tried

cheers greens and fairways

simba

Lou G

The best tip on wrist motion was from a volunteer teaching pro at www.allexperts.com.    The motion of your front arm and hand is palm vertical at address, palm down at the top of the backswing, palm up at follow through.  Front wrist and arm are an assembly.   This works for me.

Does anybody remember the Wally Armstrong "Circular Power Golf" video series from the 1990s? The one with the coathanger and sponge as training aids?  This is probably where Leslie Nielsen got some of the ideas for his "Bad Golf' video (opening scene showing "Billy" with a beach ball between his legs and a stick on his back).

Paul Wilson of Revolution Golf teaches pretty much a fool proof swing (kind of a simplified stack n tilt).  It is a coordinated motion.  Lower body is quiet on the backswing (if the backswing is done correctly, one's talking should be labored at the top).  Hips start the downswing, then the shoulders turn and then the wrists rotate through impact. 

Even Martin Hall teaches that the front arm and wrist rotates and the rear wrist hinges.

The Big 90 Degree Backswing  Parallel at the Top is the biggest cause of swing faults.  Tendency to overswing makes it difficult to shift the weight to the front foot.    The left foot comes off the ground on the backswing because people overswing. 

In baseball they teach you to get your weight into it when swinging.  There's also no big 90 degree backswing in baseball,either.

Michael C

I think your title of "big muscle swing" is confusing.

What I think you are asking is if someone is advocating a handsy swing where the wrists and forearms really turn over a great deal during the downswing (ernie els, tiger woods, bubba watson) or a less wristy swing more closed at the top and holding it open on the way through (Steve Stricker, Furyk, Zach Johnson, DJ).

I guess that depends on how good your timing is, less hands usually equals a square clubface through the hitting zone if your holding the swing open from a closed position at the top.

Everybody does it different, I personally have the DJ type swing shut at the top, very little wrist action.  Then on the way through I hold it open otherwise I hit a 100 yard duck hook.  I have yet to meet a PGA pro that advocates one method over the other since each person has their own swing.  Both methods work, just don't try combining them.

I know about DJ - his dad is the Swing Surgeon (Don Trahan, www.swingsurgeon.com ; he was formerly at Revolution Golf) and one of the biggest opponents of a rotational golf swing.   Don's philosophy is "in da mitt and tru da tree" where you take the club back into an imaginary catcher's mitt and swing along the target line through the finish; the backswing is a bit more compact and the finish a bit shorter.   The other end of the spectrum on golf swing instruction is Michael Breed (his swing is pretty close to horizontal).  There was also an article in Golf Digest about  swing plane  and the test was holding your elbow at your side and trying to touch your fingertips to your shoulder; if it would be behind the shoulder you would use a rotational swing and if you couldn't manage to touch it, you would use an upright 2 plane swing.  WIth Paul Wilson's golf swing, things like wrist *** and weight shift are just about automatic.

JPHB,

I've always used a mix of both of them. I am a former baseball player and am used to using both large muscles and hands to be successful. Let me explain...the golf swing requires consistent movement to attain consistent contact with the ball. Therefore the easiest way to make this happen is to use our larger muscles (shoulders, back, quads, thighs). However, once your large muscles have learned your specific rotation, your hands can then take over. The most common mistake I see is when golfers bend too far over their golf ball at address. If you eliminate this "bending over," you can almost guarantee that your large muscles and hands can work together more efficiently.

Remember, you can't compress the ball without power and you can't gain distance without swing speed. You have to have both.

 

Andrew W

JPHB,

I've always used a mix of both of them. I am a former baseball player and am used to using both large muscles and hands to be successful. Let me explain...the golf swing requires consistent movement to attain consistent contact with the ball. Therefore the easiest way to make this happen is to use our larger muscles (shoulders, back, quads, thighs). However, once your large muscles have learned your specific rotation, your hands can then take over. The most common mistake I see is when golfers bend too far over their golf ball at address. If you eliminate this "bending over," you can almost guarantee that your large muscles and hands can work together more efficiently.

Remember, you can't compress the ball without power and you can't gain distance without swing speed. You have to have both.

 

Sports endeavors require an athletically ready stance (back straight, knees slightly flexed, standing tall), ready to move either direction.  Think about how one stands when playing baseball, tennis, basketball, volleyball, or martial arts (this does include boxing and wrestling).  Also think when you punch in boxing or throw a baseball - the power comes from the big muscles and your body weight.  The golf swing is a coordinated sequence - turning of upper body on backswing with resistance of lower body, starting downswing with lower body, turning shoulders and then releasing arms through impact and finish; the wrist cocking and uncocking comes naturally.