In this excerpt from the book, I include a brief discussion of wrist movement in the golf swing. MGS teaching wants no conscious or active cocking, hinging, or setting of the wrists when swinging. This does not mean however that we not should pay attention to what the wrists do, and how they move when making golf swing. As we will find out the wrist move in a very particular way in any good swing, and that using the MGS approach can take full advantage of this without handicapping ourselves in the process.
What The Wrists Do At Impact
I want to explain briefly what happens with the wrists at impact, and how we can make a change in our set up to take advantage of this. Notice that I did not say “what we do with our wrists at Impact”, I said what the wrists do at impact. Or to put it another way what happens to the wrist at impact. This is not mere semantics or word games, there is a whole subset of instruction – that teaches conscious and active manipulation of the forearms and wrists when swinging. Both in the original Blueprint and in this section on MGS I want to be very clear-THERE IS NO ACTIVE MANIPULATION OR ROTATION OF THE FOREARMS OR WRISTS by the golfer.
That doesn’t mean they don’t move and get into positions, in the golf swing-it just means that we do not consciously try to achieve those movements or positions while swinging. If you think about it the whole golf swing only happens in the time span of about 1 second, the critical impact zone-about 10/100 of a second. To try and actively control our forearms and wrists to affect the outcome of the shot is like trying to catch the wind with your hands. Like the first part of the Blueprint, we will achieve good impact by what we do before we come into impact. We will just adopt a different, more minimal approach with MGS.
Wrist Movement Terminology
I hate to do this because it ventures into the realm of techno-golf speak, but I must. Refer to the pictures below that illustrate the different ways the wrist moves:
For the lead wrist, we are concerned about radial and ulnar deviation, and for the trail wrist, flexion and extension. In the golf swing the lead wrist is in radial deviation prior to the down swing, and releases to full ulnar deviation at impact. This is the main movement we should concern ourselves with (the trail wrist is in extension until impact then goes into flexion and ulnar deviation post impact). Now some teaching (including mine) will have you cock or hinge the lead wrist into radial deviation. With MGS, we ALLOW it to go into radial deviation. At impact, with a good swing, the wrist releases into ulnar deviation. THIS IS TRUE FOR EVERY GOLF SWING THAT IS ANY KIND OF FINE SWING. Check out these pictures of some pretty good golfers at impact:
The telltale sign is the straight line along the top of the forearm and the “L” formed by the bottom of the hand and forearm. Here is a pic of me demonstrating radial and ulnar deviation:
Radial Deviation Ulnar Deviation Ulnar Deviation Radial Deviation
Now here is what I want you to understand. When setting up to the golf ball, you want to make sure that your lead arm is so relaxed that the weight of the club takes your lead wrist to full ulnar deviation. Then once that has happened, bend forward to address the ball. As you swing, you keep this state of relaxation in your lead arm. Unlike the original blueprint, we make no attempt to set the wrist flat or pull it into radial deviation. What we do is allow the weight of the club, and the force of the backswing to accomplish this. When you change directions to begin the downswing there will be an increased hinging or pulling of the lead wrist into radial deviation (mainstream golf instruction calls this “down cocking”). Then as you come into impact, it will release back into ulnar deviation.
Here’s the exciting thing-because you already set your measure to the ball at address into full ulnar deviation, you will be able to return the club to the ball with a high degree of consistency, without having to change your posture or angles you set at address. This is the surest, most minimal way to grip the club and address the ball. And that, my aspiring swing builder, leads me to my next point.