FOREARMS and PALMS; HINGE PLATES of the GOLFSWING.
If you said to me, “Luther, you have got only 5 minutes to teach me just one thing about golf to last a lifetime” I would tell you about gripping the club with a “Parallel Left Thumb”! The placing of the left thumb correctly on the shaft will govern how much the wrists cock and also the plane in which they hinge. In this article, I will explain an ideal principle that applies to everyone, no matter if they choose the Baseball, Vardon or Interlocking grip. Vitally, a “parallel left thumb” will also allow you to control your forearms correctly throughout the swing. Let me show you what I mean….
In Pic.A, I am stretching my arms out in front of me, palms together with both thumbs pointing vertically skywards. This is the sense of muscle structure that the forearms should be feeling like at address. My left arm should be extended and my right elbow folded down a little bit; this will allow my shoulders, arms and wrists to move easily in the takeaway.
Now, in Pic.B, I rotate both my palms to my right as far as I can; try this yourself to realise that the rotation of my hands is permitted via Forearm Rotation. The limit of that rotation is almost exactly 90 degrees; it is this same rotation that should occur in a healthy Back swing. The palms of my hands are like two hinge plates; only by placing them together correctly will the forearms be able to function as they should.
Here, in Pic.C, I have allowed my hands to rotate fully through 180 degrees to my left; this simulates the movement of the forearms during the Downswing and Follow Through. So, by practising this rotation to and fro, we can fully appreciate the way the forearms rotate through 90 degrees in the Backswing and then freely through 180 degrees to the Follow Through. Make sure you do this drill precisely so that the middle of your palms rotate around a constant axis, a point exactly at the height of your upper sternum (or the second button of your polo shirt).
Now you understand how the Forearms work in the Back swing and Downswing, in next week’s Blog I can show you how to implement the “Parallel” Left Thumb and build your Grip around it. It is vital to understand, that the Forearm rotation I have just demonstrated, can only happen fully when the Left Thumb runs parallel to the shaft and a little right of centre.