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Using The Thumb Press To Improve Your Golf Back Swing
The natural way to get the open face at the top was with a late wrist break. The break never should be started before the hands were waist high. In fact, many taught that you should pay no attention whatever to breaking the wrists; they would break by themselves. If you use this technique you should find your swing improve dramatically. At this point the club will have come back slightly inside the projected line of flight but the club face will not have opened. The face will be at about a 45-degree angle with the ground and, as you stand there, you will not be able to see any of it.
To be certain you are making the break correctly there is a perfect check point at this stage. If you look at your hands you will see, if the break is right, one knuckle of your left hand and the first two knuckles of the right. The left hand will be broken in, at an angle with the wrist If the break is completed here, without letting the hands move away from their address position, the club will have been brought back and up until it is almost parallel with the ground. How near it approaches the parallel depends on how supple your wrists happen to be. Following our description of how the break is made, try it ten times.
If you don't soon get the feel of it, try it twenty or fifty times. But do it until you get the feel, checking yourself each time with the left-hand and right-hand knuckles and the angle of the face of the club. This is a key move the foundation of the swing and you must do it right, get the feel of doing it right, and do it so much that it becomes automatic. It is easy to practice, requiring very little room, and can be worked on indoors or out, winter as well as summer. Get it, and get it right. We have not put this into the actual swing yet, remember. We are still working on the mechanics of the wrist break. It is just possible that at this fundamental stage you will refuse to believe that you can hit the ball with such a break. So make this test: Go to the practice tee, or to a range or an indoor net. Address the ball.
Make the backward break and do nothing else. Don't shift your weight, move your hips, or turn your shoulders. Just make the backward break. Hold it a couple of seconds. Now simply turn your shoulders, letting the shoulders swing your arms and the club up to the top, and then go right on through with the swing and hit the ball. You will be amazed at what happens after you try this a few times. You will find, if you keep the wrist position, that you not only hit the ball, but that you hit it solidly, hit it straight, and hit it a surprising distance. You will also discover that the more you permit the turning shoulders to swing the club up, the better you will hit the ball and the farther you will hit it. Make no effort to swings the. Arms just let the: shoulders move them and the club.
The more the arms are swung independently of the shoulders, the less likely you are to reach a good position at the top. So picture the shoulders as the motivating force, the "motor." The closer you bring this motivating force to the axis of the swing (the spinal column) the better the swing will be. This two-piece action is invaluable for practicing the immediate break, for getting the feel of the break, for checking whether you have done it correctly or not, and for proving to yourself its value and the value of the hand-and-wrist position. In fact, you can use it in actual play. We have pupils who do. Into the Swing The next step is to incorporate the early wrist break into the swing itself, making it a single uninterrupted motion. For this we must start with what has come to be known as the forward press, for it is with this that the backswing begins. The forward press is simply a device that gets us from the passive into the active stage smoothly, without a jerk. Standing in a stationary position, even for a few seconds, is tiring.
Ask any service man who has stood at attention for any extended period. We don't pass easily from a stationary position into a big move. The trick in golf is to go from the stationary position of address to the big movement of the backswing without a jerky effort. The forward press provides this transition. It is the little move that leads into the big one. It can be done in several ways, with the right knee, with the hips, with the hands, with a turn of the hips. We want a lateral movement of the hips, no turn. It is a slight pushing of the hips to the left, laterally, about an inch or two. This press is in the opposite direction from the big move.