Golf lessons: Ideal wrist position far from open and shut case

Picture 1
Picture 1

What is the best position for the left wrist, at the top of the backswing?

Johnny Miller played with a very cupped open faced position at the top, which was very much in vogue in the early/mid 70s.

Picture 2

Picture 2

In today’s world Dustin Johnson plays with a very bowed closed club face position at the to.

Both superstars of the game in their respective eras, so which is the best position to be in?

In the first picture I am using our stretching pole with the hinge mechanism, to help create that elusive perfect spot at the top. I am trying to produce a slightly bowed left wrist but am wrongly allowing the elbows to splay too far apart, almost pulling my right hand off the handle.

In this bowed position you must make sure that your elbows are held much more together to enable the right hand to sit comfortably on the handle of the club. If the wrist becomes too bowed then the club face will be extremely shut and shots well to the left will be the order of the day.

I always reckon that playing from a bowed position requires more strength in the forearms and is not so good for weaker, older, golfers or women players.

In the second picture my thumbs are slightly more under the handle in a position often referred to as more neutral, as the face will now be sitting more naturally square. This is good, as the downswing motion will not require any excessive manipulation, to recover the club face as it will arrive at impact hopefully in the same manner.

At this point I can tell the time on my watch; this is a good sign that the left wrist position is actually in the correct spot. When the wrist is too bowed, you will not be able to tell the time at the top of the backswing.

My shoulders have correctly turned fully through 90 degrees until my chin is sitting under my left one in a steady still position. The creases under my shoulder also prove that I am producing some effective torque in the Latt muscles down my side.

This will help greatly in terms of producing more power in the swing. It is also worth mentioning that my right elbow in this sequence, is sitting in a nice L position, pointing down towards the ground.