"The Role of the Hands for the Short Game"
A lot has been written about the hands in executing full swings and shots around the green. Today, I believe incorrectly, the hands are describe in many instructional articles has being the things not to use, and in many cases the thing many people do wrong. The hands are not bad; using them incorrectly is the problem. The hands are in fact the most important component of all the short game shots. So, the hands are not bad, they are good! When practicing the hands sends feedback to the brain and then brain can send feedback back to the hands in order that future practice shots may be improved or adjusted. This feedback that the hands send to the brain is the key to improving.
So the proper use of the hands is the gift that all players with outstanding short games have. Also, don’t be fooled…. you must train yourself early on as a new player on how to use the hands. The hands do not magically react when you are a new player. You must learn how to use your hands properly when you are learning how to play. The hands only react sub conscientiously if you are a seasoned player.
Let me first identify and define the hands and what many things the hands can do to help you improve your short game.
The hands are defined and are located below the forearms, including the wrists joints, palms, fingers and thumbs.
The hands perform many different functions to help in the execution of the short game Here are just a few:
- The grip pressure in the fingers will constantly vary depending on what type of shot you may be hitting. This constant varying of grip pressure is one of the keys to all great short game players. Some examples are: a good player will lighten his grip pressure on downhill fast putts and increase his grip pressure on longer putts. The player will also increase his grip pressure while hitting out of thick rough. So the touch needed to hit varying shots around the green starts with, altering your grip pressure.
- The hands rotate in concert with the rotating forearms in pitch shots and re-rotate on the forward swing to square and close the clubface. On mid to long pitch shots the wrists will cock vertically on the backswing and un-cock on the forward swing all simultaneously while the hands and forearms rotate and re-rotate.
- The back of the lead hand controls club face angle, which virtually controls the direction of the ball. So the back of the lead hand controls the direction of all short shots!
- Good players may add or take off loft by changing the position of the back of the lead wrist. By bowing or creating a convexing lead wrist you can lower or create a more hot shot. By cupping or making the lead wrist more concave, you can add height or soften the shot.
- Good players learn to feel the weight of the club head to help produce a sensation of a swinging force. The swinging force promotes, rhythm, timing and a sense of clubhead awareness. This club head awareness allows them to feel where the leading edge and flange. This is a key to controlling the bottom of the swing.
These are just a few examples of what the many things the hands do to achieve good results in the short game. The hands are the most often used external tools of the brain. No question the arms carry the hands and the shoulders carry the arms, however the hands are the authors of many things and without question play the starring role in the execution of all the short game shots. After all the hands are the only connection you have to the golf club. It only makes sense that they would be the most important component in achieving excellence in the short game.