The Hand Action

My dear GreyPower golfers. You can disregard hand action if you do have a perfect swing, as the hand action will then perform automatically . As almost all of us don’t fit into this category, 99% of senior golfers should be interested in how the hand action works and aware of some drills to help accomplish this. Have a look at this video from Henry Cotton, who in his time was regarded as the hand action master.

The video above is a gem from Henry Cotton. Henry was a great champion and you will notice he places paramount importance on the hands. Should a golfer be lucky enough to have grooved a near perfect swing, where the hands are in time with the body turn, the hands will still come into play to manipulate the club face on uneven lies , punch shots, pitch shots, bunker shots and big hooks and slices around trees etc.

In contrast, the video below demonstrates the feeling in the hands and wrists when combined with good body rotation and balance. This feeling becomes more difficult to repeat on full swings as age gradually reduces our ability to turn and stay in balance when swivelling around the ball. If you are suffering from this, take a look at my posts in the Exercise category to counteract your loss of flexibility and balance.

David’s video above shows how the hands and wrists feel and work in a swing which combines with good balance and body movement.

Cutting the Grass

Using a sickle, another example of excellent right arm action in the golf swing.

In the video below, Mike demonstrates using a sickle to cut his grass. Watch how takes advantage of the power generated by hinging the right arm at the elbow.

In golf we do the same.. Keeping the right elbow hinged on the downswing until the elbow is down to the level of the right hip greatly increases club head speed, the key factor to adding more distance on your drives.

So how does this two handed Scythe motion, which does not allow for a delayed release of the elbow generate power? Observe the body rotation’s similarity to the movement of a golf swing. Full body rotation, and the centrifugal force it generates, is the second key to unleashing more distance in your game.

Skipping Stones for Distance

When I was a youngster my parents would take me to our batch (cottage) by the beach. I would love to pick up smooth stones and throw them to see how many times I could get them to skip along the top of the water before sinking. Little did I know I was practising a right shoulder and right arm action and spine rotation, which later, when incorporated into my golf swing, would give me longer than average distance even although I would be described as smaller than average size.

I am now over 70 years old and still hit a lot of five pars in two shots. I credit a lot of this retained distance to the underarm throwing action of my right arm and shoulder learned as a child skipping stones..

It is interesting to observe the right arm mechanics of the stone skippers in the next two videos and compare it to the similar desired action that can be seen in a good golf downswing.

Compare the arm action of these stone skippers to that of the bottom hand in your own golf swing.

The right elbow goes straight down from the top of the swing. Right elbow is leading the wrist and the elbow is coming in closer to the right hip and into what is described as a loaded lever position before it begins to unload. At he last second the wrist lets go to release the stone which skips along the top of the water many times before sinking.

If you take a look at the slow motion video analysis of top golf swings, you will notice the right hand and wrist joint is still partially cocked at impact. The right arm and wrist only fully straighten out after the ball has been struck.

Most GreyPower golfers can still throw or learn a similar action despite their age and the reward is a longer drive.

CHECK OUT the videos below on the right arm action in the golf swing.

Pro Tip:
When swinging well I can release (take off) my right hand completely from the club at impact on any iron shot without significant distance loss so long as my body rotation hasn’t stopped. In fact I often do this as a practice drill the guard against releasing my right arm lever too early on the down swing.