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There are a lot of adages related to supination, or forearm rotation, and its role in a great release. Renowned ball striker, Ben Hogan, wrote about supination and how important he felt it was to the swing, in his classic book, "Five Lessons". Nowadays, many golfers have misconstrued this element of the release and may be surprised to see how it actually functions in an efficient swing, along with how it differs in PGA Tour professionals and amateurs. We know that touring professionals typically have a greater amount of supination in the release, but a slower rate at which it occurs. On the opposite end, higher handicap players have a faster rate of change and a smaller total range of supination. Overall, this analysis video should provide you with a clear picture of how supination actually works in the release and how you can properly train it to create a larger "flat-spot" and ultimately, more consistent ballstriking.
Tags: Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Chicken Wing, Release, Analysis
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In this video, we're going to discuss supination during the release.
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Now Hogan famously wrote about supination starting it impact, but I'm going to show some
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3D and some videos to show you how I like to look at supination during the release.
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It was once more common to talk about supination and the forms rolling over during the
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release, but that kind of got a bad rep as Gulfur started to think more about rate of closure.
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What I'm going to show you in this video is that Torpro's typically have a greater range
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of motion of supination compared to, let's say, a higher mid-handy cap amateurs, but they
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typically do it slower.
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So before we look at some video to understand the look of supination and discuss this particular
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clip, let's take a look at some 3D graphs to see what the numbers say as it relates to
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supination during the release.
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Alright, so on the screen, you see a supination graph of a Torpro winner.
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So you can see the P standing for pronation, anything negative is pronation compared to
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where it was digitized and then S is supination.
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And this is looking at the difference between the wrist joint and the elbow joint.
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So there's a sensor for each of those and there's a virtual sensor created in the center
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of the wrist.
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On AMM, this graph is demonstrating the relationship between the elbow and the wrist or
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specifically looking at the forearm in space.
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So what we'll see is this Gulfur starts because the elbow is pointing a little bit towards
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The Gulfur is actually going to start in a slightly supinated position.
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During the backswing, they're going to pronate or roll the palm more down.
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There's a little bit more pronation as they shallow the club here in transition.
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And then through the release, so this is about shaft 45 here and then out about here is
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close to shaft vertical after impact.
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You'll see a relatively smooth and constant supination from somewhere around 20 degrees
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per minute to a little over 100 degrees supinated.
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And what you wouldn't kind of recognize is that 100 degrees supination is probably close
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to this Gulfur's max.
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So while this supination pattern wouldn't appear like it's the club is whipping over or
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rolling over really aggressively, you would see that by the time they finish their release,
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they're reaching close to maximum supination.
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Now here's a second Gulfur demonstrating a very similar pattern.
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So even more shallowing during transition.
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And then in this particular case, you will see a slight increase in speed as the slope
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gets more vertical here.
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But you will see this gradual supination all the way to follow through.
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Take note that this Gulfur reaches close to 110 degrees of supination at the end of their
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follow through position.
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All right, last pro that we'll look at, this Gulfur has a characteristic strong grip.
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So that's part of the reason why you'll see so much supination because the shoulder
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is more internally rotated.
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You will see that this Gulfur with a strong grip tends to have one of the slower rates
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So the slope is less vertical than two of the more classic swings.
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But this major champion winner with a strong grip is still demonstrating over 100 degrees
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of supination from their maximum pronation here, the start of the release to their maximum
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supination here at the end of the release.
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So while you're seeing some slightly different shapes and magnitudes, you'll see that the
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common trend is especially these are all driver swings.
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With the driver, you will see a great amount of supination at the end of the release
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and a smooth, constant supination from the start of the release until the end of the release.
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We won't really get into why these Gulfurs are going through that supination pattern,
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but we are going to discuss how they do it and how you can train it later in this video.
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Okay, now let's take a look at two different amateurs.
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These are mid-handy caps, so about 10 to 15 handy cap.
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Gulfurs who typically battle a little bit more of a fade, complain about fat shot, then
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Here we'll see a golfer who does have a little bit of the shallowing in transition, but
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you'll see a fairly rapid increase to the supination as they are approaching impact.
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So this golfer would actually look like he's holding off the supination or holding off
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the forearm rotation, but you can see by the magnitude that he's actually speeding it up
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faster than any of the pros.
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The other thing that you'll notice is the scale at the top there is 60.
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These reaching almost half as much supination as the pro who had the greatest amount, and
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a third less than the golfer who had the fewest amount.
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So basically this golfer is restricting or not nearly as supinated in the follow-through
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position as the torque pros.
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We'll see a couple of video examples here shortly that will help you visualize what this
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actually looks like.
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Now here's one more golfer.
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This golfer you can see tends to get steep with the left arm in transition, and then
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really has a hold off chicken wing.
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So even though they do have a more of a smoother or slower rate of supination through the
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swing, they don't reach a maximum supination amount, and part of that is because that
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lead our starts bending, which tends to prevent the arm from getting into its maximum
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supination in the golf swing, because the lead wrist will start to go into more extension
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rapidly through impact as part of more of a scooper flip style release.
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Again, this will make a little bit more sense when we look at the amateur videos a little
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bit later in the video.
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But for right now, let's put the bed the idea that it's possible to have a full swing
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release without a fair amount of supination, because you can see that even golfer who
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have a restricted amount of supination during their downswing are still supinating a hundred
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degrees or so.
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So if anyone tells you that you should not have any rolling of your forearms, they're
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probably talking about a feel they haven't actually looked at the data, because all golf
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swings have supination during their release, where mostly going to talk about the speed
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and the range of motion, which differentiates a good release from a poor release.
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Now the classic way to look at the amount of supination in the follow-through is to look
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at the follow-through position.
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So as the golfer comes through, you can see that this elbow is pointing roughly behind
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his body and the hand, the back of the hand is roughly pointing in the same position.
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If the back of the hand is pointing straight down as the elbow is pointing straight down,
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that is your maximum supination amount.
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The classic look is basically seeing the fingers of the glove hand underneath the fingers
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of the or underneath the palm of the trailhand, roughly in this shaft follow-through position.
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So we're going to take a look at it more from the target view because it can be a little
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bit easier to see than looking at it from purely this face on view.
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But as you train your eye, you will be able to see the amount of the degree of the forearm
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rotation through the release from any camera angle.
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But let's make it easier for now and let's take a look from the target view.
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It's rare to get a pure target view for obvious safety reasons.
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So most of the other ones will look at are going to be more from a 45 degree angle.
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But here's a great look at Roy McAurei.
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And you'll see at this point right here in the swing, his elbow is roughly pointing out
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in this direction or in the direction of the camera and his palm is turned just a little
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bit more to the right of that so it's in a slightly pronated position.
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As he comes through, it will approach neutral but still probably be closer to the
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At least that's what it would look like on his 3D graph.
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Now from here you'll be able to see the bones of the forearm rotating over while the
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elbow is rotating around his body at a much slower rate.
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So at this point now the elbow is pointing back this way and the back of the hand is pointing
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in roughly the same direction.
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That only happens from a supinated position.
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Right here the back of the hand is pointing still out away from Roy.
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It's not pointing directly at the target line and the elbow is actually pointing left of
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the target line.
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So he still has some room to supinate at this point and he's going to do it smoothly
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until he reaches his maximum somewhere right around here and then it will start going back
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into pronation or less supination as he goes up towards the top of his swing from there.
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Here's two more toward golfers where you'll see from again this more like 45 degree angle
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It is easier to see the supination through here from this angle and this angle is safe
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enough to try and take photos with where if they shank it hopefully you'd still be out
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of the way of getting hit if you decide to look at your own swing.
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I use a selfie stick whenever I'm trying to record this view with my students but as we
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look at it we can see again the back of the hand facing closer to the golf ball and
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the elbow pointing more towards the target line and you'll see through here as you goes
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through the inside of the forearm facing more towards the camera than it was through here
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and the elbow changing at a slower rate.
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The elbow is still rotating around but it's rotating at a slower rate because the
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wrist is supinating.
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It's my belief that the supination helps to do more with the control of the arc width
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and the path and that tends to produce a lower rate of closure then golfers who have less
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supination but more wrist extension and a narrower arc width on the way through.
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Over here with Tommy Fleetwood we can see a similar pattern as he's coming through where
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golfers tend to have more of that supination and tend to create more extension of that
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If you see a golfer who has a look of really wide arms in the follow through and the
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glove hand underneath the trail hand that's typically a sign that they've reached
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one of the a tour level of supination which is closing in on maximum supination value.
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Okay so now we'll take a look at a couple amateurs from that same view.
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So at this point here the the supination graph would look fairly similar but then on the way
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through instead of letting that arm rotate you'll see that the palm stays facing more towards
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the target or more to the right of where the elbow is pointing as the right hand stays
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From the pure face on camera angle this would have more of a look of a flip and you could
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see it when the club reaches shaft parallel we would be looking from this direction you
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can see that the glove hand would be above the trail hand.
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Now one of the ways that I do like to train it is with single arm only drills because
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it's very hard to hit the single arm or the lead arm only drill correctly without having
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a fair amount of supination.
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This golfer hadn't quite cleaned up the body pivot to match the supination but you'll
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see on the way through.
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He has a harder time of doing the smooth fluid rotation and you'll see it turns into
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a quick supination but at least now he's closing in on more of a maximum supination value.
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If you were to imagine him reaching his right arm across you would be able to see those
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fingers more underneath.
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This would be getting closer to a look of having great width in the follow through which
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tends to produce more of a consistent flat spot and ball-sraking consistency.
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One more amateur example this is a single digit golfer and you'll see there is some supination
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going on through here but you'll see that it's got a little bit more of that look of the
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back of the left hand staying facing the sky instead of that lead arm rotating over.
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Now over here on the right we'll look at what it looked like after doing a lead arm drill
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that we'll discuss a little bit later.
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You'll see it's still resisting the rotation maybe more so than what we saw with Dustin
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Johnson or Tommy Fleetwood but you can see that if you compare those two positions
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and you were looking from the face on camera angle because you let that lead forearm not
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whole arm but that forearm rotate he reached more of a classic looking position where the
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fingers are underneath here where in this view from the face on through impact you would
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see the glove hand on top of the trailian.
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This the difference in this look was able resulted in moving the low point forward and the
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skull for taking a little bit better divots and more solid ground contact where here he
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was having more of a picking or scooping style release pattern where he was hitting it low
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on the face and just barely brushing the ground.
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So if you struggle with your release and you have more of a flip style release more of
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a chicken wing or an upper body stall and a wrist that's really breaking down on the way
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through you may benefit from having some supination training.
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At the beginning of the video I highlighted this little video I took of Tiger in 2005.
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This was at his tournament he was doing a clinic for kids and he was just answering questions
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and as he was answering questions he was just swinging the club with his lead hand and
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I captured it in slow motion and you can see very clearly that the shoulder is not doing
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most of this movement it's actually going more from the elbow and then transferring that
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movement into the supination and rotation of the wrist and then finishing back in the
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There's a very fluid pattern to the amount of rotation here.
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I asked golfers to swing the club just with the lead forearm.
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This is more commonly what I see and you can see not a whole lot of rotation of the wrist
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through impact and you see a lot more shoulder movement.
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This is more of a chicken wing style and the elbow flip the wrist where this over here
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is a little bit more of what I would consider a tour release pattern that would create
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a very wide arc width and have a really good look of arm extension in the follow-through.
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I'm a big fan of doing single arm drills and I've got about a dozen videos on the site
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relating to the lead arm only training.
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One of the keys to solving hitting the ball with just your lead hand for a 9-3 is learning
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to get more of the absorbing of the force through impact with supination of the lead
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wrist instead of doing it more with extension of the wrist or doing it more with the shoulder.
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I've got a couple of different videos that help with connecting the pivot to the arm
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motion and then I've got a number of drills once you've figured out how that lead arm
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releases to then connect it to the right side of your body.
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In quick word of caution, if you are going to take on working on the supination, the
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biggest mistake I see is as golfers are trying to supinate, they will try to do it
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So typically when you have more of a scoops style release, the wrist holds on, holds
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on and then right down at the bottom it tends to release very quickly or go through that
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movement in a more exaggerated fashion or a more abrupt fashion.
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And so golfers typically keep that same tempo when they start working on supination and
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they reach their maximum supination right about here when you're doing these lead arm
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only or you're comparing it to your full swing.
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You want your swing to reach its maximum supination around when the club is parallel
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to the ground or even a little bit after.
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That requires more of the gradual supination instead of whipping it close through supination
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which I think is part of the problem when most amateurs try to apply this on their own.
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So try some of those single arm drills if you're working on your supination pattern
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that will help you learn how to use that lead form correctly in order to create a wide
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and classic follow through looking position.