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Grip Strength to Sternum

How you grip the club matters. Where you get your body at impact matters. But what really matters is the relationship between the two of those factors. Given a body position at impact you will have to adjust your arm movements or your set up grip strength in order to hit it far and straight. 

Tags: Concept, Intermediate

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In this video, we're going to discuss grip to sternum location.

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So I had a question about how, guys like John Rahm will have a more of a boat rest or

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Jordan Speed.

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They'll have a really boat rest with a weak grip and then how someone like a dust and

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Johnson will have a boat rest with strong grip.

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And so how grip orientation relates to the top of the swing position.

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Unfortunately, there's not a really clear correlation between starting grip and top of

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the swing position.

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But there's a really, really strong, almost intimate relationship between where the sternum

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is at impact and where the hands are at impact.

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And part of that is because there's a very small margin of where the club is going to be

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at impact in order to have a solid, you know, torque-wally shot.

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And therefore there are only so many different body and wrist orientations I could use to get

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in that position.

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For example, let's say the club is going to be just slightly leaning forward kind of

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roughly like this.

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If I was to get my body in a good, touring pack position and then put my hands on the

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club, there are only so many different ways.

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You'll see in order to get some of these orientations, I end up having to move my sternum.

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So in order to keep it there, there's a smaller window than you would expect.

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So if I take a normal kind of neutral grip, about 25 degrees of extension of the lead

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wrist and then fairly neutral with that trail wrist.

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And I get into that touring pack position, you'll see that the hands and the lead wrist

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is naturally going to lose some of its bow.

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It's going to move slightly forward.

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Trail wrist is going to increase the amount of extension and the handle raised just slightly

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as it matches where my sternum is.

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Now if I kept my hips in that same good impact position, but then I closed off my sternum,

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it would be very hard for me to get my hands into that same orientation.

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Because if I did, I can feel that it would be very hard for that not to be coming steep

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into the ground.

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So what'll tend to happen is you'll see a predictable pattern of where the upper body

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is in space and what the hands are doing depending on what they were at setup.

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So if you tend to drift your upper body in front, you will tend to have a little bit more

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of extension in that lead wrist, a little bit more neutral trail wrist.

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So you're not going to come in with that touring pack position if your upper body is

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lunged because the club would just slam into the ground.

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So in order to shallow it out, what you'll tend to see is that that lead wrist is going

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to extend and that trail wrist is going to flex to give me a little bit more kind of

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flat spot at the bottom of the swing.

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Messes up my work with though.

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So it affects consistency.

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Conversely if I'm a little bit more, let's say upper body way behind kind of like this,

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if I was to extend, if I was on a good path and I was to extend that lead wrist, I would

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bottom out unless I stood up.

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So oftentimes you'll see this back and up can accompany that extension of the lead wrist.

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But if I was to just be back and not stand up, you'll tend to see a fair amount of exaggeration

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of flexing that lead wrist and extending that trail wrist in order to avoid hitting it

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fat kind of a little bit more of the white movement.

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So what we'll do for the rest of this video is we're going to go through and look at some

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examples of different sternum locations and grip combinations.

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Because what you'll see is at the tour level, the golfers who have a weaker lead hand

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tend to have a lot of Boeing it impact.

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So if a weak wrist is going to be pretty close to neutral, so kind of like this, you will

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tend to see somewhere in that 45-40 degrees of Boeing of that lead wrist.

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So really motorcycleing like crazy, like a John ROM, that's harder to do.

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Like a John ROM, like a Jordan speed, really like a Wil McKenzie.

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So weaker grip and then really Boeing, really Boeing, that was better.

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Really Boeing in order to help control that strike and match up a little bit better body position.

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What you'll tend to see with the stronger lead hand is there's a couple of different options.

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So it allows you to not have quite as much of that bow, you can kind of keep it a little bit more in a

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or closer to keeping it in that starting position as you rotate through.

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They'll tend to still bow it even the ones who are slightly extended.

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But just not as much. But the other option is there are some guys who start strong and then bow it

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like crazy, but that allows them to really power it with the body, really kind of side bend, rotate,

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and get underneath it and have a really late flat spot tend to work really well.

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Become very good drivers of the golf ball. So we'll take a look at some different examples.

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Hopefully that'll help clarify where your grip is at impact and what your body's doing

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because it may help you understand if you're trying to get your body in a slightly different position

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by powering the swing slightly differently, what your wrists and what your arms are going to have to do

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in order to accommodate. So I thought it'd be helpful to look at some examples.

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We're going to use two major references. We're going to look at where is the upper body in space

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for that we're going to use the reference of the sternum, but we'll see more of that from the downline.

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And from the face on view we'll be able to see the strength of the grip at setup. So where is

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how much extension do we have in that lead wrist or in the weak grips, how much flexion and how much

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is that changed to impact or looking at where the V's are pointing at setup that can be helpful as well.

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So both of these golfers have stronger left hand grips. Duss and definitely has a stronger right hand

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grip. The matculture has more of a neutral right hand grip to accompany that strong left hand.

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So what we'll do is we'll take them from setup to impact. And we can see that Dustin had a lot of

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extension in his lead wrist at setup and then at impact it's pretty much flat. So he's flexed his lead

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wrist, a good amount and he's accompanied that with a fair amount of body rotation. We can see that his

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chest or sternum is pointing well out in front of the golf ball. That'll be easier to see when we look at it from

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down the line. So now if we see matculture we can just take a snapshot of how much extension he has

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at setup and then when we get him to impact we can see that he's got less extension. So you can

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see that he has flexed his lead wrist a little bit but you can see that there's still some angle there.

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So he's closer to where he was at setup than say Dustin Johnson who has boated a lot more. We'll

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be able to see and understand why a lot easier when we take a look at it from down the line.

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So now if we take a look from down the line the amount of rotation of where the sternum is is going

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to be a lot easier to see. So from the face on view we'll have a better view of how strong or

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how weak the grip actually is but from looking at impact position. If we kind of imagine almost

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perpendicular to the spine you can see that matcutor's sternum would be pointing kind of just out

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in front of the golf ball where Dustin Johnson went hitting this drive has his sternum pointing way

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out in front of the golf ball and now makes sense seeing how open he got his sternum

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that he could have such a strong grip but have it boat at the top of the swing and still fairly

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flat or much more boat than it was at setup because the bowing of the lead wrist closes the

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club face having a stronger lead hand closes the club face but then that is balanced out by the amount

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of rotation. So matcutor doesn't bow as much but had it closed because of the strong grip it

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set up and so given the amount of body rotation that he has he's able to match up the club face

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without having to bow that lead or hand quite as much as someone like Dustin Johnson.

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So we'll take a look at someone who gets into a body position closer to Dustin Johnson

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but does so with a weekend weaker grip so that you can see what kind of wrist and our movements

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they'll have to do to compensate. So here we on the right we can see a John Ram setup position

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you can see that that left wrist is in a fairly neutral position or the V on that film is pointing

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while I hear and you won't see too many guys with a really weak trail hand but you'll see

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that his trail hand is in a weaker position than someone like Dustin Johnson that we saw earlier

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and so what we'll see is as he gets towards impact what we'll see from the down the line is that

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he has a fair amount of rotation inside bend and so to accommodate that he's going to have a

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significant amount of bend of that lead wrist and extension of his trail wrist even as he gets really

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close to impact so if you're going to have a weak grip what you'll see is that you pretty much

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have to have a significant amount of bow in order to get anywhere near a toward impact position

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but if you have a strong grip you can either bow like Dustin Johnson or keep the wrist in a

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little bit closer to the same position as setup similar to what we saw with that future.

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So now if we take John Ram and get him close to impact we're actually we can probably get him right

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at impact you'll see that we've got a similar looking sternum position you'll see that Dustin's a

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little bit more open but you'll see that for all intent purposes you can see about the same amount

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of the ribcage you can see it's kind of on about the same tilt their legs and pelvis have

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done a little different but we can see that the ribcage or the sternum which is our reference point

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is in a closest position so they've used their grips to get the club back to kind of a similar

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position and the way they did it is Dustin Johnson had a stronger grip and then bow to fair amount

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John Ram had a weak grip and bowed a ton. So looking at the top of the swing we can see how

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two different grip attachments were able to get to about the same top of the backswing position

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for the wrist as far as that amount of flex of that lead wrist. Now Dustin has a much

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bigger shoulder turn much more vertical arm movement than John Ram but you'll see that they both

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get into this flex position with that lead wrist. That flex position of the lead wrist is going to be

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in somewhat of an indicator that they're going to use their body for rotation because you're not

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going to be able that's going to with the wrist in a flex position like that it's going to feel

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very weak to pull down with the arms but it's going to feel very strong if I'm rotating my arms

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around my body so if I'm using my body as more of the power source you'll tend to gravitate towards

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that boat position regardless of whether it's in a weak or a strong setup position where if I'm

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more of an arm polar I will tend to gravitate more towards a little bit of that extension.

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There's obvious exceptions to that rule but that's a general tendency that I tend to see when

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looking at my students or analyzing swings on YouTube but again with the strong grip, Dustin has to bow

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his wrist fair amount but with a weak grip in order to get the club face to continue closing you'll see

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John Ram has to bow it even more and keep it bowing or bow it much later so using that sternum position

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we can get a good idea as far as where the club is going to be and knowing what they

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what kind of setup position grip orientation they had will give you a good idea as far as

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what kind of wrist movements or what orientations you're going to have to have an impact.

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Where this is really helpful for you is if you're trying to get your body to rotate more open

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you might want to look at how your grip is affecting your impact position or if you're trying

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to get more side bend or if you're trying to stay behind the golf ball understanding how the grip

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relates to that body position may help you eliminate a barrier from what you're trying to train.

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So now over on the left we have rod pampling and we can see a very weak left hand grip but

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he's not going to get in nearly as open a position as John Ram. What we'll see instead is he's going

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to have a slight amount of flex compared to someone like John Ram which we saw it impact had a

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pretty significant amount of lead arm or lead wrist flexion. So again you can use this to help you

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figure out what combination is going to work best for you. If you don't feel very powerful with a

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lot of lead wrist flex then you might want to have a stronger grip or you're not going to get as

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open as someone like a John Ram or Dustin Johnson. We'll see that when we take a look at rod when we

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look at his down the line. So here he is now and we'll see as he gets towards the top of the swing

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he goes into that flexion pattern so he's not really doing it to set the top of the swing but he's

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going to start that flexion pattern pretty early in the down swing because he's a little bit more of a

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body polar. So you'll see he gets fair amount of bow not a ton not nearly as much as John Ram or

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Dustin Johnson but more than say a matcouture and so we'll see that we saw from the face on view he had

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a little bit of lead wrist flexion compared to his setup grip. We can see that at impact he doesn't

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have his body nearly as open rotated or side bend as someone like John Ram. So you'll start to see

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this pattern of the more you can see of their ribcage the more that sternum is behind the golf ball

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and pointing out in front of it. So rotated and side bend the more that you're going to have to

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have either a stronger grip where a flex lead wrist or often both. So now we have another example

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looking at Zack Johnson. So you can look at his setup grip here from the face on video and then we can

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look at his impact position from down the line and I'll start to make sense. So we can see that his

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upper body isn't dramatically open. It's relatively shut compared to a lot of strong grip players.

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So we're going to expect based on that fact alone that he's not going to be one of those

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golfers that have a whole lot of bow in his wrist. We can also see that when we get up towards the top of

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this wing you'll see that if I scrub back and forth you'll see his shoulders and his arms kind of

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creating more of the speed through the early part of the downswing. So it would make sense that we

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wouldn't see a massive bowing at the top of the swing the way we would see with a more body driven

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swing or someone who gets more open at impact. So let's confirm we take a look at the face on

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camera here. We saw he has a stronger grip and as he gets back towards impact you'll see that the wrist

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has a slightly more flexed through it but not a drastic amount compared to some of the other

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guys that we've seen in this video. So now we can take a look at a few amateur submissions to kind

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of see how this fits in non-classic tour models. So here we have a golfer at impact. We can see that his

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chest is higher than we were seeing with some of the other golfers and basing the golf ball. So we know

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that that should either be accompanied by a weak grip with a little bit of bow or a strong grip

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with pretty much no noticeable change. So here we have more of a neutral grip possibly getting

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into that stronger category. So we'll expect to see not a lot of bow as he gets towards impact

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and you'll see that that wrist is fairly flat or slightly extended as he gets towards impact. We'll

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also see that his upper body has a little bit of lunge so that lunge of the upper body moving forward

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will also decrease the need to have flexion in the lead wrist. So we'll see that this golfer right

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here is swing pattern is kind of matching up. So what that means is if we were to get his upper body

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to work on a better impact position maybe staying a little bit more behind it get a little bit

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more rotation he would have to add a little bit of flexion to that lead wrist in order to balance

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out and a comedy. Alright so one more example we've got that can take a snapshot of the amount of

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extension so on the weaker side of neutral as we go to impact we can see not a lot of the sternum

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is pointing closer to the golf ball so not a lot of rotation we can't see much of the rib cage

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so we would expect that it's going to come back pretty close to wherever that was at setup.

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Now as he goes into a swing we can see some lateral movement he does get his upper body a little bit

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more behind it so that should make it bow just slightly. If this is a good shot and we can see that

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there's a slight amount of bow but if he was going to add any more body rotation side bend

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given that grip strength we would want to get more flexion kind of into that rod-pampling zone of

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amount of flexion. And one trend you'll see from looking at a lot of the torque rows is that if you

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have a weak grip there's no way around it you pretty much have to bow that lead wrist in order to get

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good torque impact conditions but if you have a strong grip you can either bow and use a lot of

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body rotation or not bow that lead wrist keep that wrist relatively neutral and not have as

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much body rotation. But hopefully this video helped you to see the kind of the relationship between

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where the body is an impact and how it relates to the grip. If you stay behind the golf ball

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and you rotate you'll need to close the club face to accommodate either with a stronger grip

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or bowing the wrist or both and if you lunge and if you don't rotate then you're not going to

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have a really flat left wrist or you're going to want to gravitate towards a weaker grip.

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