The Power Move by Mike Kinloch

Maintain Your Hinge

This month, Dubai Creek's Mike Kinloch explains the importance of what the pros refer to as 'clubhead lag', the move that releases optimum power into the ball.

Last month, we looked at how the body generates power in the downswing. In this issue, I've switched our attention to the hands and arms. I see a lot of amateur players who make a pretty good job of swinging to the top, then literally throw away all that stored energy by casting the club with their hands as they begin the downswing. It is impossible to deliver optimum clubhead speed and shaft lean into the ball by doing this.

If you watch any good player's swing in slow motion, you'll see how the angle between their arms and the clubhead (created by the wrist hinge) is maintained as the club drops into the hitting position. From here, the player can maximise the power created by the force of their lower body.

A Simple Drill For Better Lag

Try the drill that I've illustrated above to groove a better delivery into impact. Position yourself near the trunk of a tree (or wall) and stand just far enough away from it so that your clubhead is within 2-3 inches when you pre-set your wrist hinge.

From here, make a full backswing, and then slowly begin the downswing, concentrating on rotating your body while maintaining the hinge. If done correctly, your club will not strike the tree on the downswing. You will know immediately if you have cast the club from the top because your clubhead will strike the obstacle. Practice this drill very slowly and deliberately at first until you have enough confidence and feel to
perform it at a faster pace, without a ball. When you're able to perform it naturally, try hitting some shots.

You should see an immediate improvement in your striking.


Sept 1

Left image:
The wrist hinge that you create at the top of your swing is a lever for generating  lower. But I see a lot of amateurs squander all this energy by casting the club from the top. In this drill, you can see that were I to cast the club from here, I would strike the tree on my downswing. I want to maintain that angle for as long as possible.

Downswing drill:
This is the position that you'll see all good players get into as they approach impact. My lower body has driven the downswing until this point, and is now rotating towards the target. Because I have maintained the 'lag' or wrist hinge, my clubhead has  comfortably avoided striking the tree on the downswing. It's a real power move.

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