Tim Mahoney Golf Blog

Tim Mahoney Golf Blog


Tim Mahoney Golf Blog

Left wrist controls ball flight
Left wrist controls ball flight
By Tim Mahoney

All golfers from a PGA Tour Player, Jason Day, Jordon Speith and Rory McEllroy to a 18 handicap participants in a Troon Golf Academy are striving for control of the golf ball via distance, direction and trajectory. Control is the number 1 ingredient to lower scores and enjoyment.  I have been coaching a two clubface swing for over 30 years: golf club face and the golfers left wrist.  In order for the club face to be square at impact (looking at the desired target) the golfers left wrist needs to be flat (parallel to your lead arm).  This alignment will allow for maximum control of distance direction and trajectory throughout the entire flight.
Left wrist control starts at address with the proper grip.  Left hand heel pad on top, thumb to the right of center and no gap between the thumb and the base of the hand. As you place your right hand on the club: lifeline covers your thumb, trigger finger to the side and no gap between your thumb and the base of your hand. Both V’s in your grip pointing to your right shoulder and both wrist at address slightly bent and relaxed. 
As the club swings, arms swings and wrist cock up the top of the swing the left wrist flattens into a neutral position.  This flat position aligns the club face, positions the left arm into a planned position.  As the club swings into impact the left wrist must maintain the flat position.  This flat position controls trajectory, distance and direction. 
Impact position the left wrist is flat, hips open and shoulders are square.  Shaft is forward leaned and the club face is square.  Control is the effect of a left wrist flat position. 

Ball-Flight Consistency

Ball-Flight Consistency

By Tim Mahoney

Consistency is the number one goal of all players from Jordan Spieth to Jack Nicklaus.  Distance, Direction and Trajectory make up the elements of the ball-flight.  Golfers need all three elements for consistent ball striking.  I believe that the sequence of learning is:  trajectory, distance and direction.  The three components are interrelated and we cannot have one with out the other.


Trajectory is controlled by:

1.       Club Selection- the club is designed to provide loft.  Allow the manufacturer to get the ball airborne.

2.       Angle of Approach- the correct angle of approach provides solid impact and the proper effective loft.

3.       Set-up- consistency starts here.  Grip, posture, ball-position, aim, mind-set and tension level are the fundamentals of the pre-swing.

4.       Swing plane- a vertical swing shape will produce high shots and a flat swing shape will produce lower shots.

5.       Swing speed- without swing speed the golfer has a difficult time producing loft.  Golfers with a limited swing speed will produce the same trajectory for all clubs.

Distance is controlled by:

1.       Club Selection- longer clubs longer shots.

2.       Length of motion- increased range of motion will assist in distance.

3.       Solidness of contact- hitting the ball in the center of the racket.  Path and plane are significant influences.  Vertical plane produces toe hits and a flat plane produces heel hits.

4.       Swing speed at impact.  Body rotation, arm speed and wrist movement are the biggest influences.  Overall swing speed is a goal not club head speed.

Direction is controlled by:

1.       Aim- parallel lines of the eyes, shoulders, forearms, hips, knees and heels.

2.       Clubface alignment at impact.  Clubface at right angle to your swing path at impact.

3.       Swing path at impact.  A swing path that is from the inside to along the target line to the inside.

Every golf lesson and group activity I participate in every golfer is in search of consistency.  Ball flight has three elements: trajectory, distance and direction.  You master all three in order to gain consistency.