April 17, 2019- by Steven E. Greer, MD
To swing first-rate, you must ulnar deviate.
August 22, 2018- by Steven E. Greer, MD
I previously posted a story about the importance of left wrist flexion in the transition to achieve a flat swing plane and good body turn downward. Brooks Koepka used this nicely to win his two majors this year.
There is something else happening with the wrists of these elite players. They are using ulnar deviation to push the clubhead backward, away from their head, to achieve a flat shaft plane.
This flat approach to the ball allows the torso and hips to get out of the way, creating a huge body turn. The stable head and spine-axis allows for accurate and consistent ball striking while also generating clubhead speed.
However, this is an incredibly awkward unnatural body movement and why not many people can do it. Our instincts are to pull straight down on the grip like chopping wood. But if you do super-slow-motion drills, you will eventually get the hang of it.
The ulnar deviation starts the downswing by propelling the club backward. The ease at which the body then turns will spook you at first.
It is also possible to max. out clubhead speed before impact with ulnar-deviation just before impact. It swing the face closed 45° in a split second. It is actually the same movement of the wrists as in the finish extension. It requires a very closed stance to work and looks weird from the conventional swing baseline — created with the goal of not snapping hickory shafted clubs. It just add “Hammer down to ground” to the sweep if the conventional swing. Max club head speed before impact.
Trick shot artist Harry Frankenberg developed a swing based on it and I spent summer about ten years ago duplicating it. If you had never seen a golf swing but started with the goals of 1) Max club head speed BEFORE impact, and 2) Keeping swing arc as straight as possible relative to target line it is what you would worked for that.
Here a video I did to show how it works: https://youtu.be/M1oAlQcxaKA