Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

How to Start Your Swing

January 03, 2008

Texas reader Dave Van Knapp has an issue with our consistency...or lack of it.


On page 24 of your January issue, there is a letter praising the virtues of setting the wrists to start the swing. The writer praises an article in the November issue which recommended "to start [the] swing, set [your] wrists first."

The letter writer was Joe Larosa of Newington, CT, who said, in response to the November article by teacher Jerome Andrews and Matt Rudy, "How to Start Your Swing.":

Now I know how to start my swing, by setting my wrists first....This afternoon I had one of my best ball-striking rounds in more than a decade.

Dave again:

A mere two pages later (not counting un-numbered ad pages), the swing sequence of Colt Knost clearly advocates just the opposite. Colt's swing is praised for taking "the club away with his shoulder and arm[s] rather than jerking it back with his hands." The photo numbered 2 in the swing sequence shows Colt's arms at about the same position in his takeaway as the photo accompanying the letter on page 24. In the latter, the wrists have already hinged so much that the club shaft is at a right angle to the golfer's right forearm and about a 80-degree angle to his left forearm. Conversely, Colt's club shaft in photo #2 is about 120-130 degrees with his right forearm and nearly parallel with his left. In fact, his left wrist appears to be still cupped a little, not having begun to hinge at all.

So which is better? Cocking the wrists early in the backswing, or delaying the wrist hinge so that it is about the final thing done on the backswing rather than the first? Or doing it evenly throughout the backswing?

I would love to see an instructional article devoted to answering this question.

Great idea, Dave and I'll suggest it. My initial reaction, after listening to the best teachers in the world for 25 years is that there's more than one way to do everything in the swing, and most of the time they are moving us away from overdoing what started out as a good idea before we got ahold of it. (The one-piece takeaway being perhaps the most abused piece of advice in golf). Even something like Stack & Tilt has proved the point again, this time on the issue of weight distribution, that there is more than one way. But a discussion of "early set" versus "late set" would be eye-opening. Thanks.

--Bob Carney

(Photo: Stephen Szurlej)