Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

You Tried It: Turn knuckles down at impact

October 18, 2011

Great tips in golf come from a variety of sources--usually teaching professionals and tour pros. But they also can come from your buddies. You never know when something might click for your game. That's why on the Instruction Blog we're open to all ideas. And we don't care where they're from as long as they work.

A couple of weeks ago we solicited from you, our valued readers, the best tips you ever received, whether from a book, a magazine, a video or DVD, your club pro, or your grandmother. Every week I will post one of these tips and will explain why it's effective and who would most benefit from it. You can submit your favorite tip by email to

This week's tip is from Cody Pinkston, Media and PR Director at Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he also coaches the men's and women's golf teams:

*As much as I know about the swing and as well as I can play, I was never a great iron player. I just didn't really trap it like I needed to until a fellow coach, PGA Professional David Andrews, watched me hit a few on the range and said: "Get your knuckles down at impact."

He demonstrated with his left hand, exaggeratedly. It took me a few swings to trust it, but it was off to the races after that. I felt my irons compressing the ball like they never had. I now hit 12 to 15 greens per round and have lots of makable birdie putts. Even the driver is much more solid.*


*A similar tip from Jim McLean, demonstrated here by Webb Simpson, was selected as one of Golf Digest's all-time best tips in 2010.

Thanks, Cody. The reason this thought works so well is because it gives you an easy way to feel your left wrist staying flat or slightly bowed, which delofts the club at impact. This reminds me how the noted teacher Jim Flick told me to do something similar a few years ago. I had lost the zip on my iron shots. To ingrain this move, he had me hit balls on the range from bare lies or even old divots. Doing that forces you to turn your knuckles down--otherwise you'll hit the ball fat. And Cody's right: You really will start compressing the ball for longer iron shots with more control.

-*- Roger Schiffman, Managing Editor

Follow me on Twitter: @RogerSchiffman