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The Arms and Shaft: What You Don't Know


This foray against myths perpetuated across social media fronts is in its third installment. Without knowing the real information behind this particular myth, you will likely be fiddling with your grip and hand position instead of making more putts.

And, like most myths, it is not information useful for everyone. Rather than have you try to figure out which parts of this myth are useful, I'll save you the trouble. Let's get started now.

 

What Are We Talking About

We're talking about a complex idea that has popped up on checklists before. And while it has merits and value for some players, this is not the case for everyone. The spectrum below highlights how the shaft plane and trail forearm plane.

Notice how they do not always appear in a singular line from the down-the-line camera angle at address. If you look closely, you can see the yellow lines representing the shaft plane and trail forearm.

 

The Closer Look

I'll say it now so you can't say later I didn't warn you. Some players perform very well with the shaft and trail arm in line at address. However, if you're noticing a theme here, this isn't for everyone.

Your Grip

The location of the grip in the hands (fingers, base of fingers, and palm) has a lot to do with how the putter sits relative to the forearm. This in turn directly impacts whether or not this myth can be applied to you personally. Imagine trying to satisfy a picture while your grip doesn't even allow you come close to doing that. And don't forget that this "rule" goes right out the window if you are using a claw, long putter, or a left-hand-low grip.

Your Wrists

Remember the complex movements of the head from the last post about having your eyes over the ball? The wrists are even tricker. I've put a key description into understandable terms though for you.

Ulnar Deviation is created when the right wrist (right palm facing down) is turned to the right. This is the same motion as if a person was turning their right hand to reach for the Enter/Return button on a keyboard. The picture to the left gives us a better idea of what that looks like since just describing this can be challenging.

Below are a photos demonstrating varying amounts of right wrist ulnar deviation. You'll notice there are two lines on each photo as well. The yellow line represents the shaft while the red line represents the base of the forearm.

The relationship between these lines changes as a player changes the amount of ulnar deviation they use when holding the club. Combine the right wrist ulnar deviation with the type of grip and all of a sudden aligning the forearms and shaft becomes an option - not a fundamental.