By: Charles W. Boatright
Identifying the Golfer’s Linchpin Muscles
Basic golf swing mechanics and swing sequence depend on developing key muscle memory that is the golfer’s linchpin muscles. Just as there are lead actors in a movie, there are lead muscles to develop the golfer’s muscle memory. Muscle memory is essential to the golfer’s ability to set up and execute a consistent golf swing. But what is not discussed in some golf lessons are the linchpin muscles that allow the golfer to initiate their golf swing sequence.
What is unique about the golfer’s subconscious mind is how it automatically works to develop efficiencies in the golf swing sequence. The golfer depends on their subconscious mind to direct and engage a series of muscles needed to make the golf swing. The subconscious mind gets to a point where it develops what is called The Critical Swing Path. This is not the path that the handle of the golf club or head of the golf club takes in the takeaway swing. But instead, The Critical Swing Path is three linchpin muscles used to allow the golfer to execute a consistent golf swing, without having to think.
You Can’t Think and Make a Golf Swing at the Same Time
Yogi Berra had a great quote about thinking and actually making a typical baseball swing- How can you think and hit at the same time? The answer is, you can’t. This is the same in the golf swing. The golfer can’t think and make the golf swing at the same time. The golfer wants to rely on their linchpin muscles to set up The Critical Swing Path.
From the notes of a doctor who played with my grandfather, H.Q. Boatright, and me, I used his notes and identified three key muscles the golfer could use to establish their golf swing sequence. From my background in Kinesiology and Ergonomics, I was able to verify the work he did to develop The Critical Swing Path of the classic golf swing. These muscles are located in the golfer’s wrist and forearm called the Supinator muscle, Thenar muscle, and the Brachio-Radialis muscle. These muscles set up the Ergonomic golf swing sequence of Sync, Preset, and Yaw maneuvers. The following is a brief description of these muscles and what maneuvers they perform:
The SYNC Maneuver
Supinator muscle– Supination maneuver of the upper forearm; this Synchronizes the dominant elbow with the shoulders. This was a technique that Arnold Palmer gave President Eisenhower before a Pro-Am. This technique was discussed in the Kingdom Magazine. Below is the anatomical chart of the Supinator muscle. The Supinator muscle is so prevalent in the golfer’s swing sequence, that I call it the SUPER-NATOR muscle. The SUPER-NATOR muscle accomplishes one of the key parts of the golf swing sequence, by synchronizing the elbow with the shoulders. This also prevents the dreaded Chicken wing for weak golf shots.
Presetting the Golfer’s Wrist
Thenar muscle- Pronation and supination maneuver of the wrists. This Presets the wrists. This was accurately demonstrated and discussed on Golf Channel in an interview that Charlie Rymer had with David Duval. David Duval went through a process during the interview where he preset his wrist in a technique Charlie Rymer called That Wrist Thing. The Thenars are one of two of the largest and strongest muscle in the wrist. The wrist is not where one would wear their wristwatch, as that’s the lower forearm. The wrist consists of eight small bones and two muscles (Thenar and Hypothenar), shown in the illustration below.
Syncing the elbow and Presetting the wrists complete 80 percent of the golfer’s swing with two simple maneuvers.
After the Sync and Preset maneuvers, the wrists are placed into the Lock Position. This is where the handle of the club is placed onto the swing plane. The only thing left to do is to lift the handle of the club up along the swing plane. Eddie Merrins, in his Video series entitled Swing the handle, Not the Club, focuses on just the handle of the club. In my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, I discuss the importance of not only the Thenars, but the thumbs to help the golfer understand what the handle and the clubface are doing during the golf swing.
The Top of the Golfer’s Swing, YAW Maneuver
Brachio-Radialis muscle- Flexing (or bending) the forearm at the elbow, along with the supination and pronation maneuvers of the forearm. This initiates taking the handle of the club to the top of the swing. The only thing left to do is to drop the handle of the club back down along the swing plane. In Section 1.15 of my book, I refer to this as pulling down on a rope. This was how Sergio Garcia described how he started his downswing, like pulling down on a rope.
To learn how to develop the linchpin maneuvers in your golf swing, purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the links below, or visit your local bookstore:
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Also, learning The ESPY Golf Swing Coach process is an excellent way to develop Rhythm without experiencing the Blues in your golf game, learn how to take your baseball-style swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.
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By: QATSPY GOLF Approach
Once you learn WHY, you don’t forget HOW!
Two decisions that you can make for yourself and your kids are to get a copy of my book and place the book and a golf club into their hands. You will never look back, but only forward. You will not miss with this for yourself and/or your kids.
A Recommendation for your Golf Game:
I would like to recommend a wonderful radio program that I regularly listen to on my I-Heart Radio app on KARN 102.9 FM station, out of Little Rock, AR. They air a golf show called “Arkansas Fairways and Greens,” at 7:00 AM CT each Saturday morning, hosted by Bob Steel and Jay Fox. Bob occasionally has on his show a guest named Shawn Humphries, a Professional Golf Instructor from Dallas, Texas. One thing that Mr. Humphries stresses is the mental part of golf, not focusing on the results but the process.