The QATSPY Golfer’s Sports Page: Golf Swing Tips
By: Charles W. Boatright
The Shadowbox Technique to Set the Wrist Action in the Golf Swing
One of the major issues for the golfer of any level or status is how to manage the consistency in establishing the proper wrist action in their golf swing sequence. Hours can be spent during the agony of practice and the torment on the golf course trying to harness this huge potential.
One area to look at to harness this huge potential is where the wrists are locked-and-loaded during the initial takeaway swing, in the box. This area of this locked-and-loaded maneuver is what I call the golfer’s shadowbox, illustrated below. Essentially, the golfer is mentally moving the golf ball from the ground up and into this shadowbox. Instead of the golfer addressing the golf ball on the tee box or ground, preferably in the fairway, the golfer is visualizing the golf ball as being in the golfer’s shadowbox, illustrated below.
The golfer’s shadowbox is the area at the golfer’s waist, shown above, where the golfer locks (Sync/Preset) and naturally unlocks their wrists. Advantages of the golfer’s shadowbox are that it allows the golfer to create lag in the golf swing sequence and prevents the golfer from casting from the top of their golf swing, great for bass fishing but not for golfing.
The Golfer’s shadowbox creates the mental image of what Eddie Merrins, The Little Pro, was describing in his video series call Swing the Handle, not the club. Mr. Merrins was trying to get the golfer to focus on their hands and handle of the club, instead of thinking about the golf ball on the tee/ground or clubhead. Essentially what I did was take Eddie Merrins’ theory, Swing the Handle, not the club, and put it into a box, shown above.
The Fundamentals of Using the Baseball-style Golf Swing
The golfer’s shadowbox technique changes the golfer’s perspective from thinking about the clubface and the golf ball to just focusing on the handle of the club and the wrist action in the golf swing sequence setup (Sync/Preset). This creates a mental image of the baseball-style golf swing to help the golfer bring the ball up into the box, where the hands and the handle of the club are located. The golfer’s subconscious mind has already established the shadowbox technique as a muscle memory performed in the baseball-style swing. The only training needed by the golfer is to apply it to their golf swing sequence.
One reason that the baseball-style swing is easier for the golfer to understand and execute is because the batter’s hands are in direct contact with the bat and not at the end of the shaft. The baseball bat practically comes with its own instructions.
Undoubtedly, in one of your first series of golf lessons, the golf coach or instructor drew a clubface onto the palm of your dominant hand in trying to get you to understand how the hands worked with clubface. The golfer’s shadowbox is taking that concept of the clubface in the hand to develop the golfer’s strike zone, the shadowbox.
Even if you place a baseball bat into the hands of a child between the age of six and eight years old, they will instinctively know how to swing to hit the ball off of a baseball tee. They might not possess the dexterity or the hand-eye-coordination needed, but they will possess the fundamental wrist action and forearm movements required because they understand how the handle of the bat functions.
Mental Image of Moving the Golf Ball into the Box
I interviewed a Vietnam War P.O.W., Colonel George Robert Hall, who was held at the Hanoi Hilton for seven-and-a-half years. I conducted this interview with Col. Hall in his hometown of Hattiesburg, MS. This is about 80 miles south of me in Madison, MS, down U.S. Highway 49.
During the interview, he mentioned one technique that he specifically used to help him maintain his four (4) handicap in his seven-and-a-half foot square prison cell. Col. Hall described how he brought his virtual golf ball from the floor of his cell up to his thumbs. This gave him the most realistic control on setting his wrist action in his golf swing. Ninety percent of my interview with Col. Hall was about presetting his wrists.
This baseball bat technique that Col. Hall used brought the golf ball from the floor of his cell up into the box that allowed him to focus his attention inside the box, instead of having to think about the clubface or the ball being on the ground. Or in Col. Hall case, the virtual golf ball being on the floor of his cell.
The golfer’s shadowbox technique can be used during the golfer’s practice and golf game to help the golfer get the feel for the lag and impact using the break through box zone, shown below with the golf swing and baseball swing. It is amazing how long the lag is maintained with both swings. I’m treating my shadowbox like how a boxer would use a re-breakable board. I want the feel of my lead Hypothenar going through the backside of the golfer’s shadowbox.
This shadowbox technique is the reason that I have as the theme of my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, Take the baseball swing from the batter’s box and apply it to the tee box.
Another mental image of the golfer’s shadowbox are the boards that karate students break with the meaty part of their hand (Hypothenar) during their practice sessions. Matter of fact, the Karate Instructor could use the same re-breakable boxer’s board for their karate classes, instead of cutting boards for the students.
The Golfer’s Shadowbox Objectives
I use the golfer’s shadowbox to achieve three objectives- ONE, to bring the ball up from the ground, up into the box where my lead Hypothenar breaks through the backside of the box. SECOND, to create a natural lag in my wrists during the downswing through impact. And THIRD, prevent me from casting at the top of my golf swing.
The re-breakable board provides a great mental image for the golfer to train with, using their lead Hypothenar to break the board, like how I use the golfer’s shadowbox. Or how I used my 80-lb punching bag to make side impacts with both kickboxing gloves together, like I’m holding the handle of my golf club. I make several golf swing-type impacts into my punching bag during my boxing bag workout. The re-breakable boxing board or boxing bag workout not only creates the proper lag in the golfer’s downswing, but also provides the golfer with the ability to properly and naturally unlock the wrists in this small area of the golfer’s shadowbox. This technique harnesses this tremendous amount of energy from the golfer’s wrists.
You don’t have to purchase a re-breakable boxing board to use in your practice routine or golf rounds, but the mental image of the re-breakable boxing board is a great mental training aid for the golfer to mentally use, on and off the golf course.
What is nice about the wrist action in the golfer’s shadowbox is that the golfer’s wrist will naturally unlock at the right time through the golfer’s shadowbox. This is governed by Newton’s third law of motion, which states for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that what the golfer sets up during the golf swing will be executed in exactly the same manner, but in reverse order.
The two photographs are of my grandparent(s), Mr and Mrs. H.Q. Boatright. The photograph to the LEFT is of my grandfather in Yellowstone National Park in 1927 while on vacation. The photograph to the RIGHT is my grandparents about 1964.
The golfer’s shadowbox golf swing technique was a unique coaching technique developed and used by my grandfather. This simple golf swing technique allowed golfers to use their baseball-style swing to help establish their golf swing mechanics practically anywhere and anytime. This process is called Apperception.
One of the best means to help the golfer develop this mental image of the golfer’s shadowbox technique is by using a golf baton that the golfer can make and take with them during the course of their day. This golf baton is the same overloading technique that baseball players use while in the on deck circle with a weighted bat. It develops muscle memory but also, and more importantly, clubhead speed. This adds a golf swing workout element to the golfer’s normal practice session, even at the office or at home.
The mental golf coach app (Apperception) of the golfer’s shadowbox develops one of the most effective mental imagery and self-coaching techniques for feeling the proper wrist action in the golf swing. The golfer’s shadowbox assists the golfer to Sync/Preset their wrists initially and create lag, until the golfer’s wrists breaks through the backside of the shadowbox. This provides the golfer consistency and, more importantly, confidence. There’s no substitution for the confidence factor on the golf course. The body can’t go where the mind has not been.
Until I started visualizing the golfer’s shadowbox under my grandfather’s coaching illustrated in this article, I could not have commanded and developed my golf swing mechanics. Also, this wrist action in the golf swing was demonstrated during an interview with David Duval by Charlie Rymer on the Golf Channel.
To learn how to properly set your wrist action in the golf swing sequence and use the golfer’s Shadowbox technique, purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the links below, or visit your local bookstore:
820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157
My book can also be purchased on-line at:
Health and Fitness Program Golf Exercise for Power
This book is based on a self-coaching forum (ASPEN Pyramid) that provides the beginner and advanced single-digit handicap golfer with a safe, ergonomic classic golf swing for more power and control, without debilitating injuries that are common with some modern-day golf swings. As part of the ESPY Golf Swing Coach is a workout program designed especially for golfers and an effective diet program detailed below.
Please take advantage of my SR-925 Diet Program, where I lost 6 inches in my waist in 3- months (FREE of CHARGE) with the CASPER Workout Program, detailed in Section 20 of my book, great golf swing workout:
One component in my CASPER Workout Program that I follow is using a Medicine Ball to perform what I call Stocking the Shelves, illustrated below in the figure:
Please include an exercise routine in your weekly schedule.
Also, learning The ESPY Golf Swing Coach process is an excellent way to develop Rhythm without experiencing the Blues in your golf game for confidence; learn how to take your baseball-style swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.
THE LOCKER ROOM a source for golf tips
Please visit “The Locker Room” for an Index of all my golf articles to improve your golf game and life. Discover how you can take your baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.
Learn How to take your baseball-style golf swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.
For Comments or questions please contact me at 1-888-514-1228 Mon – Fri from 9 am to 4 pm CT Zone.
A Recommendation for your Golf Game:
I would like to recommend an interesting radio program that I regularly listen to from my home state Arkansas 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 co-hosted by Jay Fox and Charles Crowson. Bob occasionally as has his guess Alex Myers with Golf Digest and Ron Sirak with Golf Channel. I was interviewed on his show about my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. This show is worth tuning into for golf news and information.
Jay Fox is an Administrator with Arkansas State Golf Association that discuss amateur golf and rules of the game.
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.