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Wide-Narrow-Wide Golf Swing Shape
Every single PGA Pro swings wide-narrow-wide. Often, though, when this typical shape of the swing is discussed, the conversation ends at “you want a wide-to-narrow golf swing.” However, it’s crucial you ensure you finish by getting wide again!
- Step 1: Wide Takeaway
- Big Shoulder Turn
- Arms Straight But Relaxed
- Step 2: Narrow Downswing
- Right Arm Bends From Elbow
- Both Wrists Cock Vertically to Create Lag
- Step 3: Wide Release
- Arms Relaxed and Straight in Follow Through
- Wrist Un-cocked to Release Lag
- Repeat 9 to 3 Swing Until Ingrained
Wide Narrow Wide Golf Swing
What does it mean to make a "wide narrow wide" golf swing? Why do you want to do it in your golf swing? The pro's do it, and you should, too. Here's why...
When you swing wide during the backswing, it gives your body the opportunity to make a full rotation. When you make a full shoulder turn in your golf swing, your core muscles are stretched further allowing them to store more energy to unleash during the downswing.
When we say you get "narrow" during the downswing, we're referring to increasing lag in your golf swing. This increase in lag moves the club head in closer to your body, hence the club is travelling on a narrower arc than during the backswing.
And when we say get wide again, we're referring to the release of the golf club. When you release your lag angle from your wrists, the club head will move onto a wider arc in relation to your body, allowing it to reach maximum speed.
This "Wide-Narrow-Wide" movement is a characteristic that we see in all top level golfer's swings, and in this video, RotarySwing.com instructor Chuck Quinton shows you how to do it.
One of the questions that we get commonly asked is, what tour pros use rotary swing? And as I've talked about in some other videos, pretty much all the tour pros use the fundamentals of rotary swing tour.
Again, it's not a preference swing where we talk about, "Oh, do this with the club and this little tweak, and this makes it look different and this is how I think it should be done." It's based on physics, biomechanics and anatomy. How your body is designed to move. So these tour pros that you see out there, are all using, to some degree or another, the fundamentals of RST. Now they may have variables in their swing that make the swing look a little different going back, or what have you. But the core fundamentals of the physics that they're using leverage, and lag and using the ground for leverage. They all do that stuff or they wouldn't be tour pros. You can't hit the ball very far if you don't.
So the fundamentals that you're going to learn here, are critical. And one of the big fundamentals I want to talk about is this concept of a wide narrow wide swing and what does that mean exactly? And what's the whole point of it? And why do the tour pros, at least in that regard, all look really, really similar. They have this, kind of, wide narrow wide concept of their swing. And I'm going to explain why that is and why you need to do it, and exactly how to do it.
So the first thing we're going to talk about is when we're talking about this wide in the swing. We're talking about creating a wide arch for the club to travel on during the back swing. And why is that important? Well, let's first talk about what most armature golfers do. What they want to do, is they make a really narrow swing during the backswing. They take their wrist and they set the club right away and they pick up their arms. And now the club, the arch that the club has traveled on, is a really narrow arch and I've got this really narrow, tight, steep swing I can swing in a phone booth basically. What this is going to do is create a lot of leverage, I have a lot of levers in my swing but I didn't wind up or recruit muscle fibers from my core and my trunk. And that's the critical piece if you looked at the overview swing.
How we're trying to use these big muscles and get more muscle fiber recruited for the swing. The last thing you want to do is just pick the club up and pick your arms up. Cause now the only muscle fibers that you've engaged are from here up. We need to get these big muscles, remember we need 32 pounds of muscle mass to swing over 100 miles per hour. So, as you're going back, the first thing you want to do is shift your weight and rotate and not set your wrists and club. And what that's going to do, in order to move the club over here, you know move the club six or seven feet, I have to move a lot of muscle. And that's going to start recruiting these muscle fibers.
So as I do this, my arms and hands and shoulders, these small little muscles, haven't really done anything. They've just transported the club back for me with doing basically nothing. But I've recruited a lot of muscle fiber. My right glute is already engaged. I can feel the muscles in my ribcage twisting and rotating my ribcage. My core is starting to engage. I'm starting to recruit big muscles. And this is what you see really common in all the tour pros. Is they create this wide arch for the club to travel on.
Now where's the narrow part come in? That's really simple because at some point as you get to the top, I want to create a lever in my wrist here, I want this wrist angle to set. There's just no point in doing it really early cause if you do that, you're gonna, again, not recruiting muscle fibers. Cause you're gonna feel like your wrists and arms are really loaded up so there's no point in turning anymore. Your brain's gonna use tension as its guide of when to start swinging the club back down. So we want that tension to be built from the inside out first. From our big muscles and then as we keep going to the top, and the club starts setting naturally, as we start down by shifting our weight. Notice now, the path that the club is traveling on now is very narrow.
Why do we want this very narrow arch coming down, but want this really wide one going back? Well, we know know on the way going back, we're trying to recruit muscle fibers. On the way down, what we're trying to do, is preserve that lag angle that we've created. The lag angle again, a simple way of thinking about it is just the angle between your forearm and the shaft. This is leverage. This is potential energy. Think about swinging a hammer, all right. If you've ever hit a nail with a hammer, you know the vast majority of the movement is in your wrist here. This is very efficient to create a lot of speed. If I smacked you on top of the head it wouldn't feel very good. But if I did it like this, now I can't really create a lot of speed because I don't have a wrist angle here. There's lot of potential speed in this angle.
Well in the down swing, your primary job is to conserve that lag angle and then finally release it. We conserve it by moving our big muscles first, in the down swing, and maintaining this angle without trying. You don't try and hold the lag angle. You simply keep your wrist soft and move your big muscles and the lag angle will be preserved and maintained on its own. You don't have to try and do anything for this. It's a natural byproduct of following the RST golf swing fundamentals and doing these simple big muscle movements correctly.
So now, as I start down, my wrist just naturally set on themselves cause they're very soft. The clubs got momentum going backwards, this way, and as I shift my hips it's going to force my body to start unwinding which will cause the club head to set my wrist on top of themselves. So now I have this really narrow path coming down because I have all of this leverage. Which I want to maintain and then release.
How do I release it? As I talked about in the overview video and the downswing video, it's this pushing motion against the ground that's a very powerful driving force that creates a tremendous amount of leverage. Pushing against the ground and using these muscle fibers that you've recruited in the back swing, in your legs and your core, your hamstrings, your quads. Pushing against the ground, which is what causes the club to snap and release.
Again, my hands and wrists are relatively passive. They don't have to do a lot. So as I have this narrow lag angle, I've got a lot of potential energy here, as I push up against the ground and that releases it, now look how wide I am in the follow through.
Every tour pro that you've ever seen on television doesn't look like this in the follow through do they? Of course not. The way that most amateurs swing, is they take their right arm and their right shoulder and their right leg, and they push really hard against the shaft at the top. So they start getting wide on the way down, right? You start seeing this really common motion. Then they're still pushing with their right side, get the chicken wing and left arm broken down, and they do this. And this is what every amateur looks like on the planet. And every tour pro looks like this.
Why? Again, it's force of movement. Where you're moving from is going to determine what kind of golfer you become. You don't move from the top. You don't move from the right side and push against the shaft like that. It's very inefficient and it fights the forces of physics that are happening in the swing. You want to imagine, like I discussed a little bit in the throw of the club head video, that you're throwing the club head at the ball passively with your wrist. Doing it with your body. And as you do that it pulls you into this wide follow through that you see every tour pro do.
So, wide, narrow, wide is the way you want to think about the golf swing. You're going to be wide going back, because you're not doing anything with your wrists, arms and hands going back. You're focusing on your big muscle movements. You're going to be narrow coming down and then as you post up on this lead leg and let your arms and club release it's going to pull you into a wide follow through position and get rid of that chicken wing and give you way more speed with way less effort.