How to Turn My Hands Over on a Golf Swing

By M.L. Rose
Tiger Woods' right hand rotates over his left as he swings during the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Tiger Woods' right hand rotates over his left as he swings during the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

To generate maximum club head speed -- and, therefore, maximum distance -- on your shots, your hands and forearms must rotate during your golf swing, with your bottom hand (the right, for right-handed players) rotating over your left. As golf teacher Robert Baker puts it, “Maximum acceleration occurs when your hands give in to the force of your downswing and turn over to release your clubhead toe over heel.” In his book "The Complete Golf Manual," Steve Newell notes that without proper hand and arm rotation “you can never deliver the clubface square to the back of the ball with enough speed.” A few drills and tips can help golfers turn their hands over properly during their swings.

Drills Using a Club

Adjust your grip on the club. If your hands aren’t rotating sufficiently during your swing, adjust your grip by shifting your hands clockwise (to the right, for a right-handed player). This type of grip “will encourage your hands to have an aggressive release and turn over through the impact area,” says golf instruction writer Les Miller.

Hold the club waist-high and imitate a baseball swing in which you’re trying to pull the ball to left field. Notice how your right hand turns over the left through the impact zone.

Take a normal swing. When the club reaches the hitting zone, Baker suggests, “sling the club smoothly past your left thigh by trying to ‘flick’ an imaginary object off your left thumb.” Your left knuckles and elbow should be facing down immediately after impact.

Drills Without a Club

Take your normal stance, says Newell, then place your left hand behind your back.

Work from the address position and take your right arm back and rotate your body, as if you were starting your backswing. Stop when your forearm is parallel to the ground. Be sure your thumb is pointing vertically and your palm is facing your front.

Swing your right arm through the hitting zone and follow through normally, stopping when your forearm is again parallel to the ground. If you’ve rotated your hand correctly, your thumb should be aimed skyward while your palm is pointed in the opposite direction that it faced on your backswing.

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