Explanation Of Palms Perpendicular | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Explanation Of Palms Perpendicular

Fri, 11/02/2012 - 18:05 -- Don Trahan

When I first started discovering all the elements of the Peak Performance Golf Swing, one of my biggest realizations was that the palms must be perpendicular to the ground throughout the swing. This led to me understanding that a limited turn, 3/4 vertical swing was the most natural way to swing a golf club. With that being said, I would like to respond to a question sent in by Eric Schwarz, who has taken a liking to the mechanics of the PPGS. Eric wanted me to elaborate on the idea of "palms perpendicular." 

I enjoy all your tips and booklet. I took 5 lessons from one of your proteges at Old South, Derek Gall.  I have found your pointer, "palms are perpendicular" very helpful. If possible, could you summarize that idea throughout the swing and its relationship to "maintain wrist angle." Thanks so much.
Well, I think the best way to demonstrate the idea of palms perpendicular is to stand up and swing my arms in front of my body. If you'd like, get up and do it along with me. If you'll notice, our arms never get behind our backs. That's because the natural movement of the arms is to swing in front of the body with a controlled degree of rotation. 
 
We have to control our rotation to keep our palms perpendicular. When we square up at the bottom of the swing, it's just the arms rotating back in front of the body. The swing then must be a 3/4, limited turn because it's how God intended our bodies to move. Getting too deep into the sacred burial ground is not a natural movement for your body.
 
Make sure you watch the video closely today because the visual demonstration of "palms perpendicular" is the best way to fully understand it. I truly believe that swinging this way is how we're all meant to play golf. 
 
Keep it vertical!
 
The Surge
 
If you can't view the YouTube video above try CLICKING HERE. You must allow popups from this site for the link to work.

Comments

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

From my own experience, of 26 years of trying to find the perfect swing, I also truly believe, that this is the way that I personally was meant to play golf. My original, natural swing was very upright, but without the setup and swing parameters of the Surge swing that make it so consistent. I played a lot of good golf with it but it was always kind of a wild and uncontrolled thing.
Over the years, looking for more control caused me to change to the flatter, rotational swing that everyone was preaching. The flatter my swing became, the more inconsistent my game became.
Using Surge's ingenious swing template gave me a way to control my original, natural swing, that I'd abandoned 20 years ago. Many thanks, to you, Surge !

ed@brookfieldvaluation.com.au's picture

Submitted by ed@brookfieldva... on

Surge, I try to emulate your swing position and find it most difficult to maintain a straight elbow much beyond the point where my arm is over my toe line. I can't seem to get further without over rotating or lifting my head, so I simply break at the elbow and lift straight up. At what point should the straight arm stop and the "lift'' begin?
Thanks Surge!

Ed S

Terry Medley's picture

Submitted by Terry Medley on

Ed: The video at these links are no longer available, but Surge has some good written advice to look at in regards to your problem area. You may find even more by using the search block located under the log in, just enter left arm, or try other variation words/phrases. Good luck

http://www.swingsurgeon.com/daily-video-tips/avoiding-%E2%80%9Cel-foldo%E2%80%9D-and-%E2%80%9Chuggy-bear%E2%80%9D

https://swingsurgeon.com/daily-video-tips/stiff-left-arm

http://www.swingsurgeon.com/daily-video-tips/friendly-advice-forward-arm-breakdown

http://www.swingsurgeon.com/daily-video-tips/stiff-left-arm

reedclfd's picture

Submitted by reedclfd on

Ed: The whole PPGS swing is very natural, and once you reach the "catcher's mitt" the forward arm (elbow) has to start to bend since the remainder of the backswing is all lift until you start the foward up-swing (FUS). If you look at down-the-line pictures of the Surge's arms at the top of his backswing (BUS) you'll see his elbows and hands form a equal-lateral triangle and both elbows are parallel to the ground. If you rotate too much or lift your head, you end up with the club too flat or laid-off, and in the sacred burial ground (SBG). Hope this helps a little. Hit 'em straight! R2

ed@brookfieldvaluation.com.au's picture

Submitted by ed@brookfieldva... on

Thanks, what you describe is what I (try to) do. When I watch Surge's swing it seems he manages to get his arm nearly parallel to the ground before there is any bend. I can't get that far and don't know if this is a fault to work on or if I'm ok if i Just keep it palms vertical and don't worry about the point of elbow bend starting.

ed@brookfieldvaluation.com.au's picture

Submitted by ed@brookfieldva... on

Thanks, what you describe is what I (try to) do. When I watch Surge's swing it seems he manages to get his arm nearly parallel to the ground before there is any bend. I can't get that far and don't know if this is a fault to work on or if I'm ok if i Just keep it palms vertical and don't worry about the point of elbow bend starting.

barrowcloughr@aol.com's picture

Submitted by barrowcloughr@a... on

try as i might i cannot get my elbows parallel at top of the backswing, my back (right) elbow is always higher. what could be causing this?

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

The length of your forearms and the size of your hands. For MOST people the right elbow will be a fraction higher than the left at the proper position at the top. It has to be if your forearms are the same length, since the right arm is gripped lower on the club. Some of the difference is made up for by the slant of the club at the top, but not all. Don't sweat it. Pay more attention to the position of the shaft of the club from down-the-line. If it's straight over the soft part of your neck, you're in a pretty good position.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Absolutely Robert!
No two people are going to have exactly the same swing, no matter how much they try.
DJ's left arm stays very straight. Don's left arm stays fairly straight. Both have the right elbow higher than the left at the top if someone wants to split hairs.

I would say to just try to keep the palms perpendicular (which probably won't happen completely).
Try to get the club vertical at the top (which may or may not happen completely).
Try to have the elbows level at the top (which certainly won't happen completely if the shaft is vertical).
And don't try to go further back than your flexibility allows causing your arms to collapse at the top.
P.S. I think locking the left elbow straight can be just as big a problem as letting it collapse. Straight but not locked is a fairly good goal if possible but don't lose any sleep over a little bit of bend.

MikefromKy's picture

Submitted by MikefromKy on

Straight but not locked is a fairly good goal if possible but don't lose any sleep over a little bit of bend.

I agree.

No two people are going to have exactly the same swing, no matter how much they try.

I agree with that also. I think we can get to wrapped up in what Don and Dj are doing trying to emulate what they are doing that it make us worse off. We have to find what works for us as individuals with in the guidelines Don presents. Being to robotic in golf IMO does not work very well.

reedclfd's picture

Submitted by reedclfd on

Mike: Good to hear from you. And, nope, I don't think you are missing something. The Surge keeps his forward arm pretty darn straight during the BUS. But It looks like his arm/elbow is bent a little as he reaches the top of the BUS. It seems that we just need to try our best to stay within the parameters of the PPGS, and the closer we can emulate the swing, the better. I guess it's like what RF said about elbow position; we should try to have them parallel at the end of the BUS, but in reality that's hard to do because of our hand positions. Take care and hit 'em straight! R2

resumez@cox.net's picture

Submitted by resumez@cox.net on

Surge Nation:

Friday was my birthday -- 71 years young! Apparently the "golf gods" were smiling -- I shot a 42-41= 83 -- one of my best rounds of the year! Also one of my best ball striking days "through the bag" -- ALmost every shot was at least "good" and many were "excellent" - speciall ythe short irons nad wedges. Driving was good too -- 11 of 14 fairways with 175 yard average -- VERY good for "short knocker" me. Only down side -- only 2 GIR -- but with 10 one-putts I managed to get 9 pars and 7 bogies -- only 2 double bogies -- both the result of errant drives and poor recoveries.

Kepp hitting them STRAIGHT and LONG

Amos

resumez@cox.net's picture

Submitted by resumez@cox.net on

Yes -- next week will be a new adventure. We are just coming out of "overseeding" and Cart Path Only. At this time of year, course management is relucant to cut the greens and fairways unitl the winter grass is well established -- makes for slow rough greens - like putting on a shag carpet.
This week is "back to normal" -- and I will probalby hit a few chips and putts well past the hole. On the other hand, the ball should roll better in the fairways.

Amos

SimplyGolf's picture

Submitted by SimplyGolf on

This is probably one of Don's more humorous videos.

Let's see if I have this right:
On day 8 God created golf.
When we get GOLF backwards,
it the becomes FLOG. No one
really wants that, do they?

And there is nothing like a good old self-inflicted flogging to remind
you to get back to basics, and to simply golf again.

Palms perpendicular is about as simple as it gets and is
a good reminder to help avoid a flog, and instead just golf.