Synchronize the Toe of the Club with your Thumbs | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Synchronize the Toe of the Club with your Thumbs

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

Good wrist action is no wrist action, meaning there's no cocking of the wrists. You don't need to cock your wrists in golf. Instead, you need to hold your wrists firm and rotate your arms. The PPGS uses a very limited, controlled amount of rotation, and it's the movement of the arms from the ball and socket joint in the shoulders that controls it.

Your arms can only swing in front of your body, so always remember where your aiming line is located and be sure that your toe line is parallel to it. Your palms need to always be perpendicular to the ground. So, if you take the club back toe up into the catcher's mitt, your thumbs should match that same position. This allows for a very controlled amount of rotation.

It's all about learning how to swing toe up to toe up. Work on the position of your thumbs and think about where the catcher's mitt would be on both sides of your swing. Try to synchronize your thumbs with the toe of the clubhead and eventually it will start to become second nature to you.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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Comments's picture

Submitted by michael.bechtel... on

I believe in and use Don's method, but I think skipping a rock is a bad analogy. I tried to incorporate skipping a rock into my motion this year, and I started hitting high and short because my clubface was open. I also was not finishing UP as I turned left to finish the motion. I went back to the manual and videos, and some Trackman time, and gradually got back on track. Don, reconsider the skipping.

reedclfd's picture

Submitted by reedclfd on

Mike: It's interesting you don't like the "skipping-the-rock" drill. I absolutely LOVE it. I practice it all the time, and when I get a chance to toss a flat rock on a pond, it really reinforces the correct feel of the swing. Keep in mind this drill does several things for you. (1) It teaches you how to "bump" properly and with the most efficiency and least effort. (2) It teaches you the proper "body-sequence" of the weight shift. (3) It teaches you how to correctly transfer weight from your rear foot to your front foot during the swing. (4) It teaches you how to maximize the power of your swing. Like I say, it is one of the best drills available for learning the PPGS. Hit 'em straight! R2's picture

Submitted by lionelmarcus7@g... on

Hello Serge,
I would like to see a very slow motion tee shot with the driver.
I am now using your vertical swing and it works with all irons but the driver.
When I try, I hit the ball all over the place.
Perhaps you may know what I am doing wrong.

Best regards,


Brady's picture

Submitted by Brady on

Don records these videos in his back yard alone with no help. They are free and just meant to be tips only. Took a look at your account and you do not have the Fundamentals video but only the 14 Drills. Hence I would see why you might be having problems. The 14 drills are drills for someone that fully understands the PPGS swing. Slow motion shots, multiangle video, etc. are all available in our product videos and also in our manuals. Some find the manual extremely helpful, but you get the manual when you purchase the Fundamentals videos.

But the swing is the same for all clubs. More than likely your driver is far too long. You can search the topic here we discussed driver length and proper fitting at great detail!

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

I concur with Brady, everyone should have this video when starting to use the PPG swing, they are simple demonstrations and can be done at home or in the office. Haven't heard Don mention "Skipping a Rock" using a ball before, but I'm
gonna give this one try as well.

Hal's picture

Submitted by Hal on

Go to th top of the page on the right is the search boocvk. Key in Don's swing thru the bag. then advance to th driver series and you wil see Don's swing in slo mo.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

I know for a fact how important this video is when applied to the movement of both thumbs when applied to the full swing. I've also partially applied it to all my shots within 50 yards of the green.

I have changed my pitching method to a right side dominant one by focusing on moving the right thumb back and through. This modification does a lot of good things for me when it comes to pitching. Dragging the right thumb back, with the right shoulder blade, keeps me from lifting the club quickly and getting extra wrist cock. Pushing the right thumb through with the right shoulder keeps the clubface very square and the swing path shallow, with very little or no divot. This right sided throwing motion makes it easy to feel the distance and hit clean and accurate pitches. Using a double reverse overlap grip for this shot, helps to keep the wrists quiet and eliminate chunking and flipping through impact.

This technique also works well, for hitting long low straight shots, out of trouble, with a variety of longer clubs.

Jim Wile's picture

Submitted by Jim Wile on

Not related to today's subject, but I just wanted to share. Yesterday while playing, I started pulling my drives horribly. I've been using the PPGS for 6 years with great success, but sometimes bad old habits creep back in. It took me 13 holes to realize that I was not keeping the wide knees and left leg resistance (I'm a righty) such that my left heel was coming off the ground on the backswing, and my left knee was "kicking in."

This caused my hips to over-rotate to the left on the downswing, causing me to come over the top with the resultant pulls. Once I widened my knees and firmed up that left leg, my heel stayed on the ground, my hips bumped straight without a lot of rotation and my shots straightened right out.

All those fundamentals are important, and they come back to haunt you when you forget them.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

I get better results if I focus on a swing thought that gets both legs involved in stabilizing the lower body and preventing overturning of the hips. After getting set up preloaded slightly heavy right and before taking the club away from the ball I imagine that the left side of my tailbone is touching something solid like a tree and try to maintain that connection while doing the turn, If I do this, I can feel all of the muscles of both legs and to some degree even both feet doing their part to stabilize the lower body. It's a wonderful feeling to hit straight shots while swinging the arms around this very stable base.

louiek's picture

Submitted by louiek on

Thanks for the video, is this a new one or and old one revisited? I still can't get the skip a rock motion / feeling, and never was good at getting rocks to skip on water. Throwing a club works somewhat better for me.
Can't help notice the gizmo holding your pen to the clipboard. I think it's my Tug-N-Back product but can't be sure. Could be mounted, and perhaps used differently, and it may not fly around like that - let me know if you need a new one.'s picture

Submitted by on

I have a bad case of the shanks. It started with chip shots, then pitch shots and now on all my irons. Can the Surge help me. I have been using his swing to the best of my ability for a few years now. Thanks, Don Brown

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

I also suffer the same problem from time to time. I don't believe it is a shank,for me, but more like having the club face wide open when hitting the ball. The problem will arrive out of the blue ,perhaps in the middle of a normal round. Sometimes it goes away, but sometimes it doesn't , & will ruin the game. It got so bad one round that I left my irons in the bag, & just used a hybrid without a problem. I now have 4 hybrids. The problem first started with the short game, like you, with chip shots, from trying to keep my hands in front of the club head through the ball. But then it progressed to pitching & then full shots. I could go 2 or 3 months without a worry & then it will appear from nowhere for maybe a round or 2. I am sure the problem is from arm rotation, (or lack of ) & could come from, or made worse by standing too close to the ball. You could try typing in "shank" in the search box at the top right of this page, & see what comes up. Please let me know if you find the answer.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Hybrids were also the answer for me. I've been playing with Wedgewood golf clubs for many years now. They are odd looking clubs that look more like a wood than an iron but have iron length shafts. If you check the website, you will see why the engineering of these clubs eliminates hosel rockets as well as toe or heel digging from any kind of lie. Their design produces a consistently high and straight ball flight. I have 7 of them, sw to 6 iron. They are great for sandshots and chipping and pitching. This is my second set. I sold my old ones to a friend, who was ready to give up golf because of problems with his iron game and he loves them.

One thing that I really liked about the company is that you could buy their clubs one at a time instead of being forced to buy a whole set. I think that the design of their club head means that unlike irons proper fitting is a non issue.

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on

When this happens to me, it usually means that I am over-rotating my arms on the backswing and cannot get them back square. I check it by stopping the backswing when my hands reach waist high and look at the toe of the club. If the toe is not straight up and is leaning back, I know I have over-rotated. I take some half-backswings until I can keep the toe pointed up consistently. Hope this helps.