Most golfers don’t realize the importance of wrist action, especially a wrist hinge.
However, it’s one of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS every golfer should pay close attention to.
In this golf instruction, we’ll walk you through the importance of a wrist hinge and how you can apply this in your next game.
Why Is Wrist Hinge Important?
Incorrect hinging sucks for every golfer.
If you’re one of the amateurs who struggle to release a powerful swing to launch the golf ball over the course, you most probably struggle with improper wrist movement.
Most golfers might not notice, but a wrist hinge is important to get solid contact with the ball.
Hence, your wrists must coordinate with your whole body as you swing your club.
Your wrist hinge is vital in ALL THREE PHASES of a golf swing:
The takeaway phase happens at the beginning of your swing after setting your position.
At this point, you must ensure that your wrists are TIGHTLY gripping your golf club.
How you perform each phase of the golf swing snowballs until you come into contact with the ball.
Hence, applying appropriate grip pressure at the primary phase is key in achieving a proper backswing, downswing, and impact.
You should also ensure that your wrists move slightly back at the club as you turn your shoulders from the target.
As you commence your takeaway, you should position your wrists at a 90-degree angle. Then, hinge when you feel your lead arm reach parallel with the ground.
The backswing is essential in keeping your club parallel to the ground of your target line.
It is recommended that you maintain the 90-degree angle on your wrist hinge.
Ideally, the wrist determines the golfer’s position and the golf club. The position of the club shaft should bePARALLEL to the ground while the toe points skyward.
The shaft will stay below your hands if your wrists are too stiff. But if it’s way too upward, the wrist angle is probably elevated at a slightly higher point.
A PROPER wrist hinge in the golf club will also aid in establishing the momentum and directing it backward.
To achieve an appropriate wrist hinge in the back swing, you must place the thumb of your non-dominant hand to point to your dominant shoulder.
This will help you avoid swinging your arms far too forward when approaching a downswing.
If you establish a proper wrist hinge during the back swing, the same follows for the downswing.
When you hinge your wrists well, you’ll get a good swing path that boosts a lot of power and control over your club.
Conversely, you’ll have great contact with the ball.
Upon the club head’s impact, you must remember to unhinge your wrist immediately to transfer the momentum to your club.
As you approach a follow-through, allow your right arm to extend over your body while releasing the club through impact.
Early Wrist Hinge
Other golfers are champions of a one-piece takeaway. However, some think that an early hinge is promising.
David Leadbetter, for example, believes that an early hinge in the golf swing will prevent a flat backswing that causes an over-the-top motion.
Nick Faldo is a known golf player who tends to release their wrists early. He practiced drills to get his wrists in the correct position at the backswing.
If you want to learn this technique, you can do the following:
- Align the club with the target while keeping a few inch distance from your feet
- Straighten your left arm and move the club to be parallel to the ground
- Point the grip’s butt end towards the target
- Turn your body to see if the club is at its proper position on the backswing
As you initiate an early hinge with an inside takeaway, position the club on the ground as it grips against the left heel. The shaft, on the other hand, should sit against the right big toe.
To hinge early is an excellent technique to learn. However, it also has its DRAWBACKS.
It sometimes causes a restricted shoulder turn, decreasing your golf shot’s potential distance and accuracy.
Proper Wrist Hinge
But how much wrist hinge is a proper hinge?
When the left arm is at chest level, your hinge must be at 50%. As you approach to complete the backswing, the hinge should also progress at 100%.
This way, you can assure that you perform the correct wrist hinge in the golf swing.
The Different Wrist Positions You Must Follow
When you hinge your wrists, it is important that you understand their different positions.
But before that, you should know the TWO TYPES of WRISTS to apprehend these positions:
If you’re a right-handed player, your front wrist is your left wrist.
This refers to your right wrist, assuming you’re a right-handed player.
A bowed wrist at the top of the swing is formed by folding the palms toward the forearm.
Your front wrist is bowed on top of the backswing in this position as you grip your golf club.
A bowed position can help you avoid the dreaded slice and lead you to get a squared impact instead.
Many golfers also use it to achieve solid golf shots. It MINIMIZES the risk of rotating the club face as you hit at impact.
However, it is important to remember that you SHOULD unhinge your wrists as your club head approaches to impact the ball.
This way, an open club face will meet the ball upon impact.
Golf instructors and professionals like Dustin Johnson usually use this method in gameplay.
Another wrist position that golfers use is a cupped wrist.
A cupped wrist is formed by using the wrist’s line to serve as the cup of your forearm. It curves all the way back to both of your hands.
In this case, your front wrist will curve and bend skyward.
Cupped wrists present an open club in the first phases of the golf swing and eventually approach the ball with a squared impact.
Utilizing this wrist position is beneficial. If performed correctly, cupped wrists can help in adding distance to your shots.
However, some golf enthusiasts discourage amateur golfers from using this unless they have good HAND-EYE COORDINATION.
It’s also difficult as it requires other movements when performing a golf swing.
On the other hand, a flat left wrist is formed when the back of your front wrist lays flat on top of the swing.
The hand moves from side to side as the club head approaches to impact the ball, while the front wrist stays flat.
This position helps keep the club precisely aimed at the target line while preserving the club’s loft.
It also traps the ball on the ground upon impact, resulting in a formidable golf shot.
This position is the hardest to maintain during a golf swing among the three. It takes great practice to master a flat wrist.
Professional golfers would use this position to showcase talent and skill in golf.
Drills to Improve Wrist Action
We know you’re dying to improve your wrist hinge in the golf swing upon knowing its vital role in enhancing your game.
Getting the correct wrist hinge in the first few tries can be difficult. But, with practice, you’ll surely develop your skills even without training aid.
Here are some drills that you can perform to improve your wrist action:
1. Swing Club Upside Down Drill
The FIRST DRILL requires your keen hearing abilities.
You must listen to the club’s whooshing sound as you perform a golf swing.
If the sound came from behind, you released your wrists early. But you release your wrists late if you hear whooshing in front of you.
Ideally, you want to hear a whooshing sound near the ball.
Performing this drill is simple. You only need to do three things:
- Grab your club and grip it near the club head
- Perform a golf swing like normal
- Listen to the whooshing sound as your club swing
With this simple drill, you can determine how to improve your wrist action, particularly knowing how to properly release your wrists.
2. Impact Bag Drill
ANOTHER PRACTICE DRILL that you can do to improve the movement of your wrists and golf swing is the impact bag drill.
An impact bag is a thick pillow-like object that aids golfers in enhancing wrist angles.
It also helps to aid your hips rotate to give you room for a golf swing.
In this drill, you’ll need to do the following:
- Place the bag on your usual target line
- Hit the bag with the club
You’ll know if your club travels too early when the bottom of the club hits the bag. But, if you released it too late, you can see your hands in front of the bag upon impact.
3. Ruler on the Back Front of Wrist
This FINAL DRILL will help you keep your wrists flat while aligning with the club at the top of the swing.
You’ll need a ruler and a rubber band to perform this drill.
Afterward, you must do the following steps:
- Place the ruler at the back of your front wrist and secure it with a rubber band
- Create minimal golf swings from time to time
- Observe the way your wrists stay relaxed and flat in the backswing
To determine whether the angles of your face and wrists are in sync, ask someone to take video clips of you while doing the drill.