Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing


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Description

The wrists play a very dynamic role in your golf swing. In this video, I'll cover the terminology and functions of the wrists. I will also cover how to use the wrists in the most effective and efficient way possible.


Video Practice Points
  • Learn the terms and the functions before you start to practice. 
  • Allow the lead wrist to be in the drivers seat
  • The wrists are always rotating in the swing and providing support to the clubhead
  • Keep the wrists passive until the release point of the swing

Today, in this two-part video, I'm going to go through the terminology of the wrists, and I'm also going to show you how the wrists function throughout the entire golf swing. Let's go ahead and get started.

                Your wrists have several different functions in the golf swing, and in part one of this video I want to go ahead and go through the anatomic terminology and the golf terminology so you understand when you hear us instructing in other videos, you understand what those terms mean. It's going to be very critical for you understand these terms, so when you hear us give you cue words, you know exactly what we're talking about.

                The first function of the wrist is going to be radial deviation. Radial deviation is best defined if you were told your hitchhiker thumb here and try to pull it back to the forearm, that's called cocking of the wrist. The anatomic term is radial deviation, and that's cocking of the wrist in golf terms. Now, the exact opposite of that is ulnar deviation. That would also be defined in the golf term world as un-cocking of the wrist. So you have cocking, radial deviation, un-cocking, ulnar deviation.

                Now, the second function that you'll hear is going to be flexion. Flexion is best defined here ... I'm going to show you the first function of flexion and that's going to be dorsiflexion and that's basically pulling the knuckles on the outer portion of the hand back to the outer portion of the forearm. The golf term for that is going to be either cupping or hinging of the wrists. If you ever hear cupping or hinging, or you hear dorsiflexion, now you understand what that means. The exact opposite of that is going to be palmar flexion. Palmar flexion is basically hinging the wrist inward, or making sure that these fingertips are going to the inner portion of the forearm. The golf term for that for palmar flexion is going to be bowing of the wrists.

                The next function of the wrist is going to be rotation. Rotation is best ... we have the radial distal joint, so if I were to rotate the wrist bones, the forearm actually rotates as well because of the radial distal joint. If I were to hold my forearm or my hand straight out in front of me here and I was to rotate the palm upward, that's what we call supination. The best way how to remember this one is like holding a cup of soup. The exact opposite of that is going to be pronation. That's me turning the palm downward. You can see that the forearm rotates as well. Rotation's a very, very big part of the golf swing and especially rotation of the wrists. In part two of this video I'm going to show you exactly how the wrists are working together to help you get into some great spots.

                The final turn that you're going to hear around the website is wrist set. You'll hear this on TV when the tour analyses are talking about the swings. You'll hear a lot of term about wrist set. The best way I define wrist set is kind of that middle point between dorsiflexion, which is hinging or cupping of the wrist and radial deviation, cocking of the wrist. It's kind of that middle point. I remember that by trying to, if you were to grab a hammer and try to hammer a nail into the wall, your wrist is going to set back into that middle point. If you hear that term wrist set, and that's a very important part throughout the takeaway and into the top part of the golf swing, you're going to understand exactly what that means.

                In part two of this video, I'm going to show you exactly some checkpoints throughout each portion of the golf swing. I'm going to show you how we're going to use them in a passive sense to allow us to build power throughout the golf swing. Then I'm going to show you how to use them to add a lot of speed at the correct time and that's an impact.

                In part two of this video I'm going to talk to you how the wrists work throughout the entire golf swing. I'm going to show you how to use them effectively and efficiently and I'm going to also make you understand that there's a difference between power and speed. The wrists can add a lot of speed to the golf swing, yes, but the power is what we want to build early on and we want to turn that into speed through the wrists later in the golf swing. I don't want you to use the wrists. The best way to think about this is using the wrists very little early on and using them to add impact at the proper time. When you ever hear us say use the wrists in a passive sense, that's what that means.

                You can see here, from a setup position, I can make this club head move really fast with very little rotation of the body, you can see that that club's got a lot of speed in it. That's one of the big mistakes that we see with a lot of our golfers around the site or a lot of our students, is that you'll see them get the club moving really quickly without creating any rotation. You can see that I've moved this club four or five feet with just a little bit of rotation of the wrists, a little bit of set of the wrists and it's got a lot of speed early on. What that's doing is it's making your primary power source, your hands and your arms. The whole idea is that we want to use the body to build power. We can do that by rotating, loading up those big muscles and then unloading that and then pulling the power out of the ground and then turning that into speed at impact.

                I'm going to show you exactly the best way to think about how to use your wrists. We're going to be focusing more on the movements of the body. There's a lot of instructors out there that'll tell you, "Okay all you've got to do is get the toe of the club up to the sky and you're in good shape." Again, from the face on perspective, I've got the toe of the club up to the sky here but I haven't rotated my body at all. We're going to shift our focus off the club head and we're going to focus on what the wrists are doing because the left wrist, or your lead wrist in your golf swing, is really the driver of your car. I call him the conservative brother, always shows up to the party on time, where the right hand is the out of control brother that shows up to the party, ruins it. This guy's going to be adding speed, so we want this guy to be in control for a while. We want this guy to add the speed at the proper time, that's at impact.

                If we shift our focus off the golf club, and I'm going to use a tennis racket and I want you to think about the front part of this tennis racket here that's going to be facing down the line as the club face. If I'm in address position here, I'm going to let the driver of my car be the only person in the car at this point. The passenger, I kicked him out for a while. You'll notice here that my glove logo, or my watch is facing down the target line. When I start the golf club back, or the tennis racket back throughout the takeaway, you're going to notice that there's some rotation of the wrists. We always want the wrists to be rotating. The left wrist is pronating and there's going to be a little bit of set at the end.

                Why do we have wrist set? Wrist set is that one term that we talked about in the first part of the video and that's going to be to support the golf club. When we're working through the takeaway, if I didn't have any wrist set, this club head becomes really heavy and it's lagging way down here and it's really uncomfortable. Wrist set is just basically to support the club. All we're looking for is enough wrist set to where the club shaft is going to be parallel to the ground. I didn't really aim the tennis racket or I didn't aim the club in a certain area. All I did was just focused on my lead wrist rotating. My focus is, now my watch is facing away from me and there's a little bit of wrist set. Also, at the address position, we start with a little cupping and as we're starting to rotate back, you're going to notice that a little bit of that cupping comes out. Eventually when we start to work up into the top part of the golf swing, you're going to notice that it flattens out.

                If I were to add the right hand back to the mix and I'm not grabbing the club very hard here, or grabbing the tennis racket, the right wrist is just reacting, in a sense, to what the left wrist is doing because we want that to be in control. That's the most important part of golf is being able to control the club face. Once you've trained your wrists, add the golf club back to the mix. Just try to feel those movements. Don't focus on the golf club itself. Focus more here than out here. If that's where you focus, that's going to help you build new movement patterns much quicker. Now, when we start to work from the takeaway, this wrist is going to continue to rotate and it's going to flatten off. The reason why it flattens off again, because that club head's gotten heavy and its got a lot of momentum in it. It's going to be pulling in that direction. The right wrist is actually going to add a little bit more set at the top part of the golf swing.

                Left wrist is rotated. It's going to continue to rotate and it flattens off because that club head becomes heavy, that right wrist has got a little bit more wrist set in it. Maybe just a fraction more hinge in it. That's all we're looking for is just enough to support it. We don't want the wrist to be really rigid throughout any part of the takeaway or the backswing, or any part of the golf swing for that matter. We want them to be in a passive sense. We want them to be nice and relaxed and just enough to support the club. On a scale of one to ten, I usually tell people between a four and five is the best way to think about grip pressure. That effects the way the wrists function. If you were to squeeze the life out of it, then it's hard to rotate. The wrists are nice and passive, add the right hand back to the mix and then we're going to start to work up to the top part of the golf swing.

                On my wrist watch, if you watch my watch here, now it's rotated to where it's more facing up at the sky and that it's just resting in the right hand. Don't squeeze the club to where it's got tons of tension in it, where you've got the wrist really, fully maxed out because if you have the wrist really maxed out at the top part of the golf swing, guess what? They're going to throw very early on and you're going to have a hard time maintaining lag. You're going to have a hard time putting speed in the right spot. I really just want enough set in there to help hold and support the club. There's a great drill on the website called the down-cock and pump drill. Check that out. That will help you understand how much set or how much tension levels should be in the wrist.

                What are the wrists doing in the downswing? They're not doing much at all. All the left wrist did to get to the top part of the golf swing, remember that's the driver of our car, is it just rotated. That's all it's really going to be doing on the way down. We don't want to try to push against the shaft with the thumb. We don't want to try to push against the club with the right arm. That's a very common mistake and that's why get a lot of early casting. It's very difficult to maintain lag in the hitting area. All we really want to think about is rotation, so the left wrist is pronating on the way back. It's going to be supinating on the way down. The right wrist, again, is just reacting to what the left wrist is doing. From a down the line perspective, when I get up into the top part of my golf swing here and I sit left and I'm starting to work, I don't want the hands and arms doing really much of anything.

                The rotation created by the body is moving the hands and arms back out in front. I'm still being able to maintain the lag in the golf club. You can see I've got quite an angle here and now my hands are in the hitting area to where I can release that energy, just as outlined in Five Minutes to a Perfect Release. The most critical part for you to understand is that your lead wrist in your golf swing is the driver of your car. We want that guy to be in control. It's always got to be rotating. It's got to have enough wrist set. It's just got to have enough set at the checkpoint of the takeaway just to get the club shaft where it's parallel and then at the top part of the golf swing, we want to save just a little bit of wrist set so when you have that down-cock, you can create more of an angle to hang on for more speed.

                As outlined in Five Minutes to a Perfect Release, you're going to notice that the left wrist is just rotating. Now you can see that my glove logo or my watch is facing behind me. Back at impact, we've got it slightly back to a flat position, glove logo's facing down the line. The right wrist is just rotating, helping add that speed. The speed is not coming from the hand, the speed is coming from the release of the angle here in the wrist and the release here in the arm. That's what I want you to best think about. That's how the passenger, the brother that always shows up late, is helping add that speed down there. Now that you understand how the wrists are supposed to work, use them in a passive sense, build power in the body, turn them into speed at the right time.

                I look forward to working with you guys in the future and I hope you have a great day. 

Your wrists play a very dynamic role in the golf swing. Today, in this two part video, I'm going to go through the terminology of the wrists, and I'm also going to show you how the wrists function throughout the entire golf swing. Let's go ahead and get started.

                Your wrists have several different functions in the golf swing. In part one of this video, I want to go ahead and go through the anatomic terminology and the golf terminology, so that you understand when you hear us instructing in other videos, you understand what those terms mean. It's going to be very critical for you to understand these terms, so when you hear us give you cue words, you know exactly what we're talking about.

                The first function of the wrists is going to be radial deviation. Radial deviation is best defined if you were to hold your hitchhiker thumb up here, and try to pull it back to the forearm, that's called cocking of the wrist. The anatomic term is radial deviation, and that's cocking of the wrist in golf terms. The exact opposite of that is going to be ulnar deviation. That would also be defined, in the golf term world, as uncocking of the wrists. You have cocking, radial deviation. Uncocking, ulnar deviation.

                The second function that you'll hear is going to be flexion. Flexion is best defined here, or I'm going to show you the first function of flexion, and that's going to be dorsiflexion. That's basically pulling the knuckles on the outer portion of the hand back to the outer portion of the forearm. The golf term for that is going to be either cupping or hinging of the wrist. If you ever hear cupping or hinging, or you hear dorsiflexion, now you understand what that means.

                The exact opposite of that is going to be palmar flexion. Palmar flexion is basically hinging the wrist inward, or making sure that these fingertips are going to the inner portion of the forearm. The golf term for that, for palmar flexion, is going to be bowing of the wrist. The next function of the wrist is going to be rotation. Rotation is best, and we have the radial distal joint, so if I were to rotate the wrist bones, the forearm actually rotates as well, because of the radial distal joint.

                If I were to hold my forearm or my hand straight out in front of me here, and I was to rotate the palm upward, that's what we call supination. The best way how I remember this one is like holding a cup of soup. The exact opposite of that is going to be pronation. That's me turning the palm downward. You can see that the forearm rotates as well. Rotation's a very, very big part of the golf swing, and especially rotation of the wrists. In part two of this video, I'm going to show you exactly how the wrists are working together to help you get into some great spots.

                The final term that you're going to hear around the website is wrist set. You'll hear this on TV when the tour analysis are talking about the swings. You'll hear a lot of terms about wrist set. The best way I define wrist set is kind of that middle point between dorsiflexion, which is hinging or cupping of the wrist, and radial deviation, cocking of the wrist. It's kind of that middle point. I remember that by trying to ... If you were to grab a hammer, and try to hammer a nail into the wall, your wrist is going to set back into that middle point.

                If you hear that term, wrist set, and that's a very important part throughout the take away and then the top part of the golf swing, you're going to understand exactly what that means. In part two of this video, I'm going to show you exactly some check points throughout each portion of the golf swing. I'm going to show you how we're going to use them in a passive sense to help us, or allow us to build power throughout the golf swing, and then I'm going to show you how to use them to add a lot of speed at the correct time, and that's at impact.

                In part two of this video, I'm going to talk to you how the wrists work throughout the entire golf swing. I'm going to show you how to use them effectively and efficiently, and I'm going to also make you understand that there's a difference between power and speed. The wrists can add a lot of speed to the golf swing, yes, but the power is what we want to build early on, and we want to turn that into speed through the wrists late on the golf swing.

                I don't want you to use the wrists. The best way to think about this is using the wrists very little early on, and using them at impact, at the proper time. When you ever hear us say use the wrists in a passive sense, that's what that means. You can see here, from a setup position, I can make this club head move really fast, with very little rotation of the body. You can see that that club's got a lot of speed in it, and that's one of the things ...

                The big mistakes that we see with a lot of our golfers around the site, or a lot of our students, is that you'll see them get the club moving really quickly without creating any rotation. You can see that I've moved this club four or five feet with just a little bit of rotation to the wrists, a little bit of set of the wrists, and it's got a lot of speed early on. What that's doing is it's making your primary power source your hands and your arms. The whole idea is that we want to use the body to build power.

                We can do that by rotating, loading up those big muscles, and then unloading that, and then pulling the power out of the ground, and then turning that into speed at impact. I'm going to show you exactly the best way to think about how to use your wrists. We're going to be focusing more on the movements of the body. There's a lot of instructors out there that'll tell you, "Okay. All you gotta do is get the toe of the club up to the sky, and you're in good shape." Again, from the face on perspective, I've got the toe of the club up to the sky here, but I haven't rotated my body at all.

                We're going to shift our focus off the club head, and we're going to focus on what the wrists are doing, because the left wrist, or your lead wrist in your golf swing, is really the driver of your car. I call him the conservative brother, always shows up to the party on time, where the right hand is the out of control brother that shows up to the party, ruins it, and this guy's going to be adding speed. We want this guy to be in control for a while. We want this guy to help add the speed at the proper time. That's at impact.

                If we shift our focus off the golf club, and I'm going to use a tennis racket. I want you to think about the front part of this tennis racket here that's going to be facing down the line as the club face. All right, so if I'm in a [inaudible 00:05:18] position here, I'm going to let the driver of my car be the only person in the car at this point. The passenger, I kicked him out for a while. You'll notice here that my glove logo, or my watch, is facing down the target line.

                When I start the golf club back, or the tennis racket back throughout the takeaway, you're going to notice that there's some rotation of the wrists. We always want the wrists to be rotating. The left wrist is pronating, and there's going to be a little bit of set at the end. Why do we have wrist set? Wrist set is that one term that we talked about in the first part of the video, and that's going to be to support the golf club. When we're working through the takeaway, if I didn't have any wrist set, this club head becomes really heavy, and it's lagging way down here, and it's really uncomfortable.

                Wrist set is just basically to support the club. All we're looking for is enough wrist set to where the club shaft is going to be parallel to the ground. I didn't really aim the tennis racket, or I didn't aim the club in a certain area. All I did was just focus on my lead wrist rotating. My focus is ... Now my watch is facing away from me, and there's a little bit of wrist set. We start also, at the addressed position, we start with a little cupping, and as we're starting to rotate back, you're going to notice that a little bit of that cupping comes out.

                Eventually, when we start to work up into the top part of the golf swing, you're going to notice that it flattens out. If I were to add the right hand back to the mix, and I'm not grabbing the club very hard here, or grabbing the tennis racket, the right wrist is just reacting in a sense to what the left wrist it doing. We want that to be in control. That's the most important part of golf, is being able to control the club face. Once you've trained your wrists, add the golf club back into the mix. Okay?

                Just try to feel those movements. Don't focus on the golf club itself. Focus more here than out here. If that's where you focus, that's going to help you build new movement patterns much quicker. Now, when we start to work from the takeaway, this wrist is going to continue to rotate, and it's going to flatten off. The reason why it flattens off again, because that club head's started ... It's gotten heavy, and it's got a lot of momentum in it, and it's going to be pulling in that direction, so the right wrist is actually going to add a little bit more set at the top part of the golf swing.

                Left wrist is rotated. It's going to continue to rotate, and it flattens off. Because that club head becomes heavy, that right wrist has got a little bit more wrist set in it, maybe just a fraction more hinge in it. All right, so that's all we're looking for, is just enough to support it. We don't want the wrists to be really rigid throughout any part of the takeaway or the backswing, or any part of the golf swing for that matter. We want them to be in a passive sense. We want them to be nice and relaxed, and just enough to support the club.

                On a scale of 1-10, I usually tell people between a four and five is the best way to think about grip pressure that affects the way the wrists function. If you were to squeeze the life out of it, then it's hard to rotate. All right, so the wrists are nice and passive. Add the right hand back to the mix, and then we're going to start to work up to the top part of the golf swing. On my wrist watch, if you watch my watch here, now it's rotated to where it's more facing up at the sky, and then it's just resting in the right hand.

                Don't squeeze the club to where it's got tons of tension in it, where you've got the wrists really, fully maxed out. If you have the wrists really maxed out at the top part of the golf swing, guess what, they're going to throw very early on, and you're going to have a hard time maintaining lag. You're going to have a hard time putting speed in the right spot. I really just want enough set in there to help hold and support the club. There's a great drill on the website called the Downcock and Pump Drill. Check that out. That'll help you understand how much set or how much tension levels should be in the wrists.

                What are the wrists doing in the downswing? They're not doing much at all. All the left wrist did to get to the top part of the golf swing, remember that's the driver of our car, is it just rotated. That's all it's really going to be doing on the way down. We don't want to try to push against the shaft with the thumb. We don't want to try to push against the club with the right arm. That's a very common mistake, and that's why we get a lot of early casting. It's very difficult to maintain lag in the hitting area.

                All we really want to think about is rotation. The left wrist is pronating on the way back. It's going to be supinating on the way down. The right wrist, again, is just reacting to what the left wrist is doing. From a down the line perspective, when I get up into the top part of my golf swing here, and I sit left, and I'm starting to work, I don't want the hands and arms doing really much of anything. The rotation created by the body is moving the hands and arms back out in front.

                I'm still being able to maintain the lag in the golf club. You can see I've got quite an angle here. Now my hands are in the hitting area to where I can release that energy, just as outlined in Five Minutes to a Perfect Release. The most critical part for you to understand is that your lead wrist, in your golf swing, is the driver of your car. We want that guy to be in control. It's always got to be rotating. It's got to have enough wrist set.

                It's just got to have enough set at the checkpoint of the takeaway, just to get the club shaft to where it's parallel. Then at the top part of the golf swing, we want to save just a little bit of wrist set, so when you have that downcock, you can create more of an angle to hang on for more speed. All right, so as outlined in Five Minutes to a Perfect Release, you're going to notice that the left wrist is just rotating. Now you can see that my glove logo, or my watch, is facing behind me.

                Back at impact. Okay. We've got it slightly back to a flat position. Glove logo's facing down the line. All right, and the right wrist is just rotating and helping add that speed. The speed is not coming from the hand. The speed is coming from the release of the angle here in the wrist, and the release here in the arm. That's what I want you to best think about. That's how this right guy, or I'm sorry, the passenger, the brother that always shows up late, is helping add that speed down there.

                Now that you understand how the wrists are supposed to work, use them in a passive sense. Build power in the body. Turn them into speed at the right time. I look forward to working more with you guys in the future, and I hope you have a great day. 

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