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How to Avoid a Cupped Left Wrist at the Top


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Description

Learn the cause of a cupped left wrist at the top of your golf backswing and how to fix it.


Hey guys, Chuck Quinton here founder of RotarySwing.com at the beautiful Fossil Trace golf course in Golden Colorado. If you guys haven't had a chance to play here this would be one of the most unique experiences you'll ever find with giant pillars of rock in the middle of the fairways. It's a very cool geming designed course. Highly recommend you check it out next time you're in the Denver area. 
                    What I want to talk about more importantly today is the position of the left wrist and specifically how it gets cupped at the top for so many golfers and they just can't seem to understand what causes it and how to fix it. The great thing is it's going to be a super easy fix. The bad news is it's not going to feel real good at first because it tends to stem back to the same thing that so many amateur golfers struggle with, and that is right side dominance for right-handed golfers. 
                    As you know by now you've watched my videos on push versus pull on the site and you understand that typically most bad faults happen as a result of a pushing motion that's over dominant and over taking the lead side of the body or for right-handed players, the left arm. The same is true when you look at the top of the swing and the position of the left wrist. 
                    So, we want to look at that here and I want to show you first ... I'm going to pull my sleeves up so you can see my wrists a little better, and as I go to the top this is the really typical high handicap position, with this cupped left wrist and typically this goes hand-in-hand with the elbow. Now, I want you to grab a club and do this along with me 'cause this is going to be so easy for you to understand where this movement comes from if you're doing it along with me. 
                    So, take your club go to the top and then I want you to purposely elevate your right elbow this way, away from your body, and straighten out your right wrist a little bit. If you put these two motions together, the right wrist wanting to flatten out and the elbow coming up you'll notice that my lift wrist is going to get really cupped really fast. Now, keep doing this for a minute so you can feel how this not only causes your wrist to cup but it gets you across the line and then this is how it's really easy for high handicappers to come down really steep and for lower handicappers to get way stuck from the inside and have to hit this big flip hook. So, both of those we need to avoid. So, once you get up there and you get used to this elbow coming up, right wrist flattening out ... and again this is just because you're trying to put this right arm into a position of leverage. This feels strong like I can really huck that club down there, but of course alas just like everything else in the golf swing, if you do the exact opposite of what you think is right then it's typically the right answer. And even though this feels good it actually causes tons of problems in the swing. 
                    So, now go to the top with your left arm only and you'll notice how the club naturally wants to swing in what looks like a position that lays off, it's definitely not laid off at the top, but it looks like it's laid off especially if you're used to coming across the line. This club would end up pointing down the target line if I continued to rotate back. So, this illusion of a laid of position you just have to ignore that or get comfortable with the fact that the club's not going to point straight down the line unless you make a nice big turn with a long club. Now, as I go to the top with my left arm only when this laid off position what it looks like, that puts weight on this wrist. The club naturally wants to flatten out the wrist at the top. The wrist throughout the whole swing are gradually flattening. The left wrist is going to start with a cupped position. 
                    I tend to grab my student's wrists and put my thumb right in that crease during the takeaway to make them maintain that cupping position half-way back because so many students want to take that wrist and bow it and that gets the club inside. So, if you keep that wrist nice and cupped and let it gradually flatten throughout the whole sing, by the time it gets to the top it's nice and flat. However, you can totally wreck this motion if you take your right arm and start doing a bunch of stuff with it. If I try and set my wrist and pick the club up and get this wrist loaded up, this forearm loaded up, my arm loaded up, boom cupped left wrist. 
                    So, how do we get rid of this? The simple answer is the same answer I've been preaching for everything else that you're doing in your swing, initially until this lead side is under control of the club, and the body movements are all working correctly, take the right arm off. You don't need it there. At least during your practice swings get used to thee club feeling like it's pulling your wrist flat just due to gravity wanting to pull the club down. Let your wrist swing back naturally as your body swings it back and then bring your right arm up to support the club and you'll notice that the right wrist is going to arch back. It's going to sit like this. The old analogy, which is relatively accurate is, somebody holding like a platter or something, a plate with glasses on it. It's not quite bent back that much but it does need to be allowed to arch back and that pulls the left wrist back. So, you start like this where the right wrist is flat and the left wrist is cupped and at the top it looks like this. That's the whole hinging motion in the entire golf swing. The entire backswing literally just does this and this. That's how simple your wrist movements are. 
                    If you add anything else to this your golf swing a thousand times more complicated. The wrist can move the club a greater distance than any other movement in your body and get the club more off plane more quickly. I can sit here and just do this with just my wrist I've moved the club five or six feet. So, the wrist movement, again it's here, there a little bit of cock, done. That's your whole wrist movement in the swing and so as you're going back if you're used to getting your right wrist like this you can see this is the opposite of what I'm showing you to do. This movement is really simple. This right elbow coming out, right wrist flattening, behind left wrist back, move that club all over the place and makes it virtually impossible to play consistent golf. 
                    So, work on this drill of just doing it left arm only. Sit in front of a mirror and watch your wrist being flat to cupped, or excuse me, bent back, arched back on your right wrist and flattening out your left wrist. That's the whole movement in the swing and then as you combine a little bit of wrist cock as you're doing this hinging motion that's the whole movement. And that just gradually happens throughout the entire backswing. And if you do this and you practice without your right hand on there, you get the feeling, and do it in front of a mirror so you can see it. You'll never have that cupped left wrist at the top of your swing again. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a cupped wrist bad in golf?

One of the things that we see that is unbelievably common in the golf swing, and probably one of the most detrimental, most common, fundamental flaws that we always see is happening just with their arms and hands. Early hinging of the hand and wrist causes a cupped wrist.

What is a cupped wrist in golf?

The most common thing we see is early hinge of the hand, hinge of the right wrist, getting the club buried in behind the body and not getting much movement from the body at all, this contributes to a cupped wrist.

How do I stop my wrist cupping in golf?

Sit in front of a mirror and watch your wrist being flat to cupped, or bent back, arched back on your right wrist and flattening out your left wrist. That's the whole movement in the swing and then as you combine a little bit of wrist cock as you're doing this hinging motion that's the whole movement. And that just gradually happens throughout the entire backswing. And if you do this and you practice without your right hand on there, you get the feeling, and do it in front of a mirror so you can see it. You'll never have that cupped left wrist at the top of your swing again

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