Role of the Right Arm in the Takeaway

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Published: February 16, 2014

One of the most misunderstood parts of the takeaway is the role of the right arm and, specifically, the right wrist.

As you learned in the Move 1 lesson, it really doesn't do anything, but a lot of people need a more detailed explanation of why that is and what that means. Today we're going to get more specific about exactly what that right wrist does and doesn't do.

Don't Hinge That Wrist!

Right wrist hinged, left cockedRight wrist hinged, left cocked

It's true there's a lot of golf instruction out there that contradicts what we're saying, but we'll show you what happens and why we say the right wrist doesn't do much.

Many golf instructors teach that the right wrist should hinge during the takeaway. We totally disagree. It's a completely unnecessary movement.

In the photo to the left, you can see what it looks like when the right wrist is hinged and the left starts to cock as you start to bring the club back.

We're talking about that backward bend to the right wrist.

Look what happens to the club face as that right wrist hinges; it's dead shut. Unless you do something to manipulate your grip, when you hinge your wrist the club face is not only going to be shut, it's going to have a tendency to get inside and steep.

A shut club face inherently wants to steepen the swing plane.

Do This Instead

Square position at the topSquare position at the top

All you need to do with your right wrist is maintain the neutral position that it's in at address.

Your right wrist should stay very flat during the takeaway move. Don't let it hinge and end up on top of the club. You never want you hand on top of the club.

Your right wrist stays neutral as you turn back. That's going to make it very easy to get to a square position at the top. It will hinge back a little bit - you can't stop that from happening - but you certainly don't want to add to it.

The right stays neutral as it goes back. The left wrist is going to cock.

Technically, the right wrist cocks a little bit - it's almost on an angle between a hinge and a cock, but mainly you want to concentrate on the feeling that it's staying neutral.

Check Your Watch

If you were wearing a watch on your right hand, somebody standing behind you during the takeaway could read your watch.

You don't want to be able to read it yourself, or have somebody down the line be able to read it. It needs to stay so that somebody behind you, or almost underneath you, could read it.

Then you keep it in that neutral position to the top.

If you find that you're getting the club face very shut, or you're getting really handsy during the takeaway, check to make sure your right wrist remains neutral and flat during the takeaway. Make sure it doesn't start to hinge and you'll get into a much better position going back.

Checkpoints for Practice

  • Hinging the right wrist during takeaway causes the club face to close, which steepens the swing plane
  • Keep your right wrist neutral during the takeaway
  • Somebody standing behind you at takeaway should be able to read your watch

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