So aside from the feet and your arms, your wrists’ movements such as rotations or hinges, also play an important role in golf even though these movements are often overlooked. Lucky for you, this article explains why is wrist hinge important in a golf swing.
Golf is one of the sports that most people do not acknowledge to be “athletic enough” because of the stereotype that the golf club, and the arms do all of the work.
In reality, you should use every part of your body to be able to play golf effectively.
Why is Wrist Hinge Important in a Golf Swing
The reason why is wrist hinge important in a golf swing is that it affects the distance, elevation, and even the trajectory of the ball after you hit it.
So if you are still wondering how important is wrist hinge in a golf swing, here is a simple answer: it affects your swings.
Most of the time, many golfers do not see their wrists when they are swinging away. They are often focused on keeping track of the ball and their golf clubs.
That is why many golfers are unaware of the effect of the wrists’ movements on their shots and how important is wrist hinge in a golf swing.
Like many hinges that are used in doors of cabinets and rooms, your wrist should be harmonious to the movement that you would want, in this case, it should be harmonious to your swing.
Your wrist hinge should be able to support the movements of your body as you perform the three important phases of your swing: takeaway, backswing, and downswing.
Starting with the Takeaway
You will easily grasp how important is wrist hinge in a golf swing or why is wrist hinge important in a golf swing, when you see the role of the wrist hinge in a takeaway.
The takeaway phase is the beginning of every swinging motion and the takeaway ends once the golf club is parallel to the ground, or when the backswing begins.
Getting the proper setup is important during the takeaway because whatever action you do in the takeaway will affect the other phases of your swing.
Part of the proper setup is making sure that your wrists are firmly gripping the golf club.
As you perform the takeaway, your wrists should cock back the club as your shoulder turns from the target as much as you can.
Your whole body will help raise the golf club to the highest point of your swing. The wrists should have at least a 90-degree hinge when the takeaway ends.
Moving to the backswing
After the takeaway, the backswing should proceed and as you perform the correct wrist movements in this phase It will help you to grasp how important is wrist hinge in a golf swing.
The backswing has two purposes: position your shoulders and your club to be parallel to the ground or to your target line.
Building up momentum using your arms and legs. The wrist hinge also helps to fulfill this purpose.
As your shoulders begin to turn and bring your golf club backward, your wrist hinge should also allow the club to be directed backward.
To achieve a proper wrist hinge during the backswing, you can position your thumb at your non-dominant hand to be pointing to your dominant shoulder as soon as possible.
So for example, if you are right-handed, your thumbs in the left hand should point at your right shoulder when you are gripping your club.
The proper wrist hinge should automatically be set in place as soon as you start your downswing.
Doing so will eliminate the risk of your arms swinging too far forward as you transition into the downswing.
On to the downswing
As you progress to the downswing, you should now be able to understand why is wrist hinge important in a golf swing.
The downswing’s purpose is to direct your club toward its swing route so that you will get a good impact between the ball and the clubhead.
When you are performing the downswing, keep in mind that it is not important that you rely on speed to move your golf club towards its swing route
You should also aim for a path that will get you squared impact.
By getting a proper wrist hinge, you can get a good swing path that will give you power and control during the downswing.
When you are directing your golf club towards its swing path, your wrists should still be hinged. As soon as the clubhead impacts the ball, you should unhinge your wrists immediately.
So you can effectively transfer your momentum to the golf club, and the clubface can use that to power up the impact with the ball.
Now that you know why is wrist hinge important in a golf swing based on the roles of the wrist hinge at every phase.
You should also remember that your wrists must be relaxed at all times just as how you would keep your whole body calm and composed throughout the swing.
What is the proper use of the wrist in a golf swing?
After knowing the reasons why is wrist hinge important in a golf swing, you should also understand that there are two types of wrists during the golf swing: The front wrist which is opposite your dominant hand.
So for example if you are right-handed then your front wrist would be your left wrist; and secondly, the back wrist which is the opposite of the front wrist
Now, we will discuss the three general wrist positions and their uses: cupped, bowed, and flat.
In this position, your wrists form a cup-like shape. You can do this by using the lines of your wrists as the “cup” for your forearm all the way to the back of both of your hands.
The goal is to show an open clubhead as you start your early stages of the swing, and to square, the clubhead during the downswing, or until your clubhead impacts the ball.
One key difference that distinguishes the cupped wrists from the other positions is that the front wrist of a right-handed player should form a curve that is bending upwards.
This curve can easily be seen when a golf club is raised by your wrists during the swing.
You can achieve a bowed wrist position by gripping the golf club at a position wherein the palm of your hand is seemingly folding inward at a direction leading to your forearm.
As a result, your front wrist would appear as if it is forming a knuckle that is bent and is pointing downwards.
The bowed position helps to prevent the clubhead from opening which reduces the chances of performing a slice instead of a squared impact.
Many players use the bowed position because it helps to deliver accurate and powerful shots, and they would no longer worry about the danger of rotating their clubface.
One important thing to remember when using the bowed wrist position; you should still unhinge your wrist to present an open clubface at the moment your clubhead impacts the ball.
Lastly, there is the flat position wherein the back of your front wrist stays flat even at the top of your swing.
A flat wrist position helps the clubface to be consistently aimed towards the target and it preserves the loft of the golf club.
Flat wrist position helps to trap your ball between the clubface and the ground making sure that you will get a powerful impact.
Your hands would still move side-to-side as you direct the golf club towards the target, but the back of the front wrists would remain flat.
That is why, unlike with the bowed and the cupped position, there is no visible curve from the front wrist when the golf club is raised.
Most pro golfers consider the flat wrist position as a display of skill and experience because it is arguably one of the hardest positions to maintain during the golf swing.
Now that you know the reasons why is wrist hinge important in a golf swing, you should start reviewing your wrist hinges during your games.
If you notice that your wrists are not properly hinged or your wrists are not at a position where you feel comfortable swinging, then you should start by correcting them immediately.
The pros take their wrist hinges seriously when they are swinging, and you should also do the same for your swings!