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Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm curious how my wrists should be involved in my swing. Is the correct wrist involvement:

1.) Wrists don't sway from side to side. If the club is in front of you and you move only your wrists, the club should only be moving straight up and straight down.

2.) Wrists sway from side to side. If the club is in front of you and you only move your wrists, the club head moves from right to left.

3.) A mix of both of the above.

With #2 above you could hit the ball using only your wrists. No body or arm movement is needed. With #1, you could only chop down at the top of the ball.

I've been swinging usually mixing both together, but after watching the Swing The Handle DVD it seems like my wrists shouldn't be swaying the club horizontally. That DVD made it sound like my wrists should only allow my club to go straight up or straight down (not side to side).
post #2 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

Assume you are holding a fishing pole in your left hand using your golf grip, in front of your chest, arm comfortably extended. The club or pole sticking straight up. The motion of flipping the club or pole, as if tossing a lure into the water, is the only wrist motion needed during your swing. Your right hand stays in place in this postion and never flips the club forward -- that would be a bad thing for sure.

Releasing the club is noting more than allowing the club to release down as you rotate into your shot. Hard to describe actually. Ideally, the hands should be slightly ahead of the club head (with irons) as it comes down into impact. There are variations and choices for how flat the left hand wrist can be during the cocking motion of the back swing, but at impact, keeping it flat is good. For a knock down or low punch, you can even bow the left wrist to deloft the club. If you tend to slice with an otherwise good swing, you can focus on keeping the left wrist and hand flat as the club cocks up and down. Most swings work well with a flat left wrist position (still cocking up and down) through out the swing. Many modern swings have a slight cupping during the cocking up part of the backswing. I actually have a very slight cupping of the left wrist on the backswing when trying to hit cut shots, but otherwise try to stay pretty flat for a normal draw or straight shot.

Just remember, the right hand never flips the club forward on any normal shot. When you hit what is called a "hold off" type shot, the arms don't flip over and when you hit a normal shot, the release allows the left elbow to fold down and the arms to rotate over each other -- flipping the right hand has nothing to do with either of these kinds of shots. You can hit with your right hand as hard as you want if your body keeps rotating through the shot, but you don't flip the club forward. Hope this makes sense.

Admittedly, there are some teachers that talk about this differently.
post #3 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

RC is correct. If any of it is not clear, go to http://www.pgatour.com/swingplex/ and watch the wrist action of the pros in slow motion.
post #4 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

Another way to think about wrist movement. If you think of the golf swing path as a wheel on a tilted angle. With the club as a spoke and the wheel axis running midway between you rear shoulder and head on the back swing, any wrist movement should be in plane with this wheel.

Take a look at Tiger's wrist position at the top, it is perfectly in plane with his golf swing.
post #5 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

Watch Sergio Garcia, he gets great wrist action, if there was a side view, you would see his wrist cock make a 45* angle.
post #6 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

I'm firmly in the #2 category. Side to side.

This is simply another case of there are many ways to skin a cat (or in this instance, many ways to swing a golf club.) The only wrong advice is someone sayone one way is the only way, and the other way is wrong.

Cocking "up and down" seems to be associated with people that also advocate a strong forearm roll or break at impact. Hinging "side to side" seems to be associated with swings that don't adovcate a strong forearm roll. (Of course, since I said that someone will show me an example of just the opposite.)

Anyway, either can be correct depending on how it is incorporated into the rest of your swing. Figure out which one works in with the rest of your swing.
post #7 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

I am interested in what you mean by side to side. Would you please explain what you are doing so I can understand better what you mean.
post #8 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

Originally Posted by Petden View Post
Watch Sergio Garcia, he gets great wrist action, if there was a side view, you would see his wrist cock make a 45* angle.
I didn't get the "side to side" either. The 45* (as mentioned above) is closer to on plane with the shaft and swing plane. You want movements (including wrist cocking) in plane with the shaft and swing plane (not up and down or side to side). Of course, there have been successful golfers with wild wrist cocks.(Nancy Lopez's wrist cock on the back swing was quite horizontal compared to most-----she also had a unique backswing tempo)

If it ain't broke don't fix it. Dance with who you brung.

All those other good old sayings.
post #9 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

Yes, indeed... I think there is some misunderstanding because of the rotating reference frame in this discussion. I mean up and down in reference to the golf shaft and where it is in the swing, not an absolute frame of up and down. Be that as it may, if you are standing upright, not in your golf posture and keep the club in front of you pointing away and about level (not exact) and not swinging, then the wrist simply moves the club slightly more up and then down (making sure the down position has no cupping) through where impact would be if you were rotating and swinging. Words and rotating reference frames make this more complicated than I first thought. The bowed wrist impact position for a low shot might be construed to be a side to side motion I guess, but that is kind of a bad way to say it since that might imply a flipping motion through impact -- but surely this is not what was intended, or is it?
post #10 of 11

Re: Bending of the wrists - Up/Down, Left/Right, or Both?

There is one correct answer for a "correct grip"....the left wrist cocks and the right wrist hinges. The ideal grip is neutral to strong left hand with a slightly weaker (than left hand) right hand. This puts the right hand more on top of the club and doesn't allow it to get under which can create a slew of problems, like sucking it inside early in the back swing. Of course, one can tweak it either way, but the grip should not be "palms facing each other". Tiger, Annika, Sergio, and countless others grip the club like this. From a face on view, you won't see any left thumb. Its hard to get used to, but it promotes the correct loading of the wrists.

So in short, left wrist cocks UP, right wrist hinges BACK, and this is done in one motion, not 2 independant ones.
post #11 of 11

Martin Hall has a good explanatory video

 

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