or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Should you actively hold the wrist angle?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Should you actively hold the wrist angle?

Poll Results: Should you actively hold the wrist angle?

  • 26% (11)
  • 73% (31)
42 Total Votes  
post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 

I suffer badly from casting. I release the club so early that I end up flipping, swinging out to in or hitting it fat. Sometimes all three.


It's become pretty apparent that unless I stop casting I will never improve. I'm certainly never going to achieve the perfect impact position!


From over a year now I've been reading every blog and thread on 'lag', and as we all know, there is no sport on this planet which has more conflicting advice than golf!


From what I can tell there are two main groups.


1. Those who say that lag 'just happens' and can't be artificially introduced to a swing i.e. it's a product of an all-round good swing.


2. Those who say that the wrist angle must be actively held until late in the downswing i.e. lag is artificial


Until recently I have been in the former group and have tried to increase lag/ stop casting by initiating the swing from the ground up etc.


I have had zero success with this - absolutely none at all. I do all the drills for weeks on end but as soon as I try to swing full power my club just instantly releases. Very frustrating.


I'm now starting to think that the only way I can stop casting is if I actively hold the wrist cock during my downswing. Logically this makes sense. If throwing the wrist angle away is causing me to cast, then holding the wrist angle must stop me casting.


But holding the wrist cock just doesn't feel 'right'. The swing doesn't feel fluid and the big question is 'when do you release?', and how do you release consistently? These are the arguments that people in Group 1 always throw up.


However, I'm reminded of the quote from the great Tiger Woods. He said when he making a change in his swing if it doesn't feel strange then he isn't doing it right. So it's only right that holding the wrist angle should feel strange at first.


And secondly, yes, timing a late release is going to cause issues - but is that any worse than trying to hit the ball consistently when you cast the club from the top?

post #2 of 70

I also was casting for a long while then I just understood it suddenly and my irons went a long way further. Once you get the feeling and trained some it will become really natural and you don't have to think on it. I voted no.

post #3 of 70
Thread Starter 

When an amateur claims that lag 'just happens' I wonder how much lag he actually has in his swing compared to what he thinks he has.. a2_wink.gif


Seriously, there are so many threads on this forum where people rubbish the notion of 'holding the wrist cock'.


I'm not saying I disagree with them, I just have my doubts. Yes I'm sure that 'float loading', hip slide, pivot etc play a part, but I think that the wrist angle must be held to some degree.


Put it this way, if a Tour Pro started his swing from the top of the backswing (i.e. no backswing), would he cast the club? I don't think so, and to me that's a big indicator that the wrists play a big role in keeping the 90 degree angle.

post #4 of 70

I voted no. Does that help? :)

post #5 of 70
Thread Starter 

Ha ha, no! :)


Maybe a better question is should a 'caster' try to actively hold the wrist angle?


I understand that we are talking about two extremes;


1. Throwing the club away/ throwing the wrist angle away


2. Physically holding the wrist angle


With the former, you have next to no chance of getting into the proper impact position and are destined to hit about 5" behind the ball.


With the latter, you really get the feeling that you are storing up the energy and whipping the club through - and down - on the ball.


As a chronic caster, I actively held the wrist angle at the range last night at for the first time I really got the feeling of what it's like to get into the proper impact position. I really felt that I was storing up the energy and whipping down and through the ball. It was a real eye opener.

post #6 of 70
Thread Starter 

To any chronic casters out there reading this, I say give 'holding' the wrist angle a try. Nothing else is working is it?


I'm not advocating a tension filled swing where you grip the club with all your might - I'm talking about stopping yourself from throwing the club away at the top of the backswing.


As a swing thought, 'holding' the wrist angle is just another way of saying 'don't throw the club away'.


Maybe guys like Iacas just don't realise that they are subconciously holding the wrist angle :-)

post #7 of 70
Originally Posted by GlasgowsGreen View Post


I'm now starting to think that the only way I can stop casting is if I actively hold the wrist cock during my downswing. Logically this makes sense. If throwing the wrist angle away is causing me to cast, then holding the wrist angle must stop me casting.


But holding the wrist cock just doesn't feel 'right'. The swing doesn't feel fluid and the big question is 'when do you release?', and how do you release consistently?


I think you are confused over what people mean by "holding the wrist angle." No one should ever try to "hold the wrist cock."


The human wrist can do a number of things, and I'm going to explain this with both golf and anatomical terms:


1) It can cock up and down: Radial and ulnar deviation are the actual medical terms




Radial deviation on the left, ulnar deviation on the right, also known as wrist cocking and uncocking in golf, respectively 


2) It can side bend left and right: dorsiflexion and palmar flexion.




Palmar flexion on the left (closes the face), dorsiflexion on the right (opens the face); golfers call this arching or bowing the wrist on the left or cupping the wrist on the right


Wrist cock is actually the medical term "radial deviation," and this should never be consciously held at any time in the downswing. The weight of the club and the gravity that acts upon it will naturally uncock your wrists. So don't worry about that.


Now, on the other hand (no pun intended), the lead wrist of the golfer needs to be flat when impacting the ball because of the way our golf clubs are designed. In golf, a wrist's side-bend and a wrist's up and down cocking motion are two very different things. Hopefully you are still with me here.


If you have a cup in your wrist -- also called dorsiflexion -- also called flipping or casting in the golf community if you have this "wrist angle" at impact -- then you are not using the clubs the way they are designed (duh). You are adding loft, you are changing the swing arc, the swing's low point, the clubhead's path, etc. etc. You could also be decreasing loft depending on whether or not you are rolling your wrists over excessively in conjunction with the flip.


In golf instruction they have a saying called "feel isn't real." You may have heard it. It means that what you feel you are doing might not be what you are actually doing. This rings true from the beginner all the way to the major champion. This is important because the flipper, in the vast majority of cases, needs to feel the opposite of what they do naturally -- namely, they need to feel palmar flexion/ wrist arch/ wrist bowing in order to get their wrist to be flat at impact. This is a very unnatural feeling for all flippers. It's so foreign in fact that when you tell them they need to feel this more, they severely under-do it, even if they think they are doing it a lot. Slow motion video confirms this every time. And besides being so unnatural, it takes time and practice being able to not only get comfortable with it, but also be able to make contact with the golf ball -- even if you are hitting just a simple chip shot. This advice is often abandoned quickly by the flipper, unless it comes from a source they wholeheartedly believe in (in my case, it came from my instructor). 


Here's me practicing bowing my wrist. I'm doing this without hitting a golf ball. I'm exaggerating it like crazy -- squeezing my elbows together -- and getting my weight forward (using hip slide) to try to get the shaft to lean forward an inordinate amount. 



Now, let's be clear on a few things over what this does to your golf swing. Palmar flexing your wrist like this gives you too much shaft lean. It shoots the swing path severely from in-to-out and if you actually swung like this with a full swing, you would have an impossible time trying to navigate yourself around a golf course. Depending on your ball position and the face angle at impact, you'd hit ball flights that ranged from massive push fades to huge push-hooks to dive-bombing pull-hooks. But the important thing to understand here is you are changing the path of the clubhead to be severely in-to-out. Watch how the handle of my golf club continues to rise as the clubhead itself stays low -- this shoots the path even more to my right. I'm actually do the exact opposite of what golf people refer to as "releasing the club" -- I don't do it at all and yet what I'm doing producing the biggest draw you could possibly hit (assuming one's weight is also significantly on the lead foot at impact, another major contributor to the swing's path).  


The actual amount of forward shaft lean you should have when hitting a golf ball varies depending on the club you are using -- anywhere from just a couple of degrees with a driver to maybe 10 degrees or so with a pitching wedge. The amount of wrist arching a golfer needs to feel is different from flipper to flipper, depending on how severe the problem is. The most severe dorsiflexers fight weak straight pushes to the right that barely fly anywhere -- like 100 yard seven irons. They need to feel the most palmar flexion and have to learn how to get the ball to curve back to the left. But as I've said, feel isn't real, and feeling a lot of something might only yield you very little of what you think you are doing. Feeling a lot of wrist arching might be what a person needs to get their wrist to actually be flat at impact. That's the whole point of this drill. 


So to conclude, yes, I think it is correct to "try to hold the wrist angle on the downswing" -- if that "wrist angle" we are referring to is the side-bend of the wrist -- not the wrist's radial deviation (wrist cock).


All this stuff I'm talking about is difficult to learn on your own. I needed an instructor, lots of practice, and lots of patience. But this philosophy -- and the understanding of various other pieces of the golf swing unrelated to the wrists (like how the head, spine, hips, legs, feet, shoulders, and arms have to be working) contributed to me being able to put a better move on the golf ball.


I fought horrendous push-fades with too much wrist cup over a year ago. I went from this first video -- a massive flip:

To this video here (no flip)

I have a lot of other things wrong in this swing, but the thing to notice here is the difference in wrist angle (and weight location). I had to feel a lot of wrist bowing and elbow squeezing in order to achieve this here, but again, feel varies from player to player, so my attempts to help you specifically may be moot in this regard.


But again, there are various ways a person can flip, and most often, people not only flip, but they rotate their forearms excessively so they can start the ball far enough left so it can slice back toward their target. Some careful components need to be monitored in that regard, like the club's rate of closure, and that determines what you as a flipper should be trying to feel when practicing fixing this.


I'm beginning to ramble, and there is certainly more than one way to skin a cat in this game. Hopefully this post has improved your understanding of how the wrists work and how it affects your golf swing, even if I may be unable to help you specifically with your swing. The important stuff to take away here is how the lead wrist functions in golf.


There are multiple drills out there designed to fix this problem, and I only included one. Five Keys, Stack and Tilt, traditional instructors, TGM, MORAD... these guys all have ways of combatting this very common issue. Find the one or ones that suit your mind best and get to work. I only included the one in the first video because this is what resonated and worked for me.


PS- for the record, I didn't vote in the poll. But actively feeling like you are bending back your wrist (arching, bowing, palmar flexing) could very well be exactly what you need to be feeling. But holding the wrist cock? Not so much. 


PPS- Take a look at what Martin Hall is describing here in this video. He just wants the student to focus on keeping the lead wrist flat. That very well could be enough to fix you. I myself was an extreme situation, hence the more stringent remedy. 




Everything he says here isn't 100% correct, but it's good enough to get the point across. And using quarter and half swings at the ball and finishing the same position he gets in at 7:32 in Video Two or 9:21 in Video Two can do a flipper a lot of good.

Edited by JetFan1983 - 8/5/12 at 2:45am
post #8 of 70
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I guess my question is...how do I stop my ulnar from deviating? lol


Seriously thanks for your input and for posting those great videos, I got a lot from them - especially the part about the flat left wrist (which I had never really understood before).


I think my terminology in this thread hasn't been right, which hasn't helped me get my point across.


Following on from what I have learnt from your videos, I cast the club from the top from the top of the backswing. I throw it away and end up with a cupped left wrist and no follow through.


To me, storing up that energy and releasing it properly i.e. with a flat left wrist and follow through - feels like I am holding my wrist positions until much later in the swing. I understand that feel isn't real and I'm not really holding anything static, but whatever I'm doing its stopping me from casting.


Everyone knows that drills in golf really need to be exaggerated in order to make a difference. To any casters out there reading this - I'd suggest practicing actively holding that 90 degree angle and whipping the club through the ball (with a flat left wrist and follow through).

post #9 of 70
Thread Starter 



Ben Hogan actively holding the wrist cock. But what does he know..

post #10 of 70

Hey, if you found a feel that works for you, and you're hitting the ball more solidly, then great! a1_smile.gif But feel varies from person to person. In my post, I provided some general information along with what feels worked for me and why. But I admit, it's just a feel thing and not something that can magically fix every golfer. Feels in golf aren't universal tips. So when you tell people what to feel you are inevitably going to run into disagreement.


In some senses, I need to feel the "holding" of a certain wrist angle to help me when I'm practicing, so I understand where you are coming from, but not all golfers are like us. 


So if it works for you, stick with it. But feel tips often don't transfer from golfer to golfer.


Good instructors are good at giving feel tips, but they are so in tune with what their student needs that they can make these kinds of suggestions. Thru the internet though, making blanket judgments... that can't work.

post #11 of 70
Something I have been doing recently too is holding the lag, it's working great for every club except the driver. Need a bit more time getting it with the big stick but it will come.

As an example, my 8 iron used to be 147 yard carry. I played it today on a par 3 (158 yards) and I flew it over the pin probably by 10 yards. Need some time getting my distances now.

And to the OP, WATP:-D
post #12 of 70

RE the Hall video and the right and left wrists working differently- I was (am?) a flipper and my last instructor had me strengthen the postion (grip) of my top/front hand, among other things.  Years ago, I remember being told to ~roughly clap my hands together and shake hands with the club.  Being that the wrists work differently, it makes more sense to have your top/front thumb  more perpendicular with your back hand (aka a stronger top hand but a normal/weaker bottom hand that is more on top of instead of under the club), so now I understand why he was encouraging a stronger top/front hand while keeping the bottom/back hand in what might be described as a weaker postion.

post #13 of 70
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

RE the Hall video and the right and left wrists working differently- I was (am?) a flipper and my last instructor had me strengthen the postion (grip) of my top/front hand, among other things.  


My instructor strengthened my grip too. I was missing most of my shots to the right, and my grip was fairly weak to begin with, so it made sense. 



RE: my long post. I made an error. I meant that no one should actively try to ulnar deviate/uncock their wrists on the downswing because gravity and the weight of the club will do that. Not the other way around. I think it's okay to try to hold onto the wrist cock/radial deviation if you are throwing it away immediately, but there are other ways to work on this. So I wouldn't necessarily tell someone who throws away the wrist cock immediately to just hold it. Usually there's something else that's causing that.


Squeezing your elbows together on the downswing is the fix often employed by instructors to get the student to retain more wrist cock -- especially around A6. It was used on me by my teacher and was effective. 


Half-speed, half-swing: Weight forward/hip slide ---> secondary axis tilt/steady head ----> squeeze elbows together ----> feel a little wrist arch if you are flipping like crazy to get the wrist to stay flat -----> straight arms into the follow through, stop the swing at A8 or something just short of that (like I'm doing in that video where I'm wearing a purple shirt). I'm just simplifying it this way so the notorious flipper is aware of the other pieces that are important to know about in order to fix the flip because focusing on the wrists alone probably won't work  -- it might, but again, this assumes said golfer has other pieces in their swing that are decent first. If they lack any decent pieces, then they need to understand the general sequencing.

post #14 of 70

My experiments with building and holding lag are very much a bitter sweet thing. Sure the distance is improved but I found that it made my golf swing very much on a knifes edge........I mean if my co-ordination wasn't spot on then I'd get all sorts of timing issues, squaring the face or over squaring the face etc. And it wasn't just the timing issues< i'd find it very hard to maintain the shape of my swing over a period of time. So I'd constantly be going "what's wrong now ", "why isn't that happening"?, "?how do I get back to where I was the other day with this"?. 


During the period when I was trying to build lag I hit some of the best.....and worst shots I'/ve ever hit. I think the feeling of hitting laggy shots if very seductive but ultimately very destructive. 

post #15 of 70

Why would you want to hold the wrist hinge in your normal shot?  The loading of the wrist should be like the flail - and release at impact.  If you hold onto it - you're losing power.

post #16 of 70
Originally Posted by GlasgowsGreen View Post



Ben Hogan actively holding the wrist cock. But what does he know..

Your usage of the word 'active' is misleading within the thread title.  You don't need to actively hold anything.  The key is not throwing away the power by casting or early release.  But you don't have to actively hold your wrist hinge.  It should be natural.

post #17 of 70

Everyone has a different feel.  My feel to create more lag is to drag my arms behind my body.  It keeps me from releasing too soon.

The effect it to keep my arms connected to my body.  Some people drill this with gloves or tees under their armpits.


Just my two cents, explaining my feel.

post #18 of 70

I generally waffle back and forth on everything.

Holding the angle deliberately is one of very few things I've tried once and never again.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Instruction and Playing Tips
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Should you actively hold the wrist angle?