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Left wrist bent or straight at the top o backswing?


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Do you think the wrist should be bent(cupped) or straight at the top of the backswing. I have had lessons with two different teachers in the last year, and one told me to keep it flat and the othe told me to keep it bent with my knuckles pointed toward the sky. What do you think?

I sliced it when I went to my first instructor, and he told me to keep it straight. I then was hookin it when I went to the next instructer, an he told me to bend my wrist. Could my ballflight be why I got two different answers.

Also do you think there are any advantages of doing one over the other, because after hearing two opposite things from two different teachers, I'm not really sure what to do.
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The neutral left wrist cock is exactly how you would cock the wrist for a left-handed overhand fishing pole lure toss -- there is a a centeredness to the wrist that has a very slight angle or hint of cupping. That is a neutral position. A flatter wrist has a more closed club head throughout the backswing, while a more cupped wrist opens the club face more. Now neither of these positions determine how the left wrist should be at impact (flat in line with the arm, ahead of the ball and the back of the hand toward the target. You can cup and still get to the same impact position as you would get with a flat wrist. However (and this is a big "whatever") if you are using your hands too much to square the club (rather than your swing) then it is true a flat wrist backswing may make that easier. So, in general (and this is tough to say) a cupped wrist can be used to hit high fade shots and a flatter wrist to hit draws... but there is a ton of other stuff in this whole equation. None of means squat if you have not shifted your swing arc forward, if you come over the top, or if there is some other more important flaw or trait in a swing.

But I guess you could say in general that a stongly cupped left wrist sort of promotes a slice unless you flatten it out on the downswing and get your hips forward. I have a hard time working the ball left to right, so I will cup and try to push slice the ball to get it to fade right... and there is only about a 50/50 chance it will work with my screwy swing.

Read the topic here on the forum on ball flight laws. And if you want to see what your club face is at the top of the backswing, take the club back and keeping your hands locked in place (either cupped or bowed flat) and then without changing your hand position, bring the club around and down to the ground. A cupped wrist will show you a club face wide open and with a ton of added loft.
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A flat left wrist is one of the fundamentals practically every good player got. Especially on impact. It goes side by side with bending the right wrist. If the left wrist is cupped at the top of the backswing, it will have to flatten before you get to impact. You can focus on bending the right wrist instead.

The right wrist is perhaps around 160º at address. From there, it starts bending until approximately 90º at the peak. This leave you with a flat left wrist. From the top, the right wrist bend will start to release, this is the flying wedge. If you release it too soon, you will have clubhead throwaway and lose considerable distance. If you are able to maintain the bend and flat left wrist, the flying wedge will be around 130º at impact.

The left wrist is cupped at address, but starts flattening out right away, as the right wrist start bending. Once the left wrist gets flat, you want to keep it that way all the way to impact.

Check out this thread, which discuss a lot of the same things: http://thesandtrap.com/forum/threads...e-Flying-Wedge

Pulling and pushing (closed and open clubface at impact) is related to the wrists, but if done properly, a flat left wrist does not cause a hook.
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There are some great players who play with a cupped left wrist at the top, but generally there is no reason to. At best it's just a pointless move that requires compensation to hit the ball straight.
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I would not say that "every" good player has a flat left wrist at the top. Nick Watney for example has a cupped wrist at the top. This allows him to be able to go at every shot full throttle and not worry about it going left. If you have a cupped left wrist at the top and get back to impact with a flat left wrist, then I wouldn't worry about it.

I tried doing more of a flat left wrist at the top and it feels very awkward to me. If I worked at it, I'm sure I would get used to it, but as of now I still have a little cup to it. One teacher told me that at the top you want your right wrist acting like it is holding a tray. This will promote the flatter left wrist.
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Good because I tried flattening it out and I couldn't even generate wrist cock. My strongest wrist cock positioning requires a cupped wrist as well.
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I would not say that "every" good player has a flat left wrist at the top.

Not at the top, but at impact. Nick Watney is not very cupped imo.

Flat and slightly cupped is fine, very cupped can start making things difficult.
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Not at the top, but at impact. Nick Watney is not very cupped imo.

I think we will all agree with that. But the original poster was asking about at the top and you wrote:

A flat left wrist is one of the fundamentals practically every good player got, especially at impact

That can be confused with you saying that every good player has a flat left wrist at the top. As far as Nick goes, it's more cupped than flat. That's what they were talking about at the PGA and why left was not really a factor for him

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There is a very easy way to see how the left wrist works naturally, although if you are right handed, be careful. Pick up a hammer and drive a nail left-handed. You will see that it has a very slight cup on the upswing, and magically it flattens out on the downswing to drive the nail home. Now you can curl the left wrist back (under) even more at impact but it far better to more your core hips further forward to get a delofted angle of attack. Most cupped players tend to flatten the wrist as they start down just like the carpenter does driving a nail. If you don't, the club face is going to be open and more lofted and your shots weak and ineffective -- unless you want a high cut around a tree or something.
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That can be confused with you saying that every good player has a flat left wrist at the top. As far as Nick goes, it's more cupped than flat. That's what they were talking about at the PGA and why left was not really a factor for him

Yeah, I got things a bit mixed up, sorry. I think we agree.

I tend to like just a hint of cupping. It's a more neutral position and it tends to put the thumb in a slightly more supportive position.

Just when I thought I had the wrist stuff down I get confused again.

Is the left wrist bend and right wrist bend related? How far can the right wrist bend with a slightly cupped left wrist? I agree that a slightly cupped wrist feels more neutral, I believe I'm in the same position with the hint of cupping. Does this cupping change on the downswing? Is it the same move that create the left arm cock and right arm bend? From the Martin Hall video with the hinges, he's got one on the back of his right wrist, but does it bend straight back? If I bend it straight back to 110-90º angle, the left wrist bend too to where it is bowed. If I keep the slightly cupped left wrist and only cock it, the right wrist sort of do a combination of bend and cock.
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Just when I thought I had the wrist stuff down I get confused again.

I thought you might say that.

Is the left wrist bend and right wrist bend related?

Do you mean the left wrist cocking and the right wrist folding? If so, then no, not really.

However, the left wrist cupping and the right wrist folding are related, yes. Players with bowed left wrists have extremely folded right wrists. A slightly cupped left wrist is a less folded right wrist.
How far can the right wrist bend with a slightly cupped left wrist?

As far as your right wrist can fold. Mine's to about 95 degrees - just short of perpendicular to my forearm.

I agree that a slightly cupped wrist feels more neutral, I believe I'm in the same position with the hint of cupping. Does this cupping change on the downswing? Is it the same move that create the left arm cock and right arm bend?

I prefer a bit of cupping because, as RC said, you'll tend to make things go the opposite direction in the downswing. Cupped to ever so slightly bowed to flat. If you bow at the top (like Dustin Johnson), the tendency in most amateurs is to then go too far in the other direction and cup at impact (the left wrist). Or even if they're flat at the top, a lot of amateurs will cup at impact.

From the Martin Hall video with the hinges, he's got one on the back of his right wrist, but does it bend straight back?

That's the direction of folding, yes.

If I bend it straight back to 110-90º angle, the left wrist bend too to where it is bowed.

Yes, and that's too much. What you'll then tend to do on the downswing is to get rid of that angle as quickly as possible, leading to a lack of flying wedge (it's not purely right wrist folding but it's mostly that) and a non-flat left wrist.

If I keep the slightly cupped left wrist and only cock it, the right wrist sort of do a combination of bend and cock.

The right wrist does not cock. It only folds. The left wrist only hinges (cocks).

Bear in mind, Zeph, the location of your right elbow is going to play a huge role in how much folding your right wrist does. The further forward (towards your belly button) it is, the less folding your right wrist will do.
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the last thing that you ever need to think of is how your right hand is bending.. really? and really the way you hinge your wrist is pretty natural...i wouldnt say that is something that most ppl have too change...i mean if it comes to hinging your wrist earlier or later thats one thing (event tho thats pretty naural too), but the way that your wrist is hinged at the top is pretty much the way that you do it. just work with what you have there and worry about other things.
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I would like to know how the swing works, not just learning to do it myself. I think it's mostly semantics, but I can't help but wondering about it from time to time. The wrists happen to be exactly what I'm worrying about (or working on) at the moment, so knowing confidently how they work can be benefitial.

When I take my grip and look at the wrists, I see the right wrist cocking and bending at the same time. Both hands grip the club at the same orientation, palms facing eachother. If I then fold the right wrist and un-cup or bow the left to where the left is slightly cupped, then cock the left wrist, the right wrist cock also. The only way my right wrist folds, is by the left wrist to bow. If the left is slightly cupped, the right wrist fold is perhaps around 150º. It depends on the position of the right elbow, this is what I see when it is close to my chest.

Since we are in a three dimensional world, it all becomes even more of a mess.

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Flat left wrist = Square club face

Cupped left wrist = Open club face = tendency to push or slice

Bowed left wrist = Close club face = tendency to hook
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