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Hinging the Wrists for More Power

Hinging the wrists is an often forgotten aspect of the swing.  This is mainly due to the Tiger Woods days of being told that he would tend to take the club back very wide on the backswing as did other elite players at the time.  It was believed that the wider arc would create greater length. I along with many players at the time would often try this action.   Gaining greater length is a true result of a wider arc however if not blended with sufficient wrist hinge and head stability, it can often lead to disaster when it comes to creating consistent impact.  The issue with the wider arc is that it can cause a sway with the body with considerable motion with the head as the left arm pulls the body off the ball.  When this happens it causes a very shallow angle of attack and thus can create ‘top’ shots and ‘thin’ shots.  The typical trajectory of insufficient wrist hinge is a shallow angle of attack and thus a lower ball flight with diminished power. What is often forgotten is that wrists are an important aspect of creating power in the golf swing.  The analogy of using the wrists is imagining you are throwing a rock across a pond.  If you were to throw a rock without hinging the wrists and indeed holding that wrist angle until the moment of release, you wouldn’t create any power or accuracy.  If however you created that wrist hinge and held it until the moment of release, you would create a powerful action.  This is exactly the same in the golf swing.  You must hinge the wrists early in the backswing, then hold this angle until the moment of impact to get the most power out of your swing. The action of hinging the wrists also provides another benefit that being head stability.  This is because as you narrow your arc by utilising the wrists, the head tends to remain stable.  The left arm stops pulling you off the ball which means you can stay centered through the shot.  Hinging the wrists will also give you the appropriate trajectory per club.  When a client comes to me with a very wide arc, their ball flight will be very low.  By the end of the session after utilising their wrists and creating a narrower arc, the ball flight rises in trajectory with greater distance and consistency. A great drill to utilise while trying to hinge your wrists is the ‘split hand’ drill (See picture).  This involves separating your hands on the club about 20-30cm and practicing hinging your wrists while hitting balls.   I would recommend keeping your feet reasonably close together while performing this drill.  Ensure you move your weight onto the front foot as like any shot.  If you apply this drill you will get the feeling of the wrists being involved in your swing.


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