The golf swing consists of a variety of moving parts. In the time it takes to make that motion, the body, arms, hands and wrists are all moving in tandem to send the ball flying down the fairway.
Any semi-competent golfer knows that as a fact, but some elements that power the swing are not as well understood. For example, the way the wrists work in conjunction with the rest of the components might be one of the most misunderstood elements of the swing.
How to use properly use your wrists in the swing
Many players are aware that they need to use their wrists in the swing, but few actually know how to do it. This results in lots of less-than-ideal positions in the swing.
“If you look at almost any swing sequence of a great player, they all have this look,” Manzella says. “The club is up the plane. The face is turned somewhat to the plane. And the butt of the club is more or less pointing back at the ball.”
Now that you understand the proper position post-impact, take that same wrist hinge position and move your arms and body back to impact. You’ll notice that to square up the clubface, the wrists need to have much less hinge than they do through the release.
“It’s obvious that from impact to [release], there was a lot of wrist,” Manzella says. “And if I take this position back even further to halfway down, now you can see how much I’m actually flinging the clubhead past my hands.”
Sometimes taking positions in your swing and moving them to other points on the swing arc can help you understand the movements needed to get to those spots.
“Don’t be alarmed if you think you’re doing the ‘fling’ too early,” Manzella says. “As long as your pivot is moving, that’s going to have some force along the shaft that’s keeping your hands ahead of the clubhead so you line the club up like a Tour player at impact and swivels up the plane just like Freddie Couples and Ben Hogan.”