PreHinge Drill for More Distance and Speed
Wrist Hinge refers to the cocking motion of the wrists during the golf swing. A players’ wrists will hinge on both the backswing and the downswing. Hinging the wrists adds a second lever to the golf swing and thus helps create more clubhead speed and distance. Without wrist hinge a player would only have their shoulders and arms to generate speed. Adding wrist hinge also makes the golf swing feel less stiff and more natural.
Q: “Which way should a correct wrist break be? Towards the thumb or more forward towards the palm of your hand.”
A: Your thumbs should come towards your forearms when you cock your wrists. You can test this by gripping the club and holding it up in the air with your arms extended straight out in front of you. Then just point your thumbs up to the sky by cocking your wrists.
Q: How quickly should you hinge your wrist on the takeaway? It’s there such a thing as doing it too quickly?
A: There are different styles when it comes to wrist hinge and no proven exact point as to when they should hinge.
What I can tell you is that for the vast majority of good players, by time their left arm reaches parallel to the ground, which is about the halfway point of the swing, their wrists have achieved a full 90 degree hinge. Another good check point is when the left arm is at a 45 degree angle on the takeaway (about 7:30 on a clock). At this point, most good ball strikers have the club parallel to the ground.
Their have been hoards of good players that set the club very late in the swing. The downside here is there is a lot of movement at the top of the swing which can be difficult for the average player to control. The upside is a nice wide swing arc which generates a lot of clubhead speed.
There are also many that set it early, although I don’t see an early set as often with good ball strikers.
I would say a mid set is best for most players
Q: When and how should you cock your wrists on your irons and woods?
A: There are 3 styles when it comes to cocking your wrists. There’s an early, mid and late wrist set with all 3 having certain advantages and disadvantages.
I think you would find most instructors recommending a mid wrist set which I do as well. For this, you would make a gradual wrist set starting upon takeaway and by time your hands reach about waist high where your front arm is parallel to the ground, your wrists would be fully set.
An early wrist set (cocking them fully immediately upon takeaway) is beneficial to those who tend to drag the club back and get too wide with their arc. When that happens and they set too late, the club often feels heavy and there is a lot of unwanted movement at the top of the swing leading to inconsistency. Because they don’t feel their wrists cocking, they often collapse their arms subconsciously feeling that something needs to give. When I instruct these players to cock their wrists right away, they feel they have more control and the club feels lighter.
For players that cock too early and get too narrow with their arc, the result is often loss of power and over active hands. These players are better served feeling dead handed and wider with their arc or arms.
So you can see each method can have it’s advantages and disadvantages depending on what each player’s individual goals are.
Q: I feel as though I over-cock my wrists on my back-swing. What are some things I can try to do to prevent this from happening?
A: It is actually pretty rare to find a golfer that can over-cock their wrists. There are tons of golfers that don’t have enough flexibility in their wrists, let along too much! I would check two things first. 1) Make sure that your grips aren’t too small. If they are, it could make you handsy and too flexible. 2) Make sure that you are not letting go of the club on at the top. A lot of players think they are over-cocking, but are actually letting go. You can check this by putting a tee between the heel of your top hand and the club and another on top of the thumb on your top hand (in between that thumb and the palm of your bottom hand). Neither tee should fall out during the swing. If you aren’t letting go and your grips are sized correctly, here are some things you can try. 1) Focus on a flat left wrist at the top of your swing. This will limit over-cocking. If your wrist is cupped at the top, it is much easier to over hinge. 2) Make sure that you are cocking your wrists fully by waist high. A common cause of over-cocking is when a player hinges them too late, resulting in lack of control at the top of the swing. An earlier wrist set actually gives you more control. 3) Make sure it isn’t your arms that are actually doing the over-cocking. Try swinging back keeping both arms fully extended an see how much you can hinge your wrists. It will be limited. Without hinging your back arm, it’s hard to over do it with your wrists.