Setting the wrists in the backswing

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Hopefully after last week everyone has an understanding of the correct grip pressure and an effective one-piece takeaway that is swung wide into the backswing.

Following on from this, I’ll explain when and how to set the wrists in the backswing.

When to set the wrists during the backswing?

Setting the wrists naturally and effectively on the backswing will be determined by 3 main points. These are grip pressure, stance width and club selection.

GRIP PRESSURE will affect wrist movement. Holding too tightly will restrict a natural movement in the wrists, losing clubhead speed and distance. Holding too loosely will result in a total loss of accuracy.

What to do?

Hold the club in around 40% of full pressure, where it is secured in the hands, but not tight in the forearms.

For those of you who tend to hook the ball left and don’t want to change your grip – hold the club slightly tighter than 40% to stop the clubhead turning over and for any slicers, ease down on grip pressure just enough to let the clubhead work over the ball freely.

STANCE WIDTH will affect when the wrists start to hinge up naturally. If the stance is more narrow, the weight shifting back to the inside of the right foot will get there sooner and reach what I call ‘THE BREAKING POINT’. This is where the wrists will naturally want to set on the backswing.

On a wider stance for the driver, it takes a micro second longer for the weight to move into the inside of the right foot and the reason why the wrists will set a little later in the backswing with the driver.

How to find your natural ‘breaking points’?

Follow the rule of thumb below for stance width.

SHORT IRONS – Stand just wide enough so the centre of the knees’ line up with the insides of the feet.

MEDIUM IRONS TO FAIRWAY WOODS – This time stand slightly wider so the centre of the knees’ are lined up about 1 inch or so inside the feet.

THE DRIVER – Place the back foot one shoe width further back to allow for more balance and better position to hit the ball on the upswing.

CLUB SELECTION will also affect the timing and nature of the wrist movement because of the club length and body position. When using a short club, the wrists and clubhead will set earlier and more steeply on the shoulder line. Using the driver, the wrists will set later and shallower on the shoulder line. Mid irons somewhere in between.

In Summary:




Michael Langford

Golf Performance Ireland

Roe Park Resort

Bookings - 07732680065