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PROPER WRIST HINGE IN GOLF BACKSWING

September 10, 2019


– Welcome back to Naples, Florida. I’m Adam Bazalgette, two-time
PGA Teacher of the Year award winner down here. Today’s subject, the proper wrist hinge in golf in the backswing. Stay tuned! (strings and electronic music) So the proper wrist hinge in golf in the backswing is actually
a request sent to me, and I realized I hadn’t touched on it. Very, very important,
and we’re gonna show you what I think of the ways to do it, the proper ways to do. And what are some of the
acceptable parameters of flat, steep, early,
or late wrist hinge. Hopefully, clear up a few things and get you on the right track. If you like the video, please
subscribe to the channel. Have a lot of content, plan to get a lot more coming your way. ScratchGolfAcademy.com’s my home website and all the content plus
full courses are there. Let’s check it out. So as we get started,
let’s just say, why do we hinge the wrist or cock
the wrist as people say it? Why do we wanna do that in the backswing? Well, the obvious answer is, it supplies you with a lot of power. That creates a lot of movement
in the club head there. And that angle can really sort our power. So if you’re gonna hit
the ball with speed, in other words, a big swing, you have to hinge your
wrists a fair amount. May not be as necessary when
you’re around the green, of course, ’cause you’re not
looking for that much speed. And before we get started, let’s kind of agree here that there are some acceptable parameters
of how early to do it, how late and perhaps from this angle, exactly what angle the club should be on. No one better to give us the examples than some of the great
players over the years. Let’s have a very brief
look at some different ways some great players have gone about this. How early should you cock your wrists? Well, let’s have a look. These are two great players, obviously, Jack Nicklaus on the left
and Justin Rose on the right. And both are fairly
standard in terms of this, but you’ll see differences. Let’s get Mr. Nicklaus there, just beyond his right leg a bit. And Justin Rose there, just
beyond his right leg a wee bit. You can see for sure, Justin’s folded his wrist quite a bit more. He’s hinged his wrist
more in his right arm, I should say, he’s
folded a little bit more. Let’s take the maybe left arm parallel. And again, I would say Justin would not qualify as, say,
an early wrist-hinger. He’s very standard. But even there, it’s a little different to what Jack’s doing there. Let me move Jack over just
a little bit for you there. And so they’re both certainly acceptable. Now, let’s have a look for instance at the plane they hinge the wrist on. That would be Dustin Johnson. And let’s compare him with,
say, Lydia Ko, for instance. So obviously Dustin’s hitting
a driver, Lydia an iron. But just have a look here. Dustin Johnson’s golf
club there is pointed slightly above the ball. So that’s acceptable there. But they wouldn’t want it
much flatter than that. And Lydia Ko, her club
is pointed, let’s say, just in front of the toes of her shoes. So they’re a little bit different but those are acceptable
parameters if you like. They’ll both work. And as we go forward here,
we’re sort of talk about that and how you might get
out of sorts with that. But those are all acceptable
within reasonable corridors of how soon and what angle you hinge on. Okay so now that we’ve
kind of got that settled, at least to some extent, here’s really a foundational principle in
hinging the wrist properly. And that is you’ve gotta realize, whatever you do the end of
the club you’re holding, this end, you’ll get the
opposite effect at that end. So, if I push this end
down, that end goes up. From this angle if I push this end out, this end comes in and so on. So, you’ve gotta remember that if you’re gonna hinge your wrists properly what you’re having to do is add some downward pressure to the club. So many people when they start
trying to cock their wrist jack the entire golf
club up off the ground. It does get the club head up,
but it doesn’t really hinge, not in the fashion we’re talking about. So remember, again, opposite reactions. You’ve gotta put downward
pressure on the handle to get the wrist to hinge properly. And of course, that requires a grip that will allow you to do that. I don’t wanna get into that
in any great detail here. There’s plenty of videos
and material on the grip. We have those. I’ve made a few of those. But suffice it to say, like a hammer, you’ve gotta have the
meaty part of your palm on top of the club enough so
the club’s more in the fingers that you can easily
apply downward pressure. And as long as you can do that,
as long as you can hold it with one hand and pretty
easily create leverage and pressure there, you’ve got
a decent chance to do that. So that’s foundational principle. Let’s look at some other things. Now, a moment ago when we looked at some of these great players in action, you notice Lydia Ko,
more of a vertical look, more the A swing, David Leadbetter-look where the shaft’s more in here. And then we had Dustin Johnson, a little bit more over there. And there’s loads of examples
of these two ways of doing it. Actually Tiger when he was
working with Hank Haney, after the initial takeaway
favored a little bit more of that slightly flatter shaft pointed at the ball target line look. So there’s different ways to do it. But let me just say
this, the great majority of average golfers whip the club head in and get the club head too flat. They get it too far
behind them and the shaft gets too horizontal which
creates a lot of problems. We’ll get into that. And so, you’ve really gotta
be on your guard against that. So if you favor less of the
A swing, vertical shaft look, and you want the shaft to
rotate a little be more, what should cause it to rotate. This is where we can really
get into some important things and we will, and what should not cause it. Let me show a little
closeup and I’ll show you in my belief why the
club would subtly rotate a little bit on some of those players with the slightly flatter swings. Let me show you a closeup. Okay, if you have a golf club at home just grab it there and hold it out, sort of like a T-ball game at about horizontal in front of you. Now, certainly a natural wrist cock is straight up like this. That’s how it works. If I look face to you,
a little bit like that. But of course, in golf,
both arms aren’t staying in that position. As you turn back, for
the right-handed golfer, this arm will fold a little bit as this stays fairly straight. And as that trailing arm,
for me the right arm folds, it produces a very subtle
amount of natural rotation in the elbow and wrist
joint in the forearm there. Check that out for yourself. Put the club up here and very gradually as the right arm naturally folds, you’ll see the club
head will pick up speed. And as the wrist cocks, that
forearm will slightly rotate. This is not however to suggest
it’s an active rotation. Not trying to jam the right arm and it’s just natural for
that kind of a movement. So again, if both arms are straight and there’s now backswing, that would simply be the wrist cock. But it is reasonable as you
swing as this folds slightly for that to rotate a little
bit, that’s acceptable. Okay, so what are the improper ways we see so many people do this? I see people roll their
wrists or roll their hands. That is really not a good way to play. That’s a very, very
manipulative and bad way to play golf in my opinion. The other thing and maybe
even more common than that is you just see people snap this wrist, get the club head moving,
too much, too early and just literally whip it or snatch it to the the inside. Club head gets very active and flat. Now, in deference to Ray Floyd, he was a golfer that actually
did that a little bit, and one of my favorite players by the way. Nancy Lopez almost did a
combination of those things. She got the club way behind her
and played like a superstar. John Daly actually gets
the club that second one, whips it in here a little
bit before going up. I would not recommend that to you though. That’s a very difficult way to play golf. Talk about that in just a second. Remember, these players that do this are all very gifted golfers. They’ve worked a lifetime
of hitting balls. They’re very coordinated. They’ve made that work for them. But I would not recommend that for you. So, the problem is, once
you get the club in here, this thing has balance at speed. And once it’s balance is over there it has to to some extent,
come forward to hit the ball. Again, there’s been some
great players that did that, but for most golfers, once
that club’s back there and the body starts to
lift it and come forward, they can never really get on a good plane. So what should be happening, regardless of exactly how
you go about your wrist cock is the movement of your core, the beginnings of that powerful pivot or what should influence the arms to move, and also of course, in turn,
the club shaft to move, very passive with arms and club shaft. And once this motion’s in order, that’s when we start to see that subtle downward pressure on the handle. As you push gently down
without doing anything drastic with your hands, the club
head will rise up properly. Now within that context, you can choose, let’s say within the context, if your core is initiating and your arms and club are passive initially, you can either gently push down into that more A swing position or you can let this left forearm gradually or subtly rotate in response to the folding of the
right and set that thing in a slightly more shaft-out to the ball target line flatter plane. Anything within that
corridor is acceptable as long as you’re doing it with relatively passive hands and the
movement’s coming from here. Hey, some people are just
a little more comfortable a little bit more there or
a little bit more there. Figure it out for yourself
with a little bit of practice. Have a little fun with it, and you’ll get it sorted out. Well, I hope that helps you
with the proper wrist hinge in golf and the backswing. We’d love to have you go to ScratchGolfAcademy.com, my website. We’ve got all kinds of content there including a lot of material about the top of the backswing that you
might wanna check out. But this should get you on
the right general track. If you like the video, please subscribe to the YouTube channel. Plan to get you a lot
more free content coming. Thanks again as always for your time. (clicking) (clicking) (clicking)

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