Clubface control is key for consistent ball flight. And wrists directly control the clubface.
Lead wrist extension (cupping) opens the clubface while wrist flexion (bowing) closes the clubface. Excessive lead wrist extension (cupping) during transition and downswing is one of the main reasons why the clubface stays open too long and players struggle with controlling ball flight.
Pros Square the Clubface Eearly
Tour players in general are better at squaring the clubface early.
In contrast, amateurs often get into too much lead wrist extension (cupping) at the top and try to square the clubface too late which leads to inconsistent contact and uncontrolled ball flight – slices and hooks. This is a constant trend we see in Hackmotion wrist sensor’s data. Hackmotion Wrist sensor measures all aspects of wrist motion during a golf swing – flexion/extension (bowing/cupping), radial/ulnar deviation (hinging/unhinging), global rotation and tempo.
Data shows clear differences
Take a look at the picture below. In one simple chart from HackMotion sensor you can see the clear difference between amateur player and a pro. The graph view shows lead wrist extension/flexion (bowing/cupping) throughout the swing, the most interesting being the charts between vertical lines – in the middle (top of the backswing), – and at the end (impact).
The green solid line represents a typical amateur swing. Notice how starting from the top of the backswing amateurs typically at first increase the extension (cupping) in their lead wrist (the peak in the green line) and then sharply try to decrease it. This typically happens by players trying to add lag to their swing and not realizing that they are opening the clubface instead.
The green dotted line represents Tour player. As we clearly see the player is not increasing the extension (cupping). Instead, starting from the top he is gradually flexing (bowing) the wrist until impact, closing clubface.
Solid green line: Typical amateur player pattern: more extension at the top and increased extension during transition, delayed squaring of the clubface.
Dotted green line: Tour player extension pattern: gradual decrease of lead wrist extension during transition, squaring the clubface early.
Easy way to improve clubface control
One of the best ways to tackle the problem is HackMotion Wrist Sensor’s audio biofeedback feature. It is specifically designed to teach the feeling of the wrist during the golf swing. Instead of physically limiting the movement of the wrist, the biofeedback plays a sound thus letting to know when the player is getting out of the set range of the movement. HackMotion’s collected data show that by using biofeedback players are able to significantly improve clubface control even after a short lesson.
To use the biofeedback follow these 3 easy steps:
Do a couple of swings to measure the wrist movement. Pay close attention to the differences between extension (cupping) at address and top of the backswing and during transition. For example the player has 20 degree difference in extension, 30 at address and 50 at the top. The large increase in extension at the top is a good indication that decreasing it can make squaring clubface easier.
Set the biofeedback range for wrists based on your data. In this example – regarding flexion/extension (bowing/cupping) we suggest to set the range between 10 and 30 degrees.
Test the biofeedback
Test the biofeedback and get used to it. Move your wrist around so that you can get comofrotable with the audio feedback.
Do slow rehearsals with real-time biofeedback. After you get used to the new feel, take some full speed swings.
Example of BEFORE and AFTER
In the image below you can see example of the change you can achieve by fixing lead wrist extension by using biofeedback.
Excessive wrist extension at the top (cupping) which leads to open clubface during downswing. Open clubface was leading to lower accuracy and loss of control over ball flight. Player had 60 degrees of wrist extension at the top.
Less extension at the top, better clubface control, improved distance and accuracy. Path went from -6 to +1 and speed went up 6 mph with a six iron. Now it is easier to square the clubface early.
The Red line
is lead wrist extension (positive) / flexion (negative) before practicing with Hackmotion sensor’s biofeedback. The big “wave” upwards in the middle of the graph shows that the player had a very extended wrist at the top and added more of extension during transition.
The Green line
shows the result after working with biofeedback. The slope between top and impact shows that the player has learned to gradually decrease the extension, squaring the clubface earlier and having flatter wrist at impact.
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