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Stop Flipping Wrists at Impact – Discover Causes & Implement Fixes

Most golfers don’t realize they flip the club until they watch a slow-motion video of their swing.

Flipping a golf club at impact is all about trying to square the clubface. Interestingly, flipping isn’t necessarily a bad instinct; it’s an athletic one.

Just because you flip doesn’t mean you are a poor golfer. The problem becomes what CAUSES you to flip. If we can get rid of this cause, you can keep your wrist from flipping at impact and gain power and consistency.

I’ll show you why you flip your wrists and how you can work on fixing this problem for good.

How to Stop Flipping Wrists at Impact? (Key Takeaways)

  • Golfers flip their wrists at impact mainly to square up the clubface. If you want to stop flipping, your clubface must be square before reaching the impact position. Changes to your setup, grip, and positioning at the top of the backswing can all help you to stop flipping your wrists.
  • Adjusting the ball position, ensuring proper weight transfer, and maintaining a correct grip are critical steps toward improvement.
  • Maintaining a flat to slightly flexed wrist position at the top of the backswing is essential for controlling the clubface and reducing the need to flip at impact.
  • HackMotion can provide valuable feedback on wrist position throughout the swing, allowing you to make real-time adjustments and practice effectively to eliminate wrist flipping and enhance overall swing mechanics.

If you prefer to watch instead of read, here’s a video recap explaining why that flip happens and how to stop flipping your wrists at impact.

What is Flipping Wrists in Golf Swing?

Flipping the wrists in the golf swing is when you quickly extend the lead wrist in order to turn the clubface and square the club. This happens just before impact.

Professionals refer to a flip as the incorrect cupping of the wrists.

What this feels like for a golfer is that the left wrist (right-handed player) will be pointed up to the sky at impact. The right hand will be pointed more toward the ground.

flipping wrists at impact

What Causes Flipping in the Golf Swing?

Until you understand why you are flipping your wrists, it’s very hard to come up with a solution.

Here are the top causes for flipping; when reading through them, you should have a pretty good idea as to which one is impacting your game.

Rushing the Swing

A flip can happen if you are moving through impact too quickly and you run out of time to release and square up the club. Don’t get the wrong idea here; acceleration through the golf ball is great.

It’s very important to swing through the ball with speed; the problem arises when things are out of sequence.

You will likely flip if you quickly throw your hands and arms at the ball. Golfers who incorporate their body into the swing a bit more have an easier time keeping their swing timed correctly.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Poor Grip

A poor grip can set you up for a flip.

Most of the time, we see issues with golfers that have too much extension at setup. A weak grip can create a lead wrist extension that is difficult to recover from.

I have also found that golfers with too much right-hand movement in the golf swing flip their wrists at impact. Make sure the hands are connected and working together to avoid the flip.

Too Much Extension at the Top

There are three places in the golf swing that you must check on your lead wrist extension; setup, top of the backswing, and impact.

If you have too much extension at the top of your golf swing, it typically means your clubface is open. With an open clubface at the top, you have a limited amount of time to get it squared up before impact.

Decreasing the amount of extension you create from setup to the top of the backswing will help give you less work to do at impact.

correct golf swing sequence

Body Firing at the Ball

A little turn of the lower body is a good way to start a downswing. However, if it’s exaggerated, the wrists may flip.

The bottom line here, moving your body through impact is incredibly important, but forgetting about the arms, wrists, and hands will leave you having to flip at impact.

Over the Top Path

The golf club coming over the top creates issues with the clubface angle. Players who can feel this in their swing will often flip their wrists as a last-ditch effort to square the club.

An over-the-top swing path can happen for several reasons, but one of the most common is an incorrect wrist position. The flatter you can get your wrist in the backswing, the easier it is to keep the golf club on the proper plane.

Body Stalls Before Getting to the Ball

The body does need to turn through the ball, and when it leads the way for the hands and arms, that is entirely acceptable.

The key here is ensuring that you aren’t stopping and creating a situation where your wrists need to flip instead of releasing as they would if your body kept moving.

Weight Hanging Back

Weight transfer onto the left side (right handed player) through impact is very important for squaring up the clubface. If your weight hangs back and the club is trying to move through impact, chances are you had to do a last-minute flip of the wrists.

Working on weight transfer will improve your wrist action in the golf swing and increase power and accuracy.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

How to Stop Flipping at Impact?

Now that you understand what causes flipping in golf let’s take a better look at how you can fix this. The process you choose to fix will be related to the cause.

Move the Ball Position

A golf ball played too far back in your stance can make it so that you run out of time on your downswing. As you swing through the ball, you can flip your wrists to square up the clubface.

Moving the ball a little closer to your lead foot can give you that extra second to strike the ball with a square face.

Position the Handle Forward Slightly

Another setup-related fix is to make sure that your hands are in line with or slightly forward of the golf ball. Get them in line with your lead leg.

When the hand position moves behind the ball, returning to the proper impact position is hard.

Move the handle forward with a slight forward press, and then work on getting back to this same position at impact.

position the golf club handle forward

Feel the Pressure on the Lead Foot at Impact

Weight transfer in golf is essential. As you move from the top of your golf swing into the impact position, you feel the weight transfer to your left side. At impact, more weight should be on the left foot than the right foot.

This moving of the weight will help you square the clubface and hit down and through the ball.

The best way to feel this is as if the lead side of your body (left for the right-handed player) is up against a wall. Rotating and firing through that firm lead side makes it less likely that you will flip.

Find the Right Swing Path

The over-the-top swing path is a significant reason for flipping and one that many golfers struggle with. By ensuring your wrist is flat at the top of the backswing, the swing path is much easier to find and then recreate.

Using golf alignment sticks to understand the feeling of dropping the arms in and allowing you to get on the proper path is a great solution, in addition to wearing your HackMotion as you practice.

Create More Flexion at the Top of Your Swing

Lead wrist extension at the top of a golf swing can lead to an open clubface, making it difficult not to flip the wrists at impact. One of the things you can do here is to create more flexion by decreasing the amount of extension at the top.

flexed vs flat vs extended wrist positions in golf at the top of the backswing

A player that does an incredible job of this is Dustin Johnson. At the top of his backswing, there is tremendous flexion in the lead wrist.

From this position, it becomes much easier for Dustin to swing through with this body and forget about what the hands are doing.

The easiest way for me to feel this is to wear a golf glove and think about the velcro patch on the glove, looking up to the sky at the top of the swing. That same velcro patch will be pointing down or away with an extended wrist.

Getting to a flexed position like Dustin Johnson’s is difficult and requires flexibility, but even if you can move slightly away from extension, it will save you from flipping the club on the course.

wrist position at the top of the backswing and hackmotion app

Match Flexion and Rotation

As great as it is to have your wrist flexed at impact, you will still need to rotate your body through impact to experience the benefits. If a golfer like Dustin Johnson were to stop rotating his body and just allow the flexed lead wrist to take over, the result would be that his golf shots would take him well left of the target.

Rotation through impact is very important when the club is in the right position. To help with rotation, you can try an exaggeration drill.

  • For the backswing, try to get your trail hip away from the ball.
  • Try to get your lead hip as far away from the ball as possible on the downswing.

You can do this drill to get the feeling of what rotation should be like once your hands are in the right place. You will immediately notice that the speed through the golf ball will increase considerably when flipping doesn’t need to happen at impact.

You can try an exaggeration drill to get a feel for how your hips should rotate.

Perfect the Grip

Lastly, ensure your grip is in a neutral position and not too palmy. Try to keep the palm of the hand away from the grip; when it makes too much contact with the grip, it’s tough to control the action of the non-lead grip.

Strong grips can be helpful for fixing slices and improving wrist flipping. However, you want to avoid the grip getting too strong. Slight grip changes make significant differences.

  • Check that the V shape formed between your thumb and index finger of your lead hand is pointing towards your trail shoulder.
  • Always ensure the golf grip is in the fingers of the left hand.
  • Grip the club about a half inch down from the butt end to give you more control of the clubhead through impact.

Use HackMotion to Stop Flipping Wrists

too much extension at impact position using HackMotion app

Now that you have some of the reasoning behind a golf flip and ways you can fix it, I’ll show you my favorite way to stop flipping and why HackMotion is such a great tool for this particular problem.

  • Collect data: check for too much extension at the start of the downsizing or flipping just before impact.
  • Set a range: use HackMotion audio feedback to set a proper position at the top of your backswing and at impact; look specifically for the flexion/extension. Setting the range wide and narrowing it down as you improve is a great option.
  • Practice: take a face on video of your golf swing as you work with HackMotion audio feedback; you’ll be able to compare the timing of the wrists with how they look
  • Analyze Progress: HackMotion lets you save practice sessions so you can look back and see how your flipping issue is improving. Check-in on progress and make sure you are flipping less often.

Best Drills to Stop Flipping Wrists in Golf

Working on drills is a great way to improve overall wrist position in the golf swing. Here are a few of our favorites to stop flipping the wrists in golf.

Motorcycle Drill

You can use the HackMotion Motorcycle Drill to learn how to transition properly into the downswing. At the top of the swing, you will feel your lead wrist start to “rev” the grip just as you would a motorcycle.

This reduces extension in the lead wrist on the downswing. In addition, be sure not to add any extension from setup to the top of the backswing so you’ll have an easier time getting to square.

Alignment Rod Drill

If you are still struggling with what it feels like to hit the ball with a flat lead wrist, the alignment rod drill can help. Grip the alignment rod with the club and use them together to take some small swings.

If you flip, the alignment rod will hit you on the side, essentially stopping you from flipping.

Push Drill

Taking the right hand (for right-handed players) out of the swing completely is not really possible. However, with the push drill, you can feel the role of the right hand, as compared to the left, and why it matters to keep this feeling of a push through impact.

Take a look at Alistair Davies doing the push drill (video above); he explains that it’s not easy to do and certainly only meant for shorter shots.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?


Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about flipping wrists in golf.

Should you turn your wrists in golf swing?

Wrists need to turn, rotate, flex, and extend throughout the golf swing. The key is to find the proper timing and positioning of your wrists at set up, at the top of the backswing, and at impact.

How do you not flip your wrists in golf?

To avoid flipping wrists in golf, you must ensure that your golf clubface is square going into impact. Golfers that flip have an open clubface, and the flip is a last-ditch effort to square up the club.

Does a cupped wrist cause a slice?

A cupped wrist can cause a slice, but it really depends on the positioning of a golfer’s body and wrists at the time of impact. Cupped wrists in golf are not nearly as powerful as flexed wrists, and the consistency of the position will cause higher dispersion rates.

Should I flip my wrists when I chip?

Wrist flipping in chipping is a bad idea. Instead, work on having a more flexed wrist through impact, hitting down, and through your shots. This position will give you more spin, better control, and a preferred ball flight.

Final Thoughts

Now it’s time to get out there and improve your wrist position and stop flipping the wrists for good.

HackMotion will allow you endless hours of practice, knowing that you are working on the right things. When the flip disappears, the impact feels entirely different, making this learning curve well worth your time.

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Brittany Olizarowicz
written by Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a golf professional who has played the game for more than 30 years. In addition to loving the game of golf, Britt has a degree in math education and loves analyzing data and using it to improve her game and the games of those around her. If you want actionable tips on how to improve your golf swing and become a better player, read her guides.