3 Tour Player Wrist Patterns, by Scott Cowx

Learn about the 3 different wrist motion patterns, as described by PGA Tour Coach Scott Cowx.

The terminology used:

    • Flexion (-)/Extension (+) (green line) = Bowing/Cupping of the lead wrist
    • Radial(+)/Ulnar (-) deviation (blue line) = Cocking/Uncocking of the lead wrist
    • Rotation (purple line) = Global Rotation relative to address, Closing clubface (+) /Opening clubface (-)


Radial(+)/Ulnar(-) Deviation

Rotation Clockwise(-)/Counter-Clockwise(+)

Now watch the video (29min) in which Scott Cowx explains the 3 different release patterns that tour players use.

Below you will find wrist data graphs, which were analyzed in Scott’s presentation.

Option A - Stable Wrist Flexion/Extension pattern (Tommy Fleetwood)

Option A – relatively stable Flexion/Extension, which creates stable dynamic loft and long flatspot. This is option used by players such as Tommy Fleetwood and Thorbjorn Olesen (his 6iron wrist data is below).

The speed of the clubhead is released more with wrist rotation rather than with wrist extension.

Notice how the green line (flexion/extension) changes relatively little during the swing and post impact. Thorbjorn Olesen still moves into flexion during the downswing, but after impact, he slowly extends the lead wrist.

Main characteristics of the pattern:

  1.  The wrist extension is relatively stable throughout the swing. The move toward extension after impact is less rapid, creating a stable dynamic loft.
  2. There is a lot of rotation after impact as speed is released more by wrist rotation, less by wrist extension (the purple line increases a lot).

Option B - Flexion toward Extension, Less Rotation (DJ Pattern)

Option B – moving into flexion during backswing, and then releasing club head speed through extension (can be still flexed at impact). This is the pattern used by Dustin Johnson and other young tour players (Viktor Hovland).

Look at the graph below. Notice how the green line (flexion/extension) moves down into flexion, and then stays constant during transition. It starts moving towards extension before impact (though still in slight flexion, negative at impact). The speed of the clubhead always has to go somewhere and for this pattern, the speed is released mostly through extension.

Main characteristics of the pattern:

  1. The lead wrist goes into flexion during backswing. Flexion then stays constant and wrist moves towards extension during release.
  2. The rotation amount through impact is lower – you can see that the purple line is much flatter than for Option A. There is less rotation at impact than at address (purple line below zero at impact), which shows the player has not supinated his forearms too much.

Option C - Radial Downcock pattern (Longhitter pattern)

Option C – increasing radial deviation while moving towards flexion during downswing. This is option used by some longhitters who use their hands to add additional speed to their swing.  Do not mix this pattern with the typical amateur pattern. Increasing extension while adding radial deviation during downswing will open the clubface, making it very hard to control the ball flight.

Main characteristics of the pattern:

  1. The lead wrist has increasing radial deviation, but only after the player has started to go towards flexion during downswing.
  2. Release of the clubhead speed is in all 3 dimensions – extension, radial deviation and also rotation. 
Great thing about Hackmotion Sensor is that I can trace the pattern of what the player is doing coming into the golf ball. Clubface is king when in comes to controlling the golf ball. With a good radar unit and HackMotion I can pretty much do anything.
Scott Cowx
PGA Tour Coach, Director of Instruction Hamilton GC

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