Scott Cowx: 3 Tour Player Wrist Patterns

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.

 Amateur players are advised to start with pattern A-Stable Wrist Flexion/Extension. Option B requires exceptional body rotation capabilities, that most players do not have. Option C requires well-coordinated wrist movement in all 3 dimensions – extension, radial deviation, and rotation. 

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 – The first pattern Scott Cowx recommends involves relatively stable Flexion/Extension, which creates stable dynamic loft and a long flatspot. This is option used by players such as Tommy Fleetwood and Thorbjorn Olesen (his 6-Iron 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).
Scott Cowx wrist pattern A: graph of PGA Tour Player swing exhibiting little extension/flexion and significant rotation. Text: "Swing Option A - Stable wrist Flexion/Extension Pattern. Stable Dynamic Loft and Long Flatspot."

All of our information is based on carefully analyzed pro player data, developed together with leading golf instructors.

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

Option B – This pattern involves 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 such as Viktor Hovland.

Look at the graph below. Notice how the green line (flexion/extension) moves down into flexion and stays constant during transition. It then 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.
Scott Cowx wrist pattern B: graph of PGA Tour Player swing exhibiting significant flexion prior to impact and little rotation. Text: "Swing Option B - Flexion toward Extension with minimal Rotation DJ Pattern. Wrist moves toward Flexion early then release is more toward extension versus rotation."

Is HackMotion right for me?

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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Step 1: Get HackMotion and start understanding the different release patterns.

Step 2: Learn from included Tour data. 

Step 3: Measure and improve to get the wrists exactly as needed for more controlled ball flight.

Data visualizations from the HackMotion Pro app, including graphs and a 3D hand model. A view of the HackMotion sensor on a person's hand/wrist

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Diagram of all wrist motions: extension/flexion, radial/ulnar deviation, and rotation.

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