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Mastering Wrist Position at Impact: The Key to Consistency in Golf

What’s the most important part of the golf swing? Some will tell you the grips, others the stance; you may even hear the shoulder or the hip turn. However, this is not a trick question.

The most important part of the golf swing is impact. If you want to get to the same impact position each time with a square clubface, your wrists need to be in the right position.

The right wrist position at impact is sometimes hard to feel and accomplish, yet with the right information and training, it can be done. After analyzing more than 1,000,000 swings with the HackMotion wrist sensor, we can show you exactly what wrist position at impact is effective.

Wrist Position at Impact (Key Takeaways)

There’s no perfect wrist position at impact. Instead, we look at patterns and data from the professionals and realize the following:

  • Professional golfers get to the position of a bowed wrist at impact. The degree to which the wrist is bowed depends on the player’s body characteristics and their swing mechanics.
  • A slightly bowed lead wrist at impact leads to longer, more solid, and consistent shots.
  • Golfers looking to learn to control their shots need a bowed wrist at impact.
  • Most high-handicap players have a cupped wrist at impact, which leads to a lack of power, inconsistency, and unwanted slices and fades.
  • The best training for wrist position at impact includes slow motion training and awareness of the degree of flexion/extension at impact.
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What is the Wrist Position at Impact?

The wrist position at impact is the exact position and angle of your wrist (typically the lead wrist) when you strike a golf ball.

The most important thing to focus on at impact is the amount of flexion and extension in this lead wrist. Flexion is considered bowing of the lead wrist, and extension is cupping.

Golfers with more bow or flex in their lead wrist at impact are able to compress the ball, get longer distances, and have a straighter and more penetrating ball flight.

However, the misconception that most amateur golfers have is that they must flip their wrists at impact in order to get a golf ball up in the air.

too much extension at impact position using HackMotion app

Common Mistakes Seen in Wrist Position at Impact

Recreational golfers make a few mistakes that cause inconsistency, loss of power, and less accuracy at impact.

Cupping or Flipping at Impact

The most common issue is an increase in extension through impact, also known as cupping or flipping the lead wrist.

flipping wrists at impact data screen on HackMotion

Most of the time, this is done because of a misconception that this flipping motion will cause a higher ball flight and more distance. Instead, an extended wrist through impact brings inconsistency into the golf game.

Cupping at impact can result in a good shot from time to time, but the timing and tempo need to be perfect.

It’s not your key to lower scores and consistency.

HackMotion golf training aid wrist sensor
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Too Much Extension at the Top Making it Difficult to Square Up

At the top of the backswing, some players have quite a bit of extension in their lead wrist.

After studying the swings of professionals, we’ve learned that the more extension there is at the top, the harder it is to get to a square or bowed position at impact.

It’s possible, just not consistent.

If your wrist is too extended at the top of your backswing, it’s likely leading to issues with wrist position at impact.

wrist position at the top of the backswing and hackmotion app

Late Release

In addition to flexion and extension at impact, we also have to look at the rotation and release of the wrists.

Some golfers have a hard time feeling this proper rotation to square the clubface.

However, if you can start your wrist rotation before the ball and kept the lead wrist flexed, your clubface will stay square through the impact zone.

In fact, the better you can get at this, the longer your clubface stays square, making it easier to hit great shots.

How do I Stop My Wrist from Cupping at Impact?

To stop cupping your wrist at impact, you can take some of these steps.

  • Strengthen Your Grip: take your lead hand (left for right-handed players) and turn it a little to the right. This should ensure that the V formed by your thumb and index finger points to your trail shoulder.
  • Check Wrist Position at the Top: use HackMotion to determine how much extension you have at the top of your swing. Are you increasing or decreasing this extension through impact? Is it enough?
  • Practice Hitting Punch Shots: hitting punch shots where you have to keep the ball a little lower and the club lower in the follow-through will ensure the flat or bowed wrist at impact.
  • Work On Chip Shots: a chipping motion is a small or simplified version of the full swing. Hit some short chip shots and focus on the lead wrist staying flat or bowed, keeping that forward shaft lean through impact.
correct golf swing sequence

How Can You Ensure You Have the Proper Wrist Angle at Impact?

When you have the proper wrist angle at impact, you’ll get more distance, hit straighter shots, and be able to play more consistent golf.

However, the best way to measure your actual wrist position and see if it’s improving is to use the HackMotion swing analyzer.

HackMotion wrist sensor and swing analyzer

HackMotion measures wrist angles at three key positions in the golf swing.

  • Setup
  • Top of the backswing
  • Impact

If you have an issue at setup or at the top of the backswing, it can cause you to struggle with wrist position at impact. With HackMotion, you’re able to work on measuring your wrist angles, comparing them to the professionals, and then tracking progress over time.

We’ve noticed that even just the slightest differences of a few degrees of bowing as opposed to extension or flexing can lead to 7-10 more yards on every club.

HackMotion golf training aid wrist sensor
Unlock the #1 Secret to a Better Swing

Unlock consistency and regain confidence on the golf course in less than two weeks with our free wrist mechanics guide.

Drills to Help Improve Wrist Position at Impact

Wrist position at impact is one of those things that you just need to feel. Here are some of the best drills we have found to get your wrist position more controlled and repeatable.

Wooden Spoon Drill

This unique drill can be done with a wooden spoon, but we’ve also seen people do it with a popsicle stick. You’ll need to wear your glove while practicing. The idea here is that if your wrist starts to flip through impact, the stick in the glove actually prevents that from happening.

Practicing this drill should lead to more consistency. You can do it without hitting golf balls or while hitting short chip shots. When you take the spoon out, try to get that same feeling.

Slow Swing Drill

Impact is a hard thing for golfers to understand and feel because it happens so fast. Sometimes, slowing things down can help. For this drill, you will try to hit shots swinging as slowly as possible. See if you can focus on the wrist position at impact and keep it less cupped and more bowed.

As you increase confidence, you’ll be able to speed up, get more distance, and hit really impressive shots.

HackMotion Training

HackMotion offers a complete solution for all wrist training. However, there is more to HackMotion than just the knowledge and data. Real-time feedback and training using audio feedback can help a golfer of any level.

Simply establish a baseline, and then set your ideal wrist position range at impact. The HackMotion will alert you if you are missing the range.

You can swing through with full power and hit shots without any restriction. However, the real-time feedback from the audio, letting you know if you are in the correct position, will make all the difference.

Conclusion

A properly flexed or bowed wrist position at impact in golf can lead to longer golf shots, more control of the clubface, and increased loft.

To get your wrist position at impact correct, start with some slower swings and learn to maintain that wrist bend to make solid contact.

Use the HackMotion to practice this area of the game that can completely transform your ball-striking ability.

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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.