The Proper Wrist Position for Your Golf Swing

By Steve Silverman

impact with driver from below
Your wrists provide the final movement of the golf club as it prepares to hit the ball. To hit the ball correctly, you must have excellent timing with your wrists as you start your backswing, begin your downswing and finish with your follow-through.


Difficulty: Moderate

  1. Address the ball properly as you prepare to swing. Your shoulder needs to be square to the target and your left foot should be directly underneath your shoulder. If you are in this position, your hands and wrists will be in the right position as well. Your wrists should be loose at address.
  2. Cock your wrists as you begin your backswing. To get prepared for impact with the golf ball, you need to cock your wrists and get them to a 90-degree angle once you reach the apex of your backswing. This will enable you to hit an accurate shot with good distance.
  3. Uncock your wrists as your reach the midpoint of your downswing. This means that once you have reached hip level on the downswing, you need to unlock your wrists and start transferring your power to your hands.
  4. Turn your right wrist over as you make contact with the ball. Once your hips have come through the hitting zone, your hands will follow. The correct action with your hands is to drive through the ball with your left wrist and then turn your right wrist over to hit the ball correctly.
  5. Get your wrists to finish up high to conclude your swing. Once you have finished the follow-through, your hands should be up around shoulder level. This will help you get maximum distance and increase your accuracy.

Role of the Arms and Shoulders in Your Swing

The shoulders and arms have distinct roles in the golf swing. While the hips are the engine of the golf swing, the shoulders provide power and direction, while the arms fine-tune the direction the ball will travel and provide additional power

Shoulders: Aim

The shoulders serve as a guide to the golfer exactly where his shot will go. When a right-handed golfer is aimed properly at the target, his left shoulder will be pointing directly at the target. The shoulder also serves as a guide for the left foot. That foot should line up directly under the shoulder. If both are aimed at the target, the ball has an excellent chance of ending up where the golfer wants it to go.

Shoulders: Power

To generate power in the golf swing, the shoulders must rotate. As the hips turn to trigger the swing, your upper body turns away from the target. As that happens, your right shoulder also turns and gets in a position to launch into the ball with force. This is how much of the power is applied during the golf shot.

Arms: Leverage

Your arms supply the leverage when you swing the club. Your left arm must stay straight on impact and that's what supplies the leverage when you hit the golf ball. The power in your body is transferred through your swing and your straight left arm acts as a lever to concentrate that power in the head of the golf club.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cock your wrists by the time you reach the top of your backswing.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.