Set the Club Correctly for More Power by Mike Kinloch

The wrist hinge is one of the key components that helps to generate power and sets the club in the correct position at the top of the backswing. Many golfers get this movement in the swing wrong, and as a result have to use a great deal of effort in the downswing to generate power.

Sept 3

The Poor Backswing (Left top picture):
This common lifting fault shows a failure to sync the arm swing with a body turn on the backswing.

The main mistake I see at The Academy concerning the wrist hinge and backswing is that the golfer fails to move the arms away from the address position with the shoulders and chest, and instead lifts the club into position, resulting in a bad turn, flexed left arm and incomplete wrist hinge.

To set the club in a powerful position, we must combine a good body turn and arm swing with the wrist hinge. The first step in improving this movement is to position the arms at the top of the swing by turning the chest, and then position the club correctly by setting the wrists - not by lifting the arms and bending the elbow. There are a number of drills you can use to feel this movement that are particularly useful when performed in front of a mirror, two of which I outline opposite.

The Body Turn

Face the mirror and hold a club across your shoulders. Turn the chest until the club is perpendicular to the line of your feet - this is a full and strong turn of the body, if done correctly you should feel a stretch across your back.

Sept 2

If we allow the turning of the body to position the arms it improves our chances of maintaining the extended position of the left arm at address through to the top of the backswing. Importantly, the relationship established at address between my body and left arm has been maintained up to the top of the backswing (see right). You will likely feel an increased stretch across your back and this position may be difficult to hold.

The Wrist Hinge

Sept 1

A good way to feel the way the wrist should set the club is simply to stand upright with your arms outstretched with the club parallel to the ground (top left picture). Without lifting the arms or bending the elbows, use the wrists to hinge the shaft upwards, to an angle of about 45 degrees (bottom right picture). Setting the wrists in the swing is a gradual process that happens as the arms are moved away from the ball by the body.

I like to see golfers begin to set their wrists as the hands pass the right thigh. By the time the left arm is parallel to the ground, the wrist hinge should be complete, with the shaft of the club approximately at right
angles to the left arm. This is a strong position from which to start the downswing, and should help to create substantial power through impact.

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