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What is going on with your wrists?

Break the wrists, maintain the power angle, cock the wrists, whip the wrists, activate the wrists, release the wrists… You have probably heard or read these terms trying to explain the action of the wrists in the golf swing . However, in addition to being fuzzy and anatomically inaccurate, they keep many golfers confused.

Golf education has long suffered from the use of flawed terminology to explain the movements of the body during the swing. This trend has been changing for almost a decade with the arrival of biomechanics involved in golf research and education. In the case that concerns us, the HackMotion tool, using a series of 3d sensors analyzing the movements of the wrists, allowed us to better understand what the latter actually do.


Anatomically, there are combinations that are easier to perform. Extension is usually accompanied by radial deviation as flexion is accompanied by ulnar deviation.

Depending on the different sources, here is what the average amplitude may look like:

Flexion: 80-90 degree

Extension: 70-90 degrees

Radial deviation: 15 degrees

Ulnar deviation: 30-45 degrees

Supination: 90 degrees

Pronation: 90 degrees

* These values ​​vary by subject and by age.


Maintain the lag / power angle until the last moment

First, we should better define “last moment”. Then, in the vast majority of cases, in elite players, this angle between the left forearm and the shaft increases rapidly as soon as the left arm reaches a position parallel to the ground.

What's more, a large portion of golfers increase left wrist flexion by wanting to maintain or create more lag. This is the reverse of what elite players accomplish. The overwhelming majority of players tested go from a left wrist movement to more flexion (or less extension) at the transition (source Dr. John Sinclair).


Scott Cowx, a coach from Toronto who I admire and respect a lot, studied dozens of elite players using the HackMotion tool. 3 main patterns emerged.

Pattern A "Old School release"

Who does this: Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjorn Olesen

How: "Stable" or low extension / flexion. Mechanism to align the club face at impact: supination

Classic trajectory: Push draw

Warning: Too much radial deviation during the backswing can add too much extension and make it difficult to make the desired transition from extension to flexion during the transition.

Misses: High right / Low left

Pattern B - "New School release"

Who does this: Dustin Johnson, Colin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland

How: Release by flexion / extension. Little rotation on the axis of the shaft.

Classic trajectory: Pull fade

Warning: This pattern is not for you if you are not an athlete. It requires a great capacity of lateral tilt of the column and of rotation of the pelvis and torso.

Misses: Low left / high right.

Pattern C - "Downcock release"

Who does it: Common among long drive competitors.

How: Release using all wrist movements.

Classic trajectory: All.

Warning: This pattern is anatomically very difficult to reproduce (flexion followed by radial deviation during the transition) and requires exceptional timing.

Misses: Low left / High right.

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