A Little Discussed Swing Fundamental

I was reading some on-line golf tips and it occurred to me I’d never read or heard anything about the right wrist, or trail wrist for right-handers, and where it should be at the top of the backswing. I learned something.

First- The Left Wrist

We have all heard about how important it is to keep your lead wrist flat, or even bowed (think Dustin Johnson), to avoid having the clubface open at impact.  That makes sense.  If you take a backswing and intentionally cup (bend backward) your lead wrist –left wrist for right-handers–and look at the club face, you will see that it is open.  If you just dropped your left wrist to impact position with it still cupped, the face would be pointing 45 degrees to the right.  

In other words, LOTS has been written about the left wrist position.  

The Under-appreciated, but Just as Critical, Right Wrist Position

I’d read at some point that a good thought to have was to think of your right wrist as carrying a tray of food, i.e., as flat, and pointing to the sky, as possible.  But then what?  

That was my question- what is the right wrist supposed to do after you reach the top of the backswing?  Bow?  Flex?  Stay bent?  Straighten?  And if any of these, at what point in the downswing?

It turns out that just as with about anything else, there is a YouTube video for this.  Eric Cogorno has a great video that spells this out, which you can see here.  


I don’t know Eric Cogorno, in fact have never heard of him before watching this video, but it was so clear and straightforward I thought it was worth sharing.


The Takeaway for Me

The lightbulb moment for me was the following:

Keep the right wrist in that exact same position all the way from the top of the backswing until impact.  It creates lag.  It mandates that the left wrist is bowed at impact.  It keeps the club in an inside-to-out swing path.  In other words, keeping the right wrist bent cures at least four other swing faults that are discussed all the time.

I’ve done a little indoor “look at the mirror” swing work, and it seems to work.  Next time I’m on the range that is going to be my primary lesson–keeping that right wrist bent, and seeing how it works. 

It will mean overcoming some bad habits (but then, isn’t that what golf is mostly about anyway- overcoming our various bad habits?).  But it seems to me that one position will create the right position for about everything else in the downswing.

Thanks to #ericcogornogolf for the video, and thanks to you for reading.  Enjoy Shooting Your Age! 

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