Fully Hinge The Wrists At The Top Of The Backswing

By | on October 5, 2011 | 20 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

20 Responses to “Fully Hinge The Wrists At The Top Of The Backswing”

  1. November 10, 2012


    Thanks again for this tip Paul. Is it important how many knuckles you may see when you fully hinge? Somehow I feel I open the club face when I loose control over it and I thought that it would be better to look only to the wrist hinge of the right hand instead of the left. That maintains the right club face position at the top more often.

    Or shall I try to complete loosen the wrist at the top independently of how many knuckles I may see?

    I don’t know if I made myself clear. It’s difficult to write in English about those technicalities…

    • November 11, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Jose, You are not really checking the top of the backswing by looking at your knuckles. I see all 4 when I go to the top and look back. You should be looking for the wrinkles in the wrists. If fully hinged you will see these wrinkles.

      You need the wrists completely loose so the club hinges. This does not mean you are letting go of the club. Hold on but keep the wrists loose.

  2. November 10, 2012


    Where should I begin this learning process? Jumping around reading all the great stuff has me a little cofussed. I have been playing for over forty years so have some ideas but would like to know where to start with this new swing. Then where to go next. Thank you, I have seen improvement. I have limited range of motion upward but not below shoulder height to much.
    Driving distance is 190 – 200; wedge 100; 6 iron 135 – 140. I have lost approximately 20% on all my distances 8 iron used to be 140.
    My clubs are 2-3 degrees upright and I am still hitting the lie board slightly on the toe. Should I flatten swing/clubs or not mess with a this time?
    I am really having fun with this!

  3. November 10, 2012


    Would you say that the back swing feeling would be primarily the torso turn and then when you get near the end of the turn that the wrists are ACTIVELY hinged to get then as fully hinged as I can (around 90 degrees if possible). In time this hinging would ideally become automatic, but if I have not had much of that element in my back swing that is it OK to emphasize it until it is natural?

    • November 11, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Chad, The backswing is a coil of the shoulders. The wrists are fully hinging due to momentum of the club swinging back and loose wrists. At first if your wrists are not hinged fully then you are actively hinging them. After you work on hinging the for 1-4 weeks they should be hinging on their own. You’ve got it.

  4. November 11, 2012


    I wear out my grips at the top and wear out the glove on the heal.
    My grips also have ‘thumb prints” where my thubs set on the club!

    • November 11, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Gordon, If you are wearing out gloves on the heel you are either gripping too far off the club or you are holding the club to high up in the fingers of the top hand.


      Left Hand: https://ignitiongolf.com/left-hand-grip

      How Far Should You Grip Down On The Club? https://ignitiongolf.com/grip-how-far-down/

      If your thumbs are digging into the grip your wrists are too tight on the club. When your wrists are locked up and you hit shots off center it creates shock. This causes the clubs to wiggle slightly in the grip. If you loose your wrists and keep the arms powerless you will not hit as many shots off center plus the looser wrists absorb the shock or a mis hit.

      Start working on loosening up your wrists by fully hinging and re-hinging the club and check your grip right away.

      Do this drill to loosen the wrists:

      DRILL: Grip Down Drill: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-grip-down

  5. February 8, 2013


    Also am i correct in saying it is your WRISTS that are loose NOT your hands!
    So you can grip the club firmly with your hands/fingers BUT it is your wrists that should be nice and loose? Is this correct?

  6. February 9, 2013


    Hi Paul,
    I was watching with interest your video on grip with left hand so i decided to change my left hand grip which i would describle as slightly strong 2 to 3 knuckles. You say that your grip on left hand should be higher in the palm diagonally and not near your fingers I tried this disaster shank shank shank
    I was getting really fed up all my work destroyed in 5 minutes i went back to my old grip slightly further down my palm towards my fingers and eventually when i got my confidence back (this was with a 58 degree wedge) i started hitting great shots at the flag from 60 yards.
    What do you think went wrong Paul a slightly strong grip seems to work for me The neutral grip you suggest felt horrible and mechanical and powerless and all out to the right (if i wasnt shanking) went my shots.
    I also tried my grip and placed a tee under my left palm and it didnt fall out when i swung
    I am not over cupping my wrsit at top of my backswing.
    Since I followed your lessons my pitching Paul is really good with this grip and i have a lot more power in my longer clubs.
    Should I stick with my grip?
    Keep u all your hard work I appreciate it

    • February 10, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      You are not used to doing the grip. Any grip change you make is going to take time. Do the grip. Hold the club in the air and work it back and forth until you can hold the club yet be loose in the wrists. When you changed the grip it felt so uncomfortable that you tightened everything and and started hitting with the hands. In the future either stick with the change or change it a little at a time.

      Yes, you should stick with the grip but you need to do it right. From a strong grip position it should not be feeling that bizarre. So back it off slightly until you are doing it. If you stick with a strong grip you will need another flaw in your swing to hit straight shots. I want your swing to be flawless.

      Also, when you change the grip just tee up the ball as you hit shots to make it a little easier. I would be doing with with a 7 iron not a 58 degree wedge and make sure you do lots of practice swings first to get used to it.

  7. February 9, 2013


    Please see this link i note that the left grip goes across his fingers thats the way i am gripping the club

    • February 10, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I looked at the pictures. I want you to follow his wrong picture. That looks right to me. So his “right” picture is not that far off the “wrong” picture. A tiny bit more in the palm and you have the “wrong” picture. I think they are exaggerating these pictures.

  8. February 11, 2013


    Thanks Paul

  9. December 1, 2014


    Hi Paul,
    I had to go back to this “old” tip of yours for the following reason. I try to follow your technique for some time now, and it really helped me. Yet, I experience from time to time something which has to do with the “lack of control feeling” you mention in this video. To clarify it : when I manage the hinging properly, I know I can hit decent shots. Trouble is, the “bad feeling” comes back unexpectedly (I try to control the position of the club). The warning signal for me is when I simply can’t hit a proper tee-shot with an iron (like I do on many par 3). My wrists get locked, and it’s a very hard process to revert this. From what I understand, you explain that we should look for this feeling of “losing control” at the top of the backswing. To be honest, this is probably one of the most difficult things to achieve for me, I don’t know if this is a common problem with your students. If you have any additional suggestions about the way I could work on that, it would be great. Is there any way I could have a video review of my swing (I maybe wrong in my analysis)?

    • December 3, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      What you need to do is take a club inside and do practice swings each night. Take the club to the top and fully hinge the club. Look at it to know it is perfect. This should take no more than 2 week to get used to this. As I keep saying it is about repeating the positions until you don’t know any other way to do them.

      We do offer Skype Lessons and Video Analysis as extra services. Just email us for more information.

  10. December 4, 2014


    Hi Paul,
    I’ll give it my best efforts for the coming weeks, perfect timing, winter is upon us and it’s getting colder at the range and on the course.

  11. Paul, setting the wrists at the top is difficult for me because I have a relatively short swing. So, i hinge my wrists early as i am moving the club head away from the ball. By the time the clubhead is waist high, it is fully hinged. Then i continue back with my shoulder turn and bring the club back with my body… I get very good results with all my clubs with this method except my Driver which feels like i am manipulating it with the early wrist set. What is wrong with the early wrist set if it looks the same at the top where i can look back and see the 90 degree angle, the wrinkle at the proper location? Thanks, Richard Koppy

    • Richard,

      With a short swing it is even more important to fully set the wrists. I just don’t like people to do it early because it activates your hands right off the bat. I am trying to keep them powerless yet you turned them on setting them early. If you can set then keep them powerless and it works then do it.

      A shorter swing with driver is tough because you don’t have as much time to square the face by the time the club gets to the ball. In your case, I would setting it at the top as best you can (if you don’t want to lengthen it) and constantly work on the roll over drill until you consistently hook it. Once you can hook it then you add body to straighten it out. Yes, you will feel your arms as you work on this but like I said you have so little time to square it the release needs to be a real focus until you always release it. This is not to say it cannot be done. It can because there are tour player who have shorter swings. It just takes work to master it.

      I would think you don’t have to think about setting driver at the top. Given the length of the club I would imagine it setting due to momentum going back. Maybe stop thinking about hinging it and video your swing to see if it sets. If so stop thinking about it. I can’t see how you are setting the others and driver wouldn’t set. If you can do this then you can switch focus off of the hands going back. This may simplify things.

      Roll Over:

      DRILL: 3 Ways To Roll It Over: https://ignitiongolf.com/3-ways-to-roll/
      Roll Around The Stick: https://ignitiongolf.com/roll-around-stick/
      Clarifying the Roll Over Drill: https://ignitiongolf.com/clarifying-roll-drill/
      Modified Roll Over Drill: https://ignitiongolf.com/modified-roll-over-drill/

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