Why Hinge The Wrists At The Top

By | on September 22, 2017 | 33 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+

33 Responses to “Why Hinge The Wrists At The Top”

  1. March 14, 2014


    Paul, when I hinge the club, my hands let go of the club slightly. I know it’s a problem. But, I feel if I focus on keeping all of the hand on the club, I’m gripping to hard. Plus, I feel I’m not hinging fully if I’m gripping too hard. Any suggestions on the keeping the hands soft, but still on the club?

  2. Paul I have a friend visiting from cold and snowy Vermont. We have been going to the range daily for the last week. For some reason when he hinges his wrists he also collapses with his arms. His left arm bends too much and his right forearm nearly touches his bicep. How can I tell him not to collapse his arms without him getting all tight?

    • March 14, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      You can extend your arm without it being tight. Just stand up and try it. Hold your arm out. When you do you will see that it is extended but not locked.

      I would think that getting him to do one the backswing methods I teach to set the wrists would work. Thumbs towards the ear is a good one.

      3 Ways to Set The Top of the Backswing: https://ignitiongolf.com/backswing-top-3-ways

      Also, just tell him to think of the shaft at the top and keeping it way from the back of this neck. You can also get him to shorten the backswing by doing practice swings watching for the whole club above his head with the mirror directly in front of him. As he swings back with all club he should be able to see the whole shaft above his head visually not literally. Driver will be just above his head. All other club will be even higher up. In 2 weeks he should have it fixed.

  3. March 14, 2014


    Hi Paul, I#ve got your sidebar promotion with this tip. When I try to email your link to my golf-budies all my servers refuse to send due to a spam warning, listed by commtouch … maybe all your ignitiongolf members have been following your request

    • March 14, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Interesting. Not much I can do. Just send them: ignitiongolf.com not the actual link. Then they can type it into their address bar. Thanks for the promo. It’s truly appreciated.

  4. March 14, 2014


    Terrific lesson. Thanks.

  5. Excellent lesson and tip for hinging THE wrists on the backswing -Thumbs pointing to left ear.
    Coule you

  6. March 14, 2014


    Excellent tip really helped me with swinging as opposed to hitting, thanks again Paul!

  7. November 4, 2014



    Graeme McDowell doesn’t hinge his wrists at top of his backswing, Why, is it because he has great hand action?

    • November 4, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Graeme McDowell hinges his wrists just fine at the top.



      He just happens to bow them at the top. This creates a closed clubface so his release point is not until even farther past the ball. In other words he is purposely tightening his wrists so he can square the face. If his wrists were loose he would have a severe hook. He gets away with it because he is a pro an had practiced this many hundreds of thousands if not millions of times in his life. I don’t like swings with flaws. If you have flaws you have to practice more.

  8. November 6, 2014


    Paul Agree I notice at the top of his backswing the end of his club points down to the ground and not the way you teach us ie end of club parallel to ground so he is not taking a full backswing Thanks to your advice I have weakened my strong grip and wrist hinge occurs naturally

    • November 7, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      At some point in his learning he bowed his wrist at the top. This is usually seen in weak wristed juniors or woman. If no one ever fixed it back then he would have gotten used to it. If you tried to fix it now though, he would have real problems because he would hit it right due to the face being square. You would have to fix his release too. If you made this change he may never be the same golfer he is today.

      I would think he purposely keeps it short so he can drive the lower body hard and square the face. It will be interesting to see how he plays as he gets older. Right now, its a young mans swing.

  9. November 15, 2014


    yes I remember watching one of your tips about taking a full back swing, turn and you said its a lot of effort required if you take a half swing!

  10. September 22, 2017


    This is a great tip Paul, I always do things better if I know why I need to do it. I know I sometimes play a round thinking if I don’t take my arms back so far and don’t bend my wrists too much then everything will be in control. But of course the reverse happens and I play some of the worst golf ever. It sometimes take me a while to realise I need to loosen everything up and when I do my game come back but in the mean time I have destroyed the score for day. Thanks as always for the great advice.

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      September 25, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Thanks. Glad you liked it.

      Exactly. This would tighten the hinge. You would lose power and consistency.

      Stay loose.

  11. September 22, 2017


    Always great tips, Paul. Been a while since I have checked in. Can say that as a student of a couple years now that most of the time I can absolutely figure out almost any ‘issue’. However, I keep on with Ignition Golf because when I do need help or I need something presented in several ways, this is the best place. Haven’t played as much as I would have liked this year, but generally pretty solid after just a bit of warm up. Thanks.

    Chipping technique is pure gold… 😉

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      September 25, 2017

      Paul Wilson



      Glad you are still around. When you posted I realized I hadn’t heard from you in a while. Glad you are doing well and understanding it.

  12. September 25, 2017


    Paul– great tip !!! One thing I keep reminding myself on the course is— “the Club head is heavy ” that thought allows my wrist to hinge and re-hinge because it takes loose wrist to create a heavy club !– But yes- it can feel ‘out of control on the top” Good stuff- Thanks!

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      September 25, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked the tip. Thanks.

      Great thought. Heavy club. You cannot make it heavy if you are hitting. No hitting means you need a different power source in your swing. This different power source is your body.

      So many people hate this out of control feeling. CEO’s are the worst. The higher up the ladder the less you want to give up control (plus they don’t listen). The guy I was talking about was a billionaire business man. Wanted it instantly and wouldn’t do anything to change it. Finally got through to him on day 2. He played great. Came back on day 3 and he was back to his old swing. So frustrating.

  13. March 17, 2018


    Paul, Is thete such a thing as hinging too much?

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      March 18, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Different people can hinge to different levels. So whatever your maximum is then that would be correct. Sergio goes more than Furyk probably because his wrists allow him to. The thing I see is that people think they are hinging when really they are letting go of the club. The other thing is hinging immediately as they go back. So make sure you are holding on securely. Keep the wrists loose and allow the club to hinge to its maximum.

      Secure Grip Loose Wrists: https://ignitiongolf.com/secure-grip-loose-wrists/

  14. Thanks Paul! I am thinking that the entire timing of the swing would be thrown off if you don’t hinge. Uncoiling in the proper sequence depends on the hinge too. Sorry to be redundant but that is accurate right? Thanks Brad

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      April 26, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      You definitely need to hinge the club. If you don’t you are in no position to uncoil. No hinge and you will hit so it is all tied together. This tip was me just talking about this one aspect and why you need to hinge. So definitely focus on a full hinge as you hit the top.

      3 Ways to Set The Top of the Backswing: https://ignitiongolf.com/backswing-top-3-ways/

  15. So many pros have told me that the hinge just happens naturally. It never has for me. Hinging my wrists without bending my left elbow and collapsing my left arm has been my constant battle. When ever I think I am collapsing and bending my left arm less, I ask my husband to video tape me and I am always disappointed to see that I am back to collapsing the elbow again. In my attempt to not bend my left elbow, I end up not hinging my wrists. Problem is that I cannot feel myself bend the left elbow. Therefore, it is so hard to correct this 25 year old habit and my lack of distance in the full swing continues. I am working hard on my swing now that I am retired. Your videos have helped me a lot already. Thank you so much! But what is your advice to help me hinge without bending my left elbow so much?

  16. Thanks!

  17. Hi Paul, you rightly promote the raising of the lead arm which puts the clubs above the head at the top of the backswing parallel for the driver and slightly angling up for other clubs. How do you reconcile that with the thumbs pointing towards the right ear (for right handed) , which is lower than the 90 degrees hinged wrists at the top of the backswing? Thank you

    • Charles,

      The thumbs are towards the ear even with driver. This is looking at yourself in a mirror from the front view. If they are in your ear you would be buckling the lead arm too much. Keep in mind I demonstrated that with a 7 iron in The Body Swing. Longer club would swing back longer. I just don’t want collapsing at the elbow, thumbs to the sky or thumbs in your ear. The whole point is to get you hinging in the wrists.

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