Rolling the Wrists Destroys the Golf Swing

One golf swing mistake that many golfers make, and that goes virtually undetected, is the rolling of their wrists on the takeaway.

Most golfers are so preoccupied with the more visible mechanics of shoulder and hip turns, swing planes, and keeping their head steady, that it’s easy to see why such a minor movement, like the rolling of their wrists, could go unnoticed. But unfortunately it does.

What causes the problem is usually one of a few things. It may be that the golfer has swayed laterally on their backswing and has over exaggerated their turning. Or perhaps it is caused when the golfer pulls the club too far inside at the start of the takeaway. And often it occurs when the golfer, obsessed with making a full shoulder turn, has done so by swing the golf club on a more horizontally rounded, rather than vertical, swing path.

So how can you spot this almost invisible malady? You can monitor to see if you are in fact a wrist roller, by stopping your takeaway when your golf club is about parallel with the ground. In the ideal position, the toe of your golf club should be pointing directly to the sky and if you drew a line from the butt of the club, across your toe line below, it would parallel the imaginary target line that the golf ball is aimed down.

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But if you are guilty of rolling your wrists, you will see quite a different position that both the toe and the butt of the golf club are in. For the right handed golfer, the butt of the club will be pointing well to the right of the intended target line and across the golf ball, not directly over the toe line. The toe of the golf club will be aimed behind the golfer, with the club face noticeably fanned open.

There are so many things that can go wrong in these positions, not the least of which is that the club is now way off of the correct golf swing plane. The golfer eventually feels as if the club gets stuck behind her/him at the culmination of the backswing.

Depending on how rolled the wrist become, on the ensuing downswing the golfer has to drastically change directions and contort their golf swing to get the golf club anywhere near making contact with the golf ball. It is not pretty to observe, with casting moves, karate chops and premature opening up of the lead shoulder, the most common sightings.

How can you conquer this unwanted woe?

The answer isn’t that complex actually. Practice starting your takeaway by moving the club back in one piece with the shoulders and arms, ( forming a “V” shape), and concentrate on keeping the back of the left hand facing down the target line for the first eighteen inches or so of your backswing. Now all you have to do is swing up over your shoulder in a circular path, and along the swing plane that you had established at address.

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If this doesn’t remedy the situation for you, and you are still having difficulty getting the feel for not rolling your wrists and keeping your club on plane, then get yourself a quality golf swing trainer to practice on. (There are several reviewed on our website).The additional benefit to using a swing plane training aid, besides grooving an on plane swing and feeling when the swing path starts to swing up, is that you can easily perfect a consistent tempo as well. They are well worth the cost.

Rolling your wrist in the takeaway is a guaranteed killer to a solid golf swing. I hope after reading this article, it will no longer go undetected and soon be permanently corrected.

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by Jack McDermott