There is plenty of information on wrist action in the golf swing, including information here on this blog, but most of it deals with the movement of the left wrist or left side in the golf swing. However, this online golf lesson article and accompanying video are dedicated completely to the movement of the right side throughout the swing, specifically the right wrist action for the perfect golf swing with details on 5 key positions to check. Watch the video then check the article below for more detail and photos of some of these 5 key positions.
Step 1: Right Hand Golf Grip – Accent the Trigger Finger
For the right-handed golfer who desires to strike iron shots with a piercing flight and get a divot after the ball, it is imperative to create the right grip positions and consequent wrist positions. Start with a relatively strong left hand grip in which the “V” of the left hand points to the right shoulder, but place the right hand so it covers the left thumb in a more neutral overall position.
The right hand “V” will point straight up toward the chin, and the secret is accenting the forefinger position so it looks like a “trigger finger.” Going further, be sure the first joint segment of the finger is pressing into the side of the club in a manner that slightly puts the first knuckle on top of the handle as pictured here. The trigger finger will maintain side pressure on the handle from start all the way to impact.
Step 2: Backswing Takeaway – Dorsiflexion Past Right Thigh
The takeaway actually starts with no wrist action at all. It should be a one piece move that is best performed by letting the right shoulder blade begin moving back.
This starts a pulling of the right arm and hand as the club is delivered in a “one-piece” move like handing off a football.
Once the hands move beyond the right thigh, the right wrist will start bending back which is classified as “dorsiflexion.” This bending back of the right wrist creates the corresponding “flat left wrist” that is so well known in golf instruction.
Step 3: Right Arm Folds – Tray of Dishes at Top of Backswing
As the backswing continues to progress beyond the right thigh area and the wrist bends back, the right elbow will start to fold. The right elbow actually does not travel very far in a good backswing. It simply folds and points toward the ground as the right palm faces the sky in the classic “waiters’ tray” position at the top.
A couple of key points must be noted in this top position. The weight of the shaft should be resting on the trigger finger, not the thumb. Also the right palm will slightly face away from the player to the right. If the opposite is true, club resting on the thumb and palm facing the player, then the clubface will be too open and casting is inevitable on the downswing.
Step 4: Downswing Drops in the Slot with Right Palm Down
As the downswing starts, the right arm and shoulder simply drop straight down as the feet press firmly into the ground and the knees make a slight lateral shift. There is no body turn at this stage – the right arm can’t drop straight down if the chest starts turning.
This straight down drop is what stores the lag angle at right elbow and right wrist as the club drops on plane into the slot half way down. The secret at this stage of the swing is to feel the pressure against the right hand trigger finger as the right palm faces down at waist-high. From the top of the backswing it feels like hitting your right thigh with the heel of your right hand while your right wrist stays bent all the way back.
At this waist-high downswing position of the hands, the butt of the club should point at the golf ball, toe of club points upward (but not quite straight up) and right palm is facing the ground, or more technically faces the ball on the ground.
Step 5: Impact and Release in the Golf Swing
Prior to this last step, all efforts have been made to store as much lag and backside pressure on the shaft as possible while keeping the shaft on plane and keeping the clubface square to the swing path. We’re basically at pre-impact just off the right hip with full wrist hinge, right palm down with the shaft hooked by the trigger finger.
Now it’s time to explode. As the hips start to clear and left leg straightens, the right arm will literally unhinge and straighten in a manner similar to driving a nail. Both the right elbow and right wrist straighten. This restores both arms to their full length through the impact zone. If you think about the right arm motion now at its completion, you’ll see the similarity to the nail driving example – grip the hammer squarely for good contact, hinge the wrist and elbow which is our backswing fold, then extend to make solid contact which is our release point.
This proper release action requires the right arm to overtake the left arm as it races past and rolls over the left. Hence we describe this as an “overhanded” release in which the right palm continues to face down as it goes past the golf ball. A good image is to try to point the toe of the club at the target as the club exits the impact zone. This sounds like it would hook the ball, but it really works perfectly if you had the proper grip and lag all along.
The result should be a swing which bottoms out beyond the ball with irons to create the proper divot and simply rips the cover off the tee shots with the driver. Watch the video and see if you can get the right wrist action for the perfect golf swing.
Then let me know what you think in the comments section below. Did you pick up more distance, start taking a better divot, kill your slice? Let me know.