Wrist roll/rotation

I’ve for a long long time played my irons with a slightly closed club face at address…as I’ve never been good at rolling/releasing my wrists through impact…which as you can imagine, opens the club face considerably. It’s been fine on my irons (usually my strength), though I know it costs me some distance…but it’s easy to adjust dispersion and I’ve never had to think about “releasing the club”.

Now - the drawback is that it is HELL on my driver and driver swing. Always always always a weakness due to the technique flaw.

I’ve finally learned to connect my arms more to my body and overcome the dreaded OTT and have a more square or inside to out path. Now that I’m playing with a square face at address again, I need to dial in my wrist rotation and get the timing right so that I can hit a driver. I’ve noticed that I’m pulling almost everything off the tee…rotating too aggressively. I probably need to weaken my grip - since it has been ridiculously strong (to compensate for the lack of rotation) as a first step.

Any other drills or technique anyone would like to suggest to get my release/timing/roll correct?

thank you!

IMO this is the best training aid for keeping everything connected. Will help with rotation of forearms and wrists as well.


I’ve been using the “keep the headcover in the armpits drill”…love the idea of this Smart Ball too.


I’m not an instructor, so take this advice how you may, but it sounds like you’re probably fanning the face wide open on the backswing, then have to aggressively flip it shut on the way down in order to get back to square. This is going to be very hard to be consistent with, since it relies on timing so much. I finally figured this out last year and have been so much more consistent both with irons and driver. I really just turn my shoulders and try to keep the hands as quiet as possible. I’ll try to find a video link to show what I mean.


Here’s what I mean, and I’m sure there’s lots of other videos on this. But the main point is, if the toe of your club is pointing toe-up when it’s parallel to the ground on your backswing, it’s actually an open face. If it’s more parallel with your spine (and will probably feel like it’s really closed), it’s actually square to your swing path.


How strong are we talking? All of the knuckles?

Trying some weakening, sounds like it would be an easy initial adjustment to try. Versus some other larger, novel movements that you’d have to incorporate in your new swing.

Who knows? Maybe you find that having a two knuckle-weaker grip takes care of the issue?

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Stronger than strong. My past swing was virtually no rotation/release which always left my club face wide open (thus the closed face at address). I’ve toyed with “every knuckle” to even extreme of almost looking at my lead elbow it was so strong…lol. I made it work somehow and figured out how to use grip and a closed face at address to square the thing up.
But now with some tweaks, I agree…I’m going to try to get to the range Saturday and go back to 2 knuckles and play around to see where I am.

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Can we get this guy a hat that fits better? I’m having a difficult time concentrating on the advice while wondering why there is a thimble on that melon :).

It is kinda ridiculous, isn’t it? I feel that feel tho.

Nothing stock in the typical athletic store/pro shop world fits my 7 3/4 melon. “One size fits”…doesn’t. And then I compound it by wearing a sweatband under the hat… It gets hot down here.

I’ve given up trying to look fashionable. Or normal.


FWIW I have had similar issues and have been doing better with a bit weaker grip. I used to have a pretty strong LH grip and a Neutral RH grip, but it seems like the RH grip just got stronger over time and I’m trying to adjust to weakening it again.

I’d be interested to hear what ultimately resonates with you concerning this. I have used a version of the Smart ball (you can get knockoffs cheap on AliExpress), but although it helps keep me “connected” it has not helped my release.

So far the only thing that has helped me a bit is swinging and hitting balls exaggerating the release. I set the club down with the face open, take a really neutral grip and then swing releasing hard to square the face. I still tend to revert to the “block” for the irons though as it allows me to make good contact and hit the ball pretty straight. Sadly that swing doesn’t work as well for a fairway or driver.

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So at least on the range tonight…

Moved the grip back to neutral. Found this

and liked the idea of slowing my take away and keeping the club more closed with my wrists in the take away so that I don’t have to worry about timing on the swing of when or how aggressively to roll…

Worked amazingly well on irons. Drive was much better, but still a little bit of a fade and the occasional slice…but starting on a much better line and very controllable. We’ll see if I can take it to the course now later this week. I’m hopeful.

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I’m probably going to take alot of crap for saying this. First, I have worked very hard this year to improve MY driver swing and distance. Not so much the swing, just what it does…I also experimented with several shafts especially the driver to find something that I FELT, was optimizing MY SWING. My understanding of what I was trying to do and what actually needed to be done was 2 different things. Why? Because equipment has changed and for years I was trying to hit a nail with a screwdriver instead of a hammer. I was purchasing new equipment and in general got worse instead of better. The new equipment does not work with a swing that was built around persimmon drivers. I broke down and finally understood that I had to get a better understanding of launch angles, shallowing the club properly and strictly working on MY mechanics and GRIP (believe it or not) to achieve an extra 40-50 yds (so far). That said…I worked hard on MY swing. I will also tell you there is a difference in the driver & metals and the iron swing. My general tendency with all metals is slight draw, if I dont shallow correctly it’s a pull or the face is pretty open. (that’s the miss) With irons I hit, in general a 10-15 yd fade with long irons about a 5 yd fade with short irons. (my miss with irons is the fat shot, not so much anything else, which is caused by losing spine angle…coming up!) My goal with irons is to make sure certain I am covering the ball to get as much compression as what MY swing allows. SO, yeah that was very long to get to this point. First…don’t copy anyone, your swing is your swing…own it. Second, you must…MUST…hit the range with a purpose. Whether you use a trakman…which I suggest, (and I did) and just hit one club over and over and over until you can generally repeat something at the desired distance and general dispersion YOU want. Golf is not a game of makes, it’s a game of misses. You are NOT going to change or fix anything without putting in purposeful time or experimenting with a fix ure slice video in 10 minutes…cuz that’s all it’s going to work is 10 minutes! Just trying to be real…There’s a guy on here who posts as Craigers and I follow his journey on putting…this dude is putting in tons of work and in reading his posts, he has improved, probably drastically, but in his mind incrementally…but it takes time and work and he is working on HIS stroke and HIS grip and HIS tempo. All said…accept your limitations and what your body does, if you need to take a lesson from a well recommended pro…do so, work on your swing and your game…The easiest things to do in this game is to improve from a 100 player to a 90, from a 90 to an 80, from an 80 to maybe a 77. After that, it’s usually incremental and takes a ton of work and commitment. You will find you won’t be able to fix or Dx on the course…Good Luck!


I seem to be doing a bit better with a more neutral right hand. It seems as though it’s easier for me to release the club that way. It’s working really well with my hybrid and fairway wood, but still iffy with the irons and driver. Mostly it’s the driver, but I think if I can get to the range more I may be able to sort it out. Also the extra distance with the fairway is useful if the driver is not cooperating.

Typical that the season is nearly over here and I figure something out lol.

I read a tidbit in Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book that has helped me in this area. The overall thrust of his comment was really about how to set the hands, particularly the left thumb, at address, but he mentioned in this context that he likes the left thumb to the right side of the shaft at address rather than riding the top of the club because he believed that the left thumb should be under the shaft at the top of the swing. Penick went no further about why he believed that or how to accomplish it, but his comment resonated with some other concepts that I’d been practicing.

I realized that I had never paid attention to where my swing took my left thumb. As soon as I visualized and felt this concept, it incorporated the “wrist roll” without my needing to think any more about it.

As with many things in golf, what you need to do is the opposite of what you might think you need to do. It could appear that you need to roll the thumb clockwise to get it under the club at the top of the backswing, but of course, it’s the reverse. If you begin with the thumb on the right side of the shaft at address and gradually rotate the thumb (and the shaft) counterclockwise, it should be in the correct position by left arm parallel so that the clubface is slightly closed as all the instructors suggest. Keeping it in that position all the way to the top (and consistently attempting to reach close to that goal on all swings) seems to have added consistency to my club path and ball flight.

I’ve even gained a bit of distance without extra effort, probably because the top of swing position for the left thumb that Penick advocated creates a better lever for the eventual application of power to the ball. In fact, my downswing trigger is now to feel the pressure of the club head on my left thumb. As Archimedes once said, “If you give me a lever and a place to stand, I can move the world.” I might not be able to move the world with my golf club, but using this concept has given me another 3-5 mph on my swing without exerting any extra effort.


Outstanding. Great improvement from such a small change.

Normally, I’d just zip out to the range, and answer my own question, but since I can’t at the moment: how does the thumb change, if at all, alter the pressure of the shaft on your left thumb? Reason I ask is----and it may just be arthritis—I am having pain if my thumb is too extended on top of the shaft on some (not all) swings. I think it’s trying to extend too much, and it hurts like a mother. Yet if I put the thumb along one side or another, I don’t have much control of how much the shaft ‘cocks back’ at the top of my backswing. It feels like it’s wiggling around up there.

Didn’t know if that lack of control/knowledge of location was happening when you moved your thumb.

I changed my grip because of this. It made more sense to me when someone gave me a board with a nail in it and I was told to try and drive the nail through the board using your right thumb on top of the hammer handle, which is where my grip was. I couldn’t, it’s was an extremely weak position. I then adjusted my thumb to the right (because I’m Right Handed) and swung the hammer, I damn near broke the board in half driving the head of the hammer into the nail. After 40 years the lightbulb finally went off! :bulb:


I haven’t played around with this yet. I don’t normally make any effort to extend either thumb along the shaft, and I try to maintain minimum pressure with both–Hogan’s advice to leave the forefinger and thumb, the pincers, out of the golf swing may be the piece of golf advice I’ve tried to follow for the longest time.

I didn’t even alter my left thumb’s position. I just kept it where it’s always been but tried to become and remain aware of getting it to the position I’ve described. It really only took a few moments to become aware, and I’ve been really pleased with the results on the course.

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I agree with this overall. For me, as a high handicap player (20) shooting mid 80s on my home course and low 90s elsewhere, its all pretty general stuff. YT video cured my iron hooks (mostly) and my driver slice I cured by watching one video of my swing from behind. Big stuff is easy to fix as you say…as I improve I feel its going to get harder to make improvements. That said, I’m not really bothered, almost never go to a range and only really practice my short game. I’m 52 next week, never going to be on tour but enjoy my game so why worry!

Merry Xmas golfers!!

If the golfer has his / her hands on the grip correctly and all the fundamentals are checked, there shouldn’t be any thought or deliberate move to rotate the wrists. The movement/rotation of the wrists happens naturally when the golfer complete the action of bringing the club back and going through the impact. The harder you go through the impact the more pronounced the rotation of the wrists would seemed to be.
When I was new to this game, I asked my mentor how to cock the wrist going back ? He asked me to go through the regular motion to the top and stopped and held my hands in mid-air then asked me to turn me head to look at the hands. Sure enough, the wright wrist was “properly cocked”.
Over analyze and over thinking will make your instructor love you, because he will be seeing you very soon.

Up to a certain point, yes. Do you believe professional golfers or highly ranked amateurs follow your lead? Of course not. Yes, simple is generally better. The danger in the realization I’ve recently had about proper wrist rotation is that my realization was built upon five years of working on my swing and thus may not be as useful to someone who hasn’t done that level of work.

You can freeze the free motion required for a good swing by overanalyzing. That’s not to say that a good golf swing doesn’t require some analysis though. All of the great golfers have had instruction or, like Hogan, were so detailed in their approach to the game that they could figure out the elements of the swing on their own.

For the golfers who can’t put in that work because of understandable other issues in their lives like work and family, then finding something workable on the course is best and that generally means thinking of only certain fundamentals and accepting the limitations that approach entails. Getting to single digits and below, however, requires focused and cumulative effort with the very rare exception of a “natural.”