How to Use Your Wrists- The Fundamental Part of Your Golf Swing

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There tend to be a lot of ideas tossed around when it comes to the use of your wrists in a golf swing. That seems obvious considering the fact that the only contact with the golf club is with your hands. 

Getting a great shot begins with your hands and wrists. Here you will learn the importance of your wrists in the game, how to use them for a few swings and recover from, and even avoid, injuring them.

How To Use Your Wrists

Your Wrists and Proper Grip

You will never be able to underestimate the importance of good grip and your wrists in a golf game. You have to ensure that your grip is in a position for your hands and wrists to work in harmony. 

Together they point toward a section between the head and right shoulder. 

Just a tip – In order to get decent grip, you should place the palms of your hands together. Move your hands and wrists about in different directions. Your wrists should be quite free in a swing in order to work together with the rest of your body.

Taking Care of Your Wrists 

Wrist injuries are one of the most typical golf injuries you can find. To avoid this type of injury. There are many ways you can avoid these injuries and we are happy to have lined them out for you. 

Golf and Wrist injuries

Yes, we know that golf is a low impact sport, injuries on the hands and wrists happen quite a lot to golfers. This can be distressing for a golfing profession or hobby.

More often than not, your wrists run the risk of being injured three times more than your hand. Remember, your wrists play a vital part in your swinging action, making it more prone to injuries. 

Indications of Golf Injuries

Golf-related injuries do not always originate from sudden pain. These tend to build up, therefore should you experience any of these symptoms you could have injured your wrists without even knowing it.

Wrist injury symptoms include:

  • A warm sensation on your wrist
  • Inflammation on your after playing golf
  • Hardening on your wrist that has an impact on your daily movement
  • Noticing a small lump on the wrist could be a ganglion cyst
  • Pressure felt at top side of the wrist 
  • An increase of weakness in the wrist and hand 
  • Overuse of the non-dominant wrist 
  • Being incapable of performing a thorough golf swing

Types of golf hand and wrist injuries

Seeing that your wrists and hands are made up of a lot of different muscles and ligaments, you run the risk of suffering quite a few injuries during your golf play. 

The level of pain felt in each of these injuries differs and a medical professional should be consulted for an accurate diagnosis.  


This is usually a pain and popping sensation which can be felt in your wrist. 

Wrist Tendonitis 

Tendonitis in the wrists emanates from the inflammation of tendons in the wrist area. Signs that you might be suffering from wrist tendonitis consist of aching, inflammation, stiffness and or a blistering sensation in the area.

Damaged Blood Vessels 

Frequent knocks on your palm from the club handle can weaken your blood vessels. Over time, this causes pain to your palms and wrists, which can mess up the blood flow which moves to your fingertips.

Hamate Bone Fractures 

The hamate bone refers to one of eight carpal bones found in your wrist. Getting injured here usually happens when your golf club hits the ground. This causes the handle to push against the hook portion of the bone resulting in a fracture.

Main Causes of Wrist Injury in Golf

You might not be aware of the multiple factors that can increase the likelihood of injury on the golf course. It is vital that you pay attention to these so that you can pay attention to them before an injury happens.

Poor Posture

Having poor posture can be a general risk to your physical wellbeing. This can also add to quite a few golf-related injuries.  Applying the wrong posture during a golf swing results in the body compensating by means of various, minor muscle groups throughout the range of motion. 

For instance, if you are someone with poor neck posture you might try to overcorrect this by using your wrists to carry the ball up in the air. You might try to do this by over exaggerating a flick of the wrist risking great injury to these muscles.


Sometimes not being active enough is unavoidable. You could be stuck in a desk job which could have a negative impact on your body if you participate in excessive physical activity. 

To avoid any potential injuries, it is important that you thoroughly warm up and cool down before and after these activities. In this case you should pay attention to the smaller muscles that will be used a lot, such as your wrist.

Weak muscles

Make sure that you give your wrists enough exercise. Frail muscles won’t be effective in your golf play and you will find it difficult to stabilize your body throughout your golf swing. 

If you have weak muscles in your wrists, your body will try too hard by overburdening smaller muscles (like your wrist) in order to carry the movement through.

Poor golf swing

A very sharp angle in your golf swing can give way to unnecessary tension on your wrists. Also, if you accidently hit the ground with your club this could cause unexpected pain to your muscles and tendons.

Preventing Golf Injuries

As with any sport-related injury, there are measures that can be introduced to guarantee that the risk of injuring your wrists are not as prevalent. Even so, we can never guarantee that injuring your wrists would totally be out of the equation when participating in golfing activities.

Reduce the Risk of Golf Injuries

We have previously looked at reasons for possible injuries in your wrists, now let’s discuss all of the helpful ways you can reduce injuring your wrists during your golf game.

Warm up 

Like we have indicated before, a decent warm up is important before playing a round of golf. Make sure that you do a thorough full-body warm up for about ten minutes. Stretch out each muscle in your hand and do a few practice golf swings.

Increase strength 

It is common knowledge that stronger muscles are less likely to be injured during your golf play. Strengthening your wrists with resistance training will eventually increase your performance and decrease the chances of you getting injured.

Use the Right Posture 

Having the correct posture will guarantee that you are all set for a great golf swing that will be easy on your wrists. Make sure that you are standing with a fairly straight back, keep your feet apart at shoulder-width and switch outward slightly with your knees bent just a little. Lean forward slightly but be careful not to hunch over.

Polish your Technique 

Be sure that your form is on point before setting foot on the course. Getting help from a professional instructor is suggested to make sure you get the help for your technique. 

Having the right technique in your golf game will also help avoid causing any wrist injuries which is less likely to result in wrist injury.

Performing a Powerful Downswing

Hinging your wrists as you perform a backswing and then releasing them through the downswing is a powerful way to hit the ball and gain some yardage.

If your hinging is not supple and easy, you will be tempted to use your arms and shoulders to force the ball throughout impact. Developing the ability to use your wrists as a power source is essential.

Left-Hand Wrist Hinge Position at the Top of Your Swing

With your left arm in an extended position, place it down on a table with your fingers stretched. Rest on your little finger and your thumb pointed upward. Lift or cock your wrist upwards off of the table, but keep your arm in the same position. 

Do you see the wrinkles between your wrist and thumb? This is the same position your left hand should be at the top of the swing. 

The Bowed Left Wrist

Here your left wrist should stay flat in line with your left forearm. A common mistake is to open the wrist on the backswing. If you move it to the left or open it, there will be no tension on the wrist, which will result in losing power. Hinging your wrist to the right or inwards, forms a bow in the wrist.

The Right Wrist Position at the Top of the Swing

Here you have to envision holding a tray upwards like a waiter.

Think of carrying a tray of drinks like a waiter, with the right hand at shoulder height. Your right palm should point upwards and your right elbow points down to the ground.

The club rests in the palm of your hand in the same way at the top of the swing. This is a textbook position for your right hand and arm. Again look out for the wrinkles between your wrist and hand.

Perfect Hinging

Assume the address position with a driver or iron in your hand. Position your club on the ground as you would be preparing to hit a ball. Lift your arms and club head off of the ground in front of you aligned to your shoulders. Keep your left arm straight while hinging the left wrist. 

Your club’s shaft should be pointed upwards. 

Turn your shoulders away to fully execute a backswing, keeping your left arm straight. This position is great at the top of any swing. It allows both wrists to be in a good position to deliver power.

Bowing the Left Wrist at the Top of the Backswing

Famous players like Dustin Johnson have been one of the top strikers of a golf ball. Just like Johnson, there are a whole bunch of pro golfers who use this move for two simple reasons. 

Bowing your left wrist on the backswing, will even out your downswing. There aren’t a lot of players who keep the same swing plane from the backswing right through to the downswing. 

It closes the clubface and improves the draw spin on the ball.

It also takes the club head through from an inside position, which progresses contact with the ball. 

Cupping or Opening the Left Wrist at the top of the backswing

When standing at address the club head is aligned to the projected target. In order to hit the ball straight regularly, the clubface needs to be sent in the equivalent position through impact.

When you open or cup your left wrist, it changes the club face to an open position. Except when manipulated by the hands just before contact resulting in a weak blow or slice sidespin to the ball. This is possibly one of the most common blunders for golf players who cut the ball. 

When Should Your Wrists Hinge?

Your wrists should hinge when the feeling of swinging the golf club to a position at the top, and to the downswing becomes natural. You will immediately notice that your wrists will hinge and unhinge as you would expect. There should be no predetermined special movement. 

You can perform a few half-swings to get the feeling of the correct position. Practice this when you spend time on the course or you can even do it at home in front of a mirror. 


Taking care of your wrists and giving them the appropriate care is crucial to being a successful golf player. Be mindful of your swinging technique and posture and you will be able to avoid any unnecessary injuries to your wrist and other parts of your body. 

Hinging and unhinging your wrists should be a natural movement. 

Focus on avoiding the opening of the left wrist on the backswing, and you will have developed increased power in your wrists that you thought never existed.

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Young talented golfer and writer and top rated weekend golfer. He's favorite player is Tiger and he spends most of his spare time on a golf course.

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