Golf Consistency #2 of 3: Separate Wrist and Shoulder Rotation

Improve Golf Consistency

golf consistency

Last we talked about tips on releasing tension in the golf swing. In this second of three articles intended to improve your golf consistency, we are going to discuss your initial golf backswing position.

One key that has made a big difference for golfers over the years is to limit wrist rotation in the first part of the takeaway.

One reason I love this tip, is that it made a huge difference in my golf consistency when I first adopted it many years ago.

When I started in golf, like most males, I was self taught. I read the tips and tried to incorporate them into my swing without the benefit of having a knowledgeable instructor watching to make sure I was doing it correctly. Wrist rotation was one of my big mistakes.

What I did, and I find in many struggling golfers, is to both over rotate my wrists and allow my right wrist to “break” or bend in the first part of my backswing.

senior golf exercise

When your backswing comes from the inside like this one, the natural tendency is to re-route it on the downswing to an outside to inside swing path. Also known as coming over-the-top of the ball.

The golf tip that I was trying to incorporate into my swing was to have the toe of my club facing up at the halfway point in my backswing. I did attain this position but could have used some visual help to see that my swing plane was poor.

A professional golf friend of mine first pointed this out to me. He said “if you swing back on an inside plane, you won’t have any room to swing back on that same plane.”

Other reasons this position is troublesome is that it introduces a lot of extra wrist action into the swing. This resulted in a lot of variability in my golf ball flight. Even when I was hitting ball straight, my trajectory was not always reliable.

We don’t like a lot of extra action. We like simple and repeatable.

A better way to start your backswing is to have the beginning of your backswing “body driven” instead of “arms driven.”

Simply put: to start your backswing, turn your upper body. No wrist motion at all, that comes later in the backswing.

If you do this correctly, your club face will be slightly more closed in the beginning of your backswing. It will be a lot easier to swing on the correct plane and you will eliminate one more variable in your golf swing that will improve your odds of success: your golf consistency.

Golf Backswing Tips for Improved Consistency

Additional Note:
I should note here that a lot of pro’s have significant wrist rotation in the first half of their backswing. So I am not necessarily saying that this is a “flaw,” but does require a tremendous amount of skill to do consistently. Reducing your wrist rotation will help you develop a lower maintenance golf swing that is more consistent with less practice.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist

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