Killer Ball Striking by Mastering the Impact Position: Solution 9

In our practice, we find one swing fault that occurs over, and over, and over, and over again. It is the left wrist break down or “cupping” the left wrist.

The proper position at address is for your left wrist to be perfectly flat and facing your target and your right wrist to be “cupped,” or bent. This dramatically increases the odds that you will make crisp and consistent contact with the ball.
Left Wrist Breakdown at golf impact position
In contrast, left wrist break down or flipping the club causes poor contact and a loss of distance. Most players “flip” with their wrists in an attempt to help the ball into the air. But golf is a game of opposites and if you want the ball to go up, you must hit down on the ball.

Keeping a flat left wrist allows for a descending blow to the ball. In addition. research has shown that having a flat left wrist results in a faster swing speed and the reasoning can be found in physics….but, I won’t bore you with that.

When the golfer flips his wrist at the ball the left arm tends to slow down to allow the wrists to hinge so the clubface moves in front of the hands.

Not only does this result in poor contact, but a slower traveling club face through the impact position.

Most players that I evaluate over the age of 50 have this problem.

You can tell by the results of your golf swing if your wrists are breaking down. Generally, if you have this fault your ball contact is poor and you do not take a correct divot AFTER hitting the ball.This type of player blades the ball a lot and often takes a divot BEFORE hitting the ball, a fat shot.

Fitness Fixes

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Pro Fixes

9 O’Clock to 3 O’Clock Acceleration Drill

Set up to the ball with 75% of your weight on your left leg.

Set up to the ball with 75% of your weight on your left leg.

    • 1. Begin by holding the club in the 9 o’clock position with

your wrists fully cocked


2. From here, AGGRESSIVELY accelerate DOWN through the ball and stop at the 3 o’clock position.

Your Golf Ball should come out fast and low…a punch shot. You should also focus on making a divot after you hit the ground

Training Aid Fixes

Of the three fixes, I feel training aids have the most to offer in regards to improving your left wrist position at impact.

The Tour Striker
Quickly becoming my favorite training aid of all time, the Tour Striker is specifically designed to improve your impact position. I love the Tour Striker because you don’t need to have an instructor overloading you with positions, thoughts, and instructions like “you should feel like you are……”

The Smash Bag
The Tour Striker has only been around for 2 years. Before it was available, my favorite aid to improving the impact position was the Smash Bag ($24.99)

The Smash Bag is the same as the Impact Bag but is much less’re welcome.

Here is how you can use the Smash Bag to improve your impact position.

Place the Smash Bag in the same spot you would normally put the golf ball.
Take your normal swing, EXCEPT, swing at 1/2 your normal swing.
Give the bag a good whack!
Check to make sure that at the impact position:

    • You hit the bag flush with the face of the golf club

Impact Position with Smash Bag

Your left wrist is flat and your right wrist is cupped, or bent.

My last piece of advice for using the Smash Bag is to NOT over do it. Padraig Harrington got carried away with the Impact Bag a couple years ago and ended up having to sit out a few tournaments due to a wrist injury.

There are several other training aids to use to improve your impact position. There is a Tac-Tic trainer which others have recommended but I liked the Smash Bag much better.

(PS. If you don’t want to spend the money, you can fill a nylon bag full of towels and it will work).

Thanks for reading!

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

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