The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

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The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:33 pm

I'd like to go around the room and have everyone chime in on what they think of wrist cock and its role in the golf swing. In other words what does wrist cock mean to you? Along those lines.

Wrist cock is something I've been working hard on ( :heynow) for the better part of the year, striving to understand and have not really ever heard discussed explicitly, as such.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by jasonfish11 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:46 pm

back swing or downswing (lag)?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:19 pm

Set implies backswing but it's a free association. Whatever comes to mind.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by DougE » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:45 pm

The early wrist set I was working on early in the season is no longer as obvious in my swing as it was then because it has been melded into my swing very nicely, without having to early set anymore. Now, while setting I think more about supinating the left wrist so at the top it is either straight or slightly supinated, which seems to give me great power through the ball and, 95 times out of 100, a slight draw. This, combined with a much smoother tempo has positively affected my overall ballstiking quality by leaps and bounds. My distance with every club in my bag has increased some, with at least 20 yards extra from my driver. I went from playing the white tees comfortably in 2016, but struggling with the longer distance of the blue tees, to having no issues with the blue tees in 2017. Once the temps got a bit warm this past spring I started playing the blue tees and I am still playing the blue tees virtually every round. Even today in the wind, I never once felt like the blue tees were making it too difficult for my game. I feel I owe it all to my changes in wrist set and my better tempo throughout the swing, particularly from transition through the ball to a complete finish.

I ended the 2016 season playing well, with a 7.9 index, in large part due to a pretty good short game. Out of season, the superintendent decided to let the tee boxes heal, so he put the white tees up a box and the blue tees back on the black box for the winter. So I played short white tees all last winter. Once posting season started here, I went back to playing the normal distance white tees. I never expected I would be able to keep my index that low, once the tees were moved back to the normal white position. But, after making, first, a wrist set change, and then adding the supination, I started hitting the ball a lot better. Feeling confident, I moved further back to the blue tees in June and not only have I not looked back, but I got my handicap even lower. Got as low at 7.1, but closed the season at 7.5.

I'm over 60 years old and hitting the ball better than I ever have. I don't know how long I can keep it up, but I do know it feels great and it all started when I started focusing on an early wrist set back in the spring, eventually leading to supination, and then finally adding the best tempo I have ever used over the last few months. And, frankly, as an added benefit, it seems to have taken some of the strain off my two bad shoulders. I haven't iced after a round more than a handful of times in the last few months, whereas I was icing after every single round last year and earlier this year. And I have played more this year than any other year in my golfing history. I'm at 192 rounds as of today in 2017.

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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:11 pm

That's all great Doug. Your experience affirms my suspicion that the wrist hinge is an extremely crucial phase of the swing!!!

How do you practice it?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by DougE » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:02 pm

I don't really have to practice it much these days. It is pretty much a natural part of my swing now. I just try to start straight back keeping my hands low with the clubhead outside my hands as far back as possible, primarily using my shoulders to make the turn. I make a very pronounced wrist set fairly early going back, while at the same time supinating the left wrist. I no longer have to think about the early set, but supination is still a conscious effort. Until I started supination of my left wrist (which I try to induce at the set), I never felt like I had good power in my swing at any time in my golfing career. Now I do. Wish I tried this 15 years ago. I should have paid better attention in Ben Hogan's 5 Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. He clearly talks about it in there, though primarily at impact. For me, if I'm flat or supinated at the top, I am much more likely to be supinated at impact.

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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by bryan k » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:14 pm

I like what Doug has to say.

I know I commented in depth on this on your last forum post, but I think it really does bear to be repeated as often as possible.

When I stopped playing, wrist hinge was the primary thing I was working on. I still remember my last golf lesson where the instructor tried to drill muscle memory into my wrists. The key is mostly at the top of the swing. The problem is, it's almost impossible to turn one's head around to look at one's wrist at the top of the swing. Therefore, he taught me the early wrist set drill. He said that there would likely be a temporary loss of distance, but the goal was to get the wrist hinged properly at 90* so that I would eventually learn what it was supposed to feel like at the top of my swing. Eventually, just as Doug stated, I would begin to incorporate it into my swing, and the 90* position would become less important.

The problem is that if my wrists are not properly hinged, I develop a tendency to pronate my wrists at release instead of supinating them. The result on a well struck ball tends to be an ugly looking shot that *feels* good but just stops rising. I also lose control of my ability to control my fade/slice when I'm pronating. My golf instructor tells me that this is something that almost every amateur goes through at some point. I decided that it was the most important part of my game pretty quickly into trying to correct it.

Boy did I struggle with it.

The other thing that my instructor told me was that there are some other small things that he could work on with my swing, but those are considered tweaks. The wrist hinge, he told me, was a fatal flaw that needed to be corrected before moving to the next step. In fact, he told me that correcting the wrist hinge should knock about 10 strokes off of my handicap, and he was right. I was close to 20 when I started, and I was around 12 when I recorded my last round. I played about 20 non-recorded rounds after that, and they were all good rounds, so I suspect that I was probably around a 10 when I stopped playing.

After this was brought to my attention, pretty much all of my rounds went the same way. I would hit my first 2-3 drives perfectly. I would then have 2-3 that would hook because I wasn't hinging my wrists enough. Then, I would overcorrect and have 2-3 that would slice because I was hinging my wrists too much. I would typically correct it early in the back nine, and I developed a tendency to finish strong (much to the chagrin of many of my playing partners).

The last summer I played, I accomplished pretty much every golf goal that I have ever set for myself, many of which I thought were completely unattainable, and I attribute that largely to finally learning to understand the wrist hinge and how to adapt on the fly to be able to correct issues that would present themselves on the course.

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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by DougE » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:12 am

Just noticed, Golf Magazine has a 2 page spread this month focusing on proper wrist set, primarily speaking about flat vs. pronated.

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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:08 pm

The whole supinate/pronate discussion still confuses me. More on that later perhaps.

I am inclined these days to believe that the wrist hinge is THE core, the essence of the swing. Whatever happens post-hinge is primarily a storing up of additional power. The hinge/unhinge takes the club through the so-called impact zone and I think we could all agree that this impact zone is pretty dang important.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:12 pm

Supine means lying on one's back, and prone means face down.

Supinated wrist means palm is pointing upward towards sky right?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:13 pm

And are these terms interchangeable with "bowed/cupped"?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by jasonfish11 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:22 pm

So I don't have any indication of "significance" of the wrist hinge. But here is my thoughts.

1) Everything physical you attempt to do in your swing should be done before the downswing. The downswing MUST just be a reaction to everything you've already done. All problems with a swing come before the downswing. So if you are talking about "holding the lag" in your wrists or something downswing related, stop it. The reason you are casting is caused by something earlier, the casting isn't the root cause. It's the effect.

2) I haven't really "worked" on wrist set. But I have worked on keeping the club face closed longer, which to me feels like keeping my right palm facing the ground as long as possible. I notice that one effect of this is my wrists set earlier than they did before. I know I'm hitting the ball a lot better with the thought of trail palm facing the ground as long as possible. Is it because it's resulting in earlier wrist hinge, or is it a result of the fact the club face is closed longer, or something else? I don't know for sure. All I know is it is an improvement.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by DougE » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:25 pm

legitimatebeef wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:13 pm
And are these terms interchangeable with "bowed/cupped"?
Yes, bowed = supinated. Cupped = pronated. Coming thru the impact zone, the last thing you want is a cupped wrist. A supinated wrist at impact could result in a hook if you're not careful, but the power you gain over a cupped wrist is huge. Ideally you want a flat wrist at impact, also a power position and less likely, IMO, to result in a hook or a slice.. Everyone is different, but no one wants a cupped wrist at impact. There is no power in it and losing balls right would be expected.

I supinate the wrist at the top as an exaggeration. I initially had to do this to force myself away from a cupped wrist at the top. Things are now settling in with my swing and for the most part, I seem to be fairly flat at impact. When I supinate too much, I get more draw than I want. But distance is usually much longer than it used to be with a cupped wrist at the top.

Check out pages 74 and 75 in the January edition of Golf Magazine. I tried to find it online, but couldn't. Maybe you can.

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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:59 pm

I see. Bowed makes sense because it seems to describe a position that the wrist is in, whereas supination to me implies orientation. As in to the ground. It is impossible to get the back of your left hand to face the ground at the top of the swing :onfire I like Ben Hogan but I'm thinking maybe he was not so wise when he introduced this particular term into the vernacular of golf. Quite frankly I kind of think it's a little insane to even try to think about what the wrist is doing through impact. IMO that is akin to thinking about where the clubface is during the downswing--too fast. Hogan himself said, don't think about the clubface during the downswing, it's too fast. So what's he going on about supine wrists for? IMO.

So then, this leads me to another question: is bowing the same as or similar to hinging?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by jasonfish11 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:04 pm

legitimatebeef wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:59 pm
So then, this leads me to another question: is bowing the same as or similar to hinging?
No

Bowing/Cupping is the vertical* movement of the hands, and hinging is the horizontal* movement of the hands.

*stick your hands out where your palms are facing the ground. Then rotated your fingers vertically up and down. This is bowing (down) and cupping (up). Now again palms facing ground move your fingers laterally left and right. This is hinge.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:53 am

You guys all sound knowledgeable and assured enough to be certified instructors.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:01 am

jasonfish11 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:04 pm
legitimatebeef wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:59 pm
So then, this leads me to another question: is bowing the same as or similar to hinging?
No

Bowing/Cupping is the vertical* movement of the hands, and hinging is the horizontal* movement of the hands.

*stick your hands out where your palms are facing the ground. Then rotated your fingers vertically up and down. This is bowing (down) and cupping (up). Now again palms facing ground move your fingers laterally left and right. This is hinge.
Are these the medical/anatomical terms for the movements of the wrist? Anyways when I refer to "hinge" I mean as it pertains to the backswing. So maybe I am not using the terms correctly, or am incorrectly synonymizing "hinge" with "cock" and "set". What I am talking about is the first phase of the backswing, which as far as I know it blends both vertical and horizontal hand/wrist movements. Perhaps this movement, or phase of the swing needs its own distinct nomenclature.

Which leads to another question. How much vertical and how much horizontal? What is the optimal blend?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:04 am

Maybe I need to start thinking in terms of the positions model of the swing, P1-P10 or whatever.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by jasonfish11 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:15 am

legitimatebeef wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:01 am

Which leads to another question. How much vertical and how much horizontal? What is the optimal blend?
Now this is a real tough question. I'm not sure there is any right answer. I think that can't be answered in isolation.

I mean there are plenty of great players that have a minimal wrist hinge (Stricker) and plenty that have a ton of hinge (Sergio).
There are great players who have a bowed wrist (DJ) and great players who have a slightly cupped wrist (Faldo).


There are too many things going on in each person's swing to definitively state "you should have X degrees of cupping/bowing, and you should have X degrees of wrist set when arms are parallel to the ground."
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by jasonfish11 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:22 am

legitimatebeef wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:01 am


Are these the medical/anatomical terms for the movements of the wrist? Anyways when I refer to "hinge" I mean as it pertains to the backswing. So maybe I am not using the terms correctly, or am incorrectly synonymizing "hinge" with "cock" and "set". What I am talking about is the first phase of the backswing, which as far as I know it blends both vertical and horizontal hand/wrist movements. Perhaps this movement, or phase of the swing needs its own distinct nomenclature.

So I think from setup to arms parallel to the ground most people's wrists do both the vertical and horizontal movement.

Most people set up with a little cupping in their left wrist (unless they have a really weak left hand or a piss ton of shaft lean). This generally becomes less of a cupped position when the arms get to parallel with the ground.

As for the hinge (angle between the lead forearm and shaft) generally this angle gets steeper (more acute) between setup and arms parallel to the ground.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:35 am

Fish, have you ever considered a career in golf instruction?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by jasonfish11 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:50 am

legitimatebeef wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:35 am
Fish, have you ever considered a career in golf instruction?

I would fall into the "those who can do...those who can't teach" category.

But I have read a TON about the golf swing, the bio mechanics around it and I have a pretty good understanding of how things work in space. So I'm able to kind of put those things together to get a general idea of what is happening with your body and how that transfers to the club head.

What I lack is I am often missing the root cause. Example I'll see something that is wrong, and try to fix it but it was the effect of something that was wrong earlier in the swing not the cause of my problem. Not really a good trait for a coach, and it usually results in getting worse not better.

But if you want to talk and dissect golf swing theory and body movements. I'm here for you.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:01 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:50 am
What I lack is I am often missing the root cause. Example I'll see something that is wrong, and try to fix it but it was the effect of something that was wrong earlier in the swing not the cause of my problem. Not really a good trait for a coach, and it usually results in getting worse not better.
Pfft, why should any of that stop you?
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by legitimatebeef » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:02 pm

I am only half-joking of course.
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Re: The significance of wrist hinge/set/cock

Post by bryan k » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:49 pm

Pronate and Supinate refer to the direction your wrist is rotating as it travels through the impact zone.

Ben Hogan does an excellent job explaining it in his book.

If you are properly supinating, it means that the club head is rotating counter-clockwise through the impact zone from the vantage point of a right-handed golfer.

If you are pronating, it means that your club-head is rotating the opposite direction (clockwise) that it needs to rotate. Golfers who pronate tend to have either very little pop off of the club face, or they have to adapt their swing in other ways in a (futile) attempt to try to get the club-head square at impact.

I thought I understood it when I read Hogan's book several years ago, but it took a golf instructor breaking down my swing to show me that I was actually pronating when I thought I was supinating. The cause of my pronating was that I was hinging my wrist too much, and that caused the cupped wrist that typically leads to pronation.

Now it would have been possible to adapt this over-hinging tendency that I used to have to a properly supinating release, but I found that I couldn't get the club-head back to square by impact. I had to lessen my hinge in order to be able to get the club-head square.

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