Golf Tip – Flat Left Wrist at Takeaway

flat left wrist

Contrary to what a few folks may be teaching, the flat left wrist (for right-handed golfers) is a must. You can bend your wrist (hold hand out straight in front of you and bend fingers towards the sky or the ground) and still hit the ball, but you’re adding another plane to the swing making it that much more difficult to be consistent.

Players that mistakenly bend their wrists as I’ve described above, usually do it during the first 18 inches of their backswing. To correctly initiate the backswing use your torso – think shoulder rotation. Your hands should just be along for the ride. There is a tendency for many golfers to use their hands immediately from their setup position to start the golf club into the backswing and this causes the undesirable wrist break.

There are a lot of drills out there for correcting this problem, such as using popsicle sticks, but the easiest solution is just to focus on the takeaway. You’ll quickly ingrain the feeling of keeping your hands still.

You can keep your left wrist flat and still hinge your wrists for power, but many golfers don’t correctly understand how to do this. If you’re a right-handed golfer, hold your left arm straight out in front of you. Rotate the wrist so the back of your hand faces the target. Now move your thumb so it points to the sky. This is the wrist break you’re after.

If you keep you left wrist flat you’re well on your way to becoming a much more consistent ball striker.

  • Bill

    I had a lot of trouble with breaking my wrists too soon, and this led to my incomplete shoulder turn. Tried a training aid called the SwingPact, and it help a lot….I would recommend it.
    Bill S.

  • The site is if anyone wants to check it out.

  • I used to break my wrists too soon and it resulted in the backswing started too much on the inside.

    I have worked on this since and keeping the left wrist flat has really helped.


  • I have believed for a long time in the sanctity of the flat left wrist, UNTIL I got my hands on a book about Hogan’s golf swing by Tom Bertrand. Hogan used a different technique so I’m going to have to chew on that for awhile. It’s hard to argue with perhaps the greatest ball striker ever. Stay tuned as I will review this book shortly.

  • Eric

    Whether Hogan had a slight cup or not is immaterial. What matters is what you do at address versus what you do at impact. Hogan lined up his clubhead square ( who wouldn’t ?) and maintained his angles. It’s easiest to do it by starting with a flat wrist and finishing with a flat wrist but starting cupped and finishing cupped also works

  • Eric, you’ve hit upon one of the great principles of golf – there’s more than one way to hit a golf ball and get good results! Somehow it comes down to what’s happening at the point of impact, but that’s not to say that all the golfer’s focus should be there. How do I say this without appearing to have lost my marbles; impact is a good measuring point, but creating good impact requires focus both before and after to make it happen!