Perils of the golfer: wrists are too flexible

On the course recently I met a man built like a heavyweight boxer who much of the time hit the ball only about 80 yards. He bemoaned the fact, as he called it , that he didn't have flexible wrists.

As I watched I thought, ''Your trouble, my friend, is that your wrists are much too flexible.'' I ask you now to consider your own wrists. Hold your left hand out in front of you. The wrist, you will find, will allow your hand to move up and down (cocking and uncocking) independently of the forearm. It will allow the hand to flap or bend backward or forward. But it won't let you rotate your hand independently of the forearm.

The same is true of course of your right wrist.

In golf we want the wrists to cock and uncock. We want to rotate the forearm. But we do not want the left wrist to bend back (so that the hand goes forward ahead of the wrist). The left wrist must remain firm and flat.

The right wrist however does bend. It bends backward on the backswing and supports the clubshaft ''at the top.'' And this is where the danger of ''flexible wrists'' lies. For the right wrist can very easily lose this bend on the downswing and force the left wrist to bend back.


This is vital. And that's why I urge readers to consider their wristwork right now, first of all without a club.

Accustom yourself to the correct motions and also to the feel of that single wrong one. Note it. And mentally discard it. Stick to the right.

* The left wrist should cock and uncock, usually without the player thinking about it.

* The left forearm can rotate.

* The left wrist stays firm and flat as one swings ''through the ball.''

The right wrist meanwhile can cock and bend back but must not straighten fully until well into the follow-through.

My heavyweight friend was unaware of this. Hence his difficulties. If he accustoms himself to the right wrist actions, however, he will soon begin to hit the ball the proverbial mile.

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