Golf Drills For Senior Golfers All About Wrist Hinge

Hinging your wrists correctly as a senior golfer is one of the most important parts of the golf swing to work on and improve.

Correctly hinging your wrists will improve your swing for several reasons and the biggest one for senior golfers is that it will increase the distance that you can hit the golf ball, as correctly hinging your wrists increases the club head speed that you can generate when swinging your club.

Hinging your wrists correctly will also improve your swing plane, or the angle that you move the club head around you whilst you swing. If you do not correctly hinge your wrist on your backswing, the club head will remain too low to the floor, or flat, during your backswing and this will result in you lifting your arms up during your backswing. The consequence of this will be that you make an over the top movement on your downswing and the club head will move over the top of your hands and to the far side of the target line. To strike the ball from this position, you will now have to pull the club head towards the ball and across the target line, making it very difficult to hit straight shots as these require the club head to move directly along the target line, rather than across it.

This over the top movement will also produce inconsistency with your ball striking as this action will result in the club head approaching the ball too steeply, or vertically and as a result the club head will strike the top of the ball making it difficult to achieve a solid connection between the club head and the ball.

To achieve an improved, correct wrist hinge during your golf swing, work on the following drill. Take up a well balanced address position and hold the club with the correct grip. Your wrist is able to move in two directions. Left to right, or right to left, but also up and down. Keep your hands in their address position and make an upward movement with your wrist so that the club head rises just above your hand height. Now rotate your shoulders to the right (for right handed golfers) so that the shaft of the golf club is parallel to the target line. This is the correct position for the golf club at the end of your takeaway and you have hinged your wrist correctly. Notice the club position and then move the club head back down to the ball. Return the club head back to the same position following your takeaway, this time merging your upper body rotation with your wrist hinge.

You can also work on this wrist hinge by taking up your address position and then making a thumbs up and down action. Keep repeating this thumbs up and down action as you rotate your upper body to the right.

This will set your wrists and your swing plane correctly during your backswing and you will be hitting longer, more accurate and more solid shots before too long.

Golf Drills for Senior Golfers – All About Wrist Hinge

Golf Drills for Senior Golfers – All About Wrist Hinge

In most ways, playing golf as a senior is no different from playing in your younger years. The rules of the game are the same, and the hole is the same size. Sure, you may be playing from shorter tees these days, but that is a minor change in the grand scheme of things. One of the things that makes golf so popular is the fact that you can play the game from the time you are quite young until the time you are quite old. It truly is a game for a lifetime, which is a huge part of its ongoing popularity.

Of course, things do change as you age, which means you will need to adapt your game accordingly if you are going to keep playing at the same level. Mostly, these changes come in physical form. For example, you might not have the same strength you once had, and you might not be quite as flexible, either. To maintain your performance despite these physical losses, you will need to think carefully about how you swing the club.

In this article, we are going to focus on how senior golfers can use an improved wrist hinge to maintain the quality of their swings. As you age, it is inevitable that you are going to lose some of your ability to make a big shoulder turn. Even if you do a good job of keeping yourself physically fit, your body is still going to tighten up and your turn will not be what it once was. By improving the effectiveness of your wrist hinge, you can make up for some of what you are losing in terms of a turn. This wrist hinge action will allow the club to swing along a proper arc, and it will help you develop speed at the moment of impact.

As you get started with this concept, you will find that your swing feels quite a bit different when using more wrist hinge. That is okay – you need to accept the fact that this change is going to take a bit of time. Nothing happens immediately in golf, after all. If you are willing to spend some time at your local driving range working on this new swing method, the results you see should gradually improve after a short period of time. In the end, you will be left with an improved swing which can help you maintain your distance for as long as possible into the future.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Advantages of Using Your Wrists Properly

The Advantages of Using Your Wrists Properly

Using the wrists correctly in the golf swing is not a skill which should be limited to senior golfers. All players can benefit from employing their wrists correctly as they swing the club back and through. Swinging with stiff wrists will make it nearly impossible to move the club through the ball with any kind of speed – even if you do everything else correctly during your swing. By letting your wrists get involved, you can improve both the speed and accuracy of your swing. That is, assuming you use your wrists in the right way (more on that later).

For now, let's talk about a few of the benefits which can be enjoyed when your wrists are put to work in the right way. The points below should provide all the motivation you need to get down to work on this part of the swing.

  • Lengthen your backswing. The distance between the club and the ball at the top of the backswing is going to say a lot about the power you can potentially generate. You will be accelerating the club on the way down into the ball, but you can only accelerate over as much distance as you have created during the backswing. By using your wrists to set the club at the top, you can add length to the arc of your swing, and you will have more distance to use for acceleration as a result. Think about it this way – a car which has just a half mile to accelerate will not be going as fast as a car which has been accelerating for a full mile. Put more distance between the club and the ball at the top of the swing and the end result is almost certain to be more distance.
  • Store up lag for later. In addition to allowing you to make a longer swing, using your wrists properly will let you store up lag in the downswing which can be used up right before impact. Lag refers to the way the club 'lags' behind your hands on the way down. Pro golfers are excellent at this part of the swing, while amateur players tend to struggle on this point. Lag is closely related to the power you can create in your swing, and it will help you to strike the ball more cleanly as well. Later in this article, we will talk more about lag and how you can use it to your advantage as a senior golfer.
  • Deal with poor lies. If you make a swing which largely keeps your wrists out of the action, you may still be able to play decent shots when you have a good lie. The story is going to change, however, when you venture off into the rough. You need to have your wrists involved if you are going to carve the ball out of the rough successfully. As we age, we all lose strength in our hands, and that loss of strength is going to make it tough deal with thick lies. By incorporating the use of your wrists, you can energize the club head and cut through the grass more successfully than you would otherwise. It would still be preferable to find your ball in the fairway, of course, but using your wrists will make it easier to get the ball out of the long grass and back into play.
  • Hit quality short game shots. As you get closer to the green, your wrists can still play an important role in your ability to get the ball close to the hole. A wrist hinge is needed both when chipping and pitching the ball, and it is needed in the bunker as well. In fact, the only area of the short game where a wrist hinge is not going to be helpful is on the putting green. When you have the putter in your hands, your wrists should stay out of the action.

There is a lot for a senior golfer – or any golfer – to gain by using the wrists properly during the golf swing. If you have started to notice that your shots aren't flying quite as far as they used to, or they don't feel as crisp as they once did, you may be losing speed in your swing. Turn that pattern around by improving the way you use your wrists during the swinging motion.

A Simple Drill

A Simple Drill

Hinging your wrists properly in the golf swing is actually an easy task. Once you understand how it should work, you likely won't have any problem repeating it over and over again. Sure, it will take a bit of time to integrate your improved wrist hinge with the rest of your swing technique, but you should see some progress before too long.

For this drill, you are going to need nothing more than a golf club and a place to swing. You won't even be hitting golf balls during this drill, so you may even be able to perform it at home (as long as you have a safe space to swing). When finished, you should understand what it feels like to hinge your wrists correctly, and you can apply that knowledge to your regular swing moving forward. To get started, simply follow the instructions below.

  • While you can technically use any club for this drill, picking a mid-iron is a good place to start. The mid-irons are long enough to have the weight necessary to feel the club during the swing, but not so long and heavy as to make the drill difficult. For most golfers, the seven iron is a perfect club for the job.
  • Before starting the drill, pick out a target in the distance that you can use to orient your stance. It doesn't matter that you aren't going to be hitting any balls with this drill – you still want to have a target in mind to practice your ability to take an accurate stance. With your target picked out, settle into your stance and get ready to make a swing.
  • As you stand in your address position, you should feel relaxed and comfortable. To this point, you won't have don't anything different from what you usually do when hitting a golf shot. That is about to change, however. To start your swing, you are going to hinge your wrists in order to lift the club straight up into the air in front of you. There will be no movement to the right at all – simply hinge your wrists until there is roughly a 90* angle established between your left arm and the shaft of the club. At this point, the only part of your body which has moved should be your wrists – everything else needs to stay perfectly still.
  • With the club hinged up into the air in front of you, it is now time to turn your shoulders away from the target. Turn to your right with the shoulders while keeping your arms quiet and your lower body stable. Keep turning until your body tells you it is time to stop – don't force the rotation any farther than it wants to go naturally.
  • The third moving piece to this drill is to swing the club on up to the top of the backswing. You will have taken an odd path to get up to the top, but you will now be in a normal position. From here, you can swing down and through just as you would normally. Hold your finish while pretending to watch the ball fly through the air.
  • Feel free to repeat this drill as many times as you would like. Not only is it a great way to feel how your wrists can get involved in the golf swing, but it is also a good warmup drill before you start practicing on the range. In fact, you could even use this as a warmup swing on the course when getting ready to hit a shot.

There are basically three phases to this drill which you need to remember. The first is hinging the club up in front of you with your wrists. Next, you will turn away from the target with your shoulders. Finally, are going to swing up to the top and then down through the ball. This three-piece swing is going to help you understand how the wrists can position the club properly. Without the use of your wrists, you would never get into such a good position at the top of the swing, and you would never be able to hit the ball with much authority.

Blending It All Together

Blending It All Together

The drill we outlined above is a great way to learn what it feels like to swing with plenty of wrist hinge. Of course, you aren't going to be able to use the swing created in that drill to actually play the game. On the course, your wrist hinge is going to need to be blended in to the rest of your swinging action. The work of pulling together your current swing with an improved wrist hinge is going to need to be done on the range – and it may take a bit of time.

Ideally, the wrist hinge would take place during the second half of the backswing. Early in the backswing, you want to keep your wrists quiet while the shoulders turn away from the target. As a general rule of thumb, you may want to think about engaging your wrists as soon as the club becomes parallel with the ground going back. This timing is not set in stone by any means – some players like to set the club a bit earlier, and some like to wait until they are almost all the way up to the top of the swing.

When working on your wrist hinge, it is a good idea to monitor the position of your left wrist as the swing develops. You want to avoid putting your left wrist into a cupped position at the top of the swing. While it is technically possible to play good golf from such a position, doing so would require the kind of body rotation in the downswing that you are probably not capable of as a senior player. Instead, by keeping your left wrist flat, you can manage the position of the club face more effectively and you won't need to make such a powerful turn.

The left wrist is usually more likely to become cupped when you hinge your wrists prematurely in the swing. If you notice that you are in this cupped position with the back of your left wrist, work on delaying the wrist hinge slightly in your swing. Holding off that hinging action may be all you need to do to flatten the wrist out and improve your ball striking.

At this time, we are going to get back to the topic of lag, which was mentioned earlier. Assuming you have hinged your wrists correctly, you now have plenty of lag at the top of your swing which is waiting to be used. Sadly, most amateur golfers waste this lag almost immediately when the downswing begins. To keep your lag, and to take advantage of everything that it offers, you need to pull down with the back of your left hand while keeping the right hand out of the picture. If you are able to pull the butt end of the club down toward the ball effectively, your swing will gain tremendous power and your strike will feel cleaner as well.

This point usually goes wrong when the player insists on using his or her right hand too early in the downswing. There is no need to rush – the ball isn't going anywhere. Golf is a game which requires patience, and that even applies within the swing itself. Teach yourself to have the patience necessary to wait until the last possible moment to unleash your lag by firing the right hand through the shot. Using lag correctly is the best way you can take advantage of the wrist hinge you are now featuring in your swing.

Wrist Hinge in the Short Game

Wrist Hinge in the Short Game

The short game is important for players of all ages, but it might be even more important for older golfers. After all, you have probably lost a few yards off your drives, and you may not hit the ball as high as you used to. That means you won't' be able to attack par fives aggressively in two shots, and you probably won't be driving any short par fours. To make up for the lack of power your game may feature, improving your short game is a natural choice.

How can wrist hinge help you perform well around the greens? Please take a moment to check out the following list.

  • Setting your wrists for proper chip shots. To chip the ball properly – that is, to hit down on it through impact in order to create spin and get the ball off the ground – you are going to want to hinge your wrists. Many golfers have had their short games ruined by the advice that you should 'chip using your putting stroke'. That is bad advice. Sure, it can work okay when chipping from a clean lie, but even then you are going to be limited in the kinds of shots you can create. Hinge your wrists almost immediately when you start your chipping action and you will establish an excellent angle from which to hit down through the shot.
  • Create speed for bunker shots. You need to develop a lot of speed in order to hit a proper greenside bunker shot. Not only do you need to swing through the ball, but you are going to have to swing through a significant amount of sand as well. That simply won't be possible if you don't energize the swing with a healthy wrist hinge. In many ways, the wrist hinge you use in a greenside bunker is the same as the one you use with a full swing. However, you are going to go ahead and use up your lag a little bit earlier in the downswing in order to thump the club head into the sand properly.
  • Hit a spinning pitch shot. Have you ever seen professional golfers hit that pitch shot which flies low to the ground, bounces once or twice, and then stops cold? You can do it too. By setting your wrists during the pitch swing and then holding that angle all the way through impact, you can hit a shot which flies low and has tons of spin. Of course, you have to make perfect contact in order to pull this one off, so be sure to give it plenty of practice first.

Golf is a great game for seniors for a number of reasons. No matter what it is that keeps calling you back out onto the course, you certainly want to do your best to play at a high level for as long as possible. By using your wrists effectively, you should be able to do just that. We hope that the tips offered throughout this article will help you keep enjoying your game for years to come. Good luck!