Day 12: The Role of Wrist Angles in Shaft Lean

July 10, 20247 min read

Wrist Angles Matter | How Wrist Position Affects Shaft Lean

As a professional golf coach with over 25 years of experience, I've seen firsthand how crucial wrist angles are in achieving proper shaft lean and improving overall golf performance. Hi my name is, as my students call me, coach Erik Schjolberg. At my academy, EJS Golf in Scottsdale, AZ at McCormick Ranch G. C., I emphasize the importance of understanding and mastering wrist angles to my students. Let's dive into this critical aspect of the golf swing and how it affects your game.

lead wrist angle at top of backswing golf

The Importance of Wrist Angles in Golf

In my years of coaching at [EJS Golf](https://ejsgolf.com), I've found that wrist angles play a pivotal role in controlling the clubface and achieving consistent, powerful shots. The position of your wrists throughout the swing directly impacts your ability to maintain proper shaft lean, which is essential for solid ball striking and optimal energy transfer.

Understanding Wrist Movements

I teach my students at EJS Golf Academy that there are three primary ways the wrists move during a golf swing:

1. Extension/Flexion

2. Radial Deviation/Ulnar Deviation

3. Pronation/Supination

Of these, I've found that flexion and extension are the most critical for controlling the clubface and hitting straighter shots. The wrist position changes throughout the swing, so it's crucial to have the correct angles at setup and at the top of the backswing to set yourself up for a square and solid impact.

4 images of lead wrist angle at p4 golf

How Wrist Angles Affect Shaft Lean

In my Scottsdale golf lessons, I always stress that proper wrist angles are essential for maintaining the correct shaft lean through impact. When your wrists are in the right position, it allows you to deliver the clubhead to the ball with the hands leading, creating the forward shaft lean that's characteristic of a good golf swing.

The Role of the Lead Wrist

The lead wrist (left wrist for right-handed golfers) is particularly important in controlling shaft lean. I teach my students at [EJS Golf](https://ejsgolf.com) that a slightly flexed lead wrist at impact helps ensure optimal energy transfer and clubface control. This position allows you to compress the ball effectively and achieve consistent ball flight.

Lead Wrist Angle at the Top of the Swing

At the top of the backswing, the lead wrist angle is crucial for setting up a powerful and consistent downswing. In my experience at [EJS Golf Academy](https://ejsgolf.com), I've found that a slightly cupped (extended) lead wrist at the top can help create more lag and power in the downswing. However, it's essential to transition this position into a flat or slightly bowed (flexed) position as you approach impact. This transition helps maintain the proper shaft lean and ensures solid contact with the ball.

Common Wrist Angle Mistakes

In my [online golf lessons](https://ejsgolf.com/online-lessons), I often see golfers struggle with wrist angles, which can lead to various swing issues. Some common mistakes include:

1. Excessive cupping of the lead wrist

2. Early extension or "flipping" of the wrists through impact

3. Insufficient hinge in the backswing

4. Over-rotation of the clubface due to improper wrist angles

These errors can result in a loss of power, inconsistent ball striking, and difficulty controlling shot shape and trajectory.

Hogan wrist angles

Grip and Wrist Angle Matchups

The relationship between your grip and wrist angles is crucial for achieving consistent and powerful shots. At [EJS Golf](https://ejsgolf.com), I emphasize the importance of matching your grip style with the appropriate wrist angles throughout the swing.

For instance, if you have a strong grip (hands rotated more to the right on the club for right-handed golfers), you'll typically need to maintain a more cupped, extended to some degree, lead wrist through impact. This combination helps prevent the club face from closing too quickly and promotes a more neutral ball flight.

Conversely, if you have a weaker grip (hands rotated more to the left), you might benefit from a more bowed lead wrist at impact. This pairing can help square the club face and prevent a slice.

It's important to note that there's no one-size-fits-all approach. In my Scottsdale golf lessons, I work with each student individually to find the grip and wrist angle combination that works best for their unique swing characteristics.

Improving Your Wrist Angles for Better Shaft Lean

To enhance your wrist angles and achieve better shaft lean, I recommend incorporating these drills and techniques into your practice routine:

1. The Impact Bag Drill

This drill helps reinforce proper wrist positions at impact:

1. Set up an impact bag or a similar soft target.

2. Practice hitting the bag while focusing on maintaining a slightly flexed lead wrist.

3. Ensure your hands are leading the clubhead through impact.

2. The Pump Drill

This drill helps you develop the correct wrist hinge:

1. Take your setup position.

2. Start your backswing, pausing when your hands reach waist height.

3. Check that your wrists are hinged properly, with the club shaft pointing towards the target.

4. Pump the club up and down a few times, maintaining this position.

5. Gradually increase the length of your backswing, always pausing to check your wrist angles.

3. The Mirror Drill

Use a mirror to provide visual feedback on your wrist positions:

1. Set up a mirror so you can see your swing in profile.

2. Practice your backswing and downswing, focusing on your wrist angles.

3. Check that your lead wrist remains slightly flexed through impact.

4. The Alignment Stick Drill

This drill helps you feel the correct wrist hinge and club position:

1. Place an alignment stick in the ground at a 45-degree angle, pointing towards your target.

2. Take your setup with the club head just behind the stick.

3. Practice your takeaway, ensuring the club head stays below the stick.

4. This encourages proper wrist hinge without excessive rotation.

The Science Behind Wrist Angles and Shaft Lean

As a coach who stays up-to-date with the latest research, I can tell you that studies in golf biomechanics support the importance of proper wrist angles. Dr. Sasho MacKenzie, a leading golf biomechanics researcher, has found that the lead wrist position at impact significantly influences clubhead speed and face angle control.

Moreover, studies have shown that maintaining the correct wrist angles through impact helps create the desired shaft lean, leading to more consistent ball striking and improved distance control.

Conclusion

Mastering wrist angles is a crucial step in improving your golf swing and achieving better shaft lean. By understanding the biomechanics involved and practicing the drills outlined above, you can make significant strides in your game.

Remember, every golfer is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. That's why I always recommend personalized instruction to address your specific needs and swing characteristics. If you're looking to take your game to the next level, consider booking a lesson at my academy, [EJS Golf](https://ejsgolf.com) in Scottsdale, AZ. You can find more information about [Scottsdale Golf Lessons](https://ejsgolf.com/scottsdale-lessons) on my website.

For those unable to visit in person, I also offer [Online Golf Lessons](https://ejsgolf.com/online-lessons). These lessons allow me to analyze your swing and provide tailored advice to improve your wrist angles and overall technique.

Remember, consistent practice and proper guidance are key to improving your wrist angles and achieving better shaft lean. With dedication and the right approach, you'll see significant improvements in your ball striking and overall game performance.

To learn more about my teaching philosophy and background, visit [my about page](https://ejsgolf.com/about). I'm committed to helping every golfer improve from their very first lesson, and I guarantee results as long as you're willing to commit to my feedback-driven approach to practice. Why? I know from years of experience that this is the way to learn the fastest.

You can also find more information about my coaching philosophy and experience on [SwingYard](https://swingyard.com/about-us/erik-schjolberg/).

Ready to transform your golf game by mastering your wrist angles and improving your shaft lean? Take the first step towards better golf today:

1. Book a [Scottsdale golf lesson](https://ejsgolf.com/scottsdale-lessons) with me at EJS Golf Academy.

2. Sign up for [online golf lessons](https://ejsgolf.com/online-lessons) if you're not in the Scottsdale area.

3. Visit [EJS Golf](https://ejsgolf.com) to learn more about my teaching methods and philosophy.

Don't let improper wrist angles hold back your golf game any longer. Contact me today, and let's work together to unlock your full potential on the golf course!

Coach Erik Schjolberg

EJS Golf Academy

Skool Golf Community

Scottdale Golf Lessons

Online Golf lessons

Get my Free Practice Guide Today!


Are you lost at times on the golf course or the driving range and just don’t know how to correct your slice, hitting it fat, topping the ball, etc.?  What if you had a plan, maybe even on a notecard in your golf bag as many of my student do, that is your simple blueprint towards your desired shot?  This isn’t a pie in the sky dream.  These are the tools I want to give you so that your athletic ability, mobility, strength, etc. are working as one for you!  
 
I will liberate you from those thoughts of where your body parts should be during the golf swing.  In turn, you will give yourself the chance to self organize and focus on either some external cue I will develop with you or just being in the flow state. In my system you will no longer be subject to golf myths, swing tips of the day, guessing, etc.  ​

Coach Erik Schjolberrg

Are you lost at times on the golf course or the driving range and just don’t know how to correct your slice, hitting it fat, topping the ball, etc.? What if you had a plan, maybe even on a notecard in your golf bag as many of my student do, that is your simple blueprint towards your desired shot? This isn’t a pie in the sky dream. These are the tools I want to give you so that your athletic ability, mobility, strength, etc. are working as one for you! I will liberate you from those thoughts of where your body parts should be during the golf swing. In turn, you will give yourself the chance to self organize and focus on either some external cue I will develop with you or just being in the flow state. In my system you will no longer be subject to golf myths, swing tips of the day, guessing, etc. ​

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