Flipping your wrists through the impact area in your golf swing produces inconsistent contact and leads to fat shots, thin shots and high, weak hits. Essentially, flipping means your lead wrist -- the left wrist for right-handed golfers -- breaks down, allowing the clubhead to pass your hands before impact. When that happens, you lose clubhead speed and control of the clubface. To improve your contact, you can practice drills that will straighten out your wrists at impact.
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The wrist flip often occurs because your body stops rotating on the downswing, and your wrists take over. You can improve your body rotation with a chipping drill. Take an iron and grip down on the club so both hands are about half way down the shaft. The grip end of your club will point outside your front hip. Swing your arms back. As you swing forward, turn your hips and lower body toward the target, keeping the handle in front of your lead hip. If you flip your wrists, the handle will hit you in the side. This drill will teach you the feeling of a flat lead wrist and show you the importance of downswing rotation.
Georgia-based golf instructor Tom Ness, writing for "Golf Digest," recommends a drill that will teach you the feeling of pulling the clubhead through the impact area. Wrap a wet towel around a clubhead and make some slow swings. Ness says moving the heavy towel will encourage you to drag the clubhead into the ball instead of flipping it at the ball. It may feel natural to use your wrists for speed, Ness says, but dragging adds more force at impact.
Preset Impact Drill
Most good players retain at least a little wrist hinge at impact. In golf terms, it is called a “late hit,” and creates the opposite feeling of flipping your wrists. To learn the late hit, practice setting your wrists gradually, so they are fully hinged when your lead arm is parallel to the ground. Swinging down, feel like the butt of the club points at the ball until just before impact. As a drill, make practice swings starting in the proper impact position. Shift your weight to your front foot, open your hips and push your hands ahead of the ball. Swing back slowly and swing through trying to return the club to the impact position your initially created.
Brad Brewer, a Florida-based golf instructor, uses a pump drill to teach golfers how to get the club to impact properly. To perform the drill, swing back to the top of the backswing and start down slowly by pulling with your lead hand and dropping your back elbow into your hip. Keep your wrists fully hinged as you do this. Stop your halfway down and swing back to the top. Pump the club up and down again before swinging through to a full finish position. This drill will teach you to keep the proper angles in your wrists throughout the downswing and eliminate any wrist flipping through impact.