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Achieving the Proper Golf Bowed Wrist

Achieving the proper golf bowed wrist is essential in maintaining a consistent and accurate swing. To achieve this, it is important to rotate the lead wrist during the takeaway and top of the backswing, ensuring it is in a neutral position at the top. A skilled coach can help in developing this technique, as they can provide guidance on how to properly close the clubface and maintain the bowed left wrist position at impact.

In the downswing, it is crucial to maintain the bowed left wrist to prevent the club from opening and creating a hook. A proper wrist at the top of the backswing will allow for a more powerful and controlled downswing, resulting in improved precision and distance.

Overall, mastering the bowed left wrist position is crucial to achieving consistent and accurate golf shots. 

What is a Bowed Wrist?

A bowed wrist refers to excessive bending or flexing of the wrist joint during the golf swing. Ideally, the wrist should remain relatively stable and flattened during the backswing, downswing, and follow through. A bowed wrist occurs when the golfer allows their wrist to overly flex backwards away from the forearm, forming an angle at the joint instead of maintaining a straight line.

There are a few key times during the golf swing when a bowed wrist may occur. On the backswing, the golfer may allow their wrist to hinge too early or too deeply, bowing the wrist backwards. Then, on the downswing and through impact, the bowed wrist can cause manipulation of the clubface resulting in unpredictable shot shapes and loss of power.

Wrists in the Golf Swing Explained

In the game of golf, the position of the wrists plays a crucial role in determining the success of a player’s swing. Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson are just two examples of professional golfers who have mastered the art of manipulating their wrists to achieve optimal results. Understanding the various wrist positions, such as the bowed wrist at the top, flat wrist, and cupped wrist, is essential for any golfer looking to improve their game.

A proper wrist angle can be achieved by practicing the correct wrist rotation during the swing. Working with a coach to learn and perfect this technique through specific drills can greatly enhance one’s performance on the course. Additionally, the ability to close the clubface with the wrists can significantly impact the ball’s trajectory and overall distance.

Therefore, mastering the intricacies of the wrist in golf is essential for anyone seeking to improve their game. 

Causes of a Bowed Wrist

There are several common swing flaws or misunderstandings that can lead to problems with excess wrist bowing during the golf swing.

  • Overarching on the backswing – Standing up or swaying away from the ball during the backswing can make it more likely to over-hinge the wrist as it attempts to reach an exaggerated position.
  • Too little wrist hinge – If the golfer does not allow enough hinge in their wrists on the backswing, they may try to generate it suddenly on the downswing, resulting in inconsistent bowing.
  • Poor posture and grip – If the golfer’s setup, including grip, alignment, and flex in the knees is off, it disrupts the entire motion making a bowed wrist more likely.
  • Misconceptions about “flicking” the wrists – Some golfers mistakenly believe you need to aggressively hinge the wrists through impact. This misconception causes over-bowing coming into and through the golf ball.

Implications of a Bowed Wrist in Golf

Allowing the wrist to bow excessively during the golf swing can have a range of detrimental effects on shot consistency, power, and control.

The bowed wrist position leads to an open clubface through impact, causing slices, pulls, and unpredictable shot patterns. Bowed wrists also inhibit the proper use of the body and arms to generate clubhead speed for distance. It also makes squaring the clubface to the target more difficult.

Additionally, over-bowing puts increased, uneven pressure on the wrist joint and nearby tendons. Over time, it can contribute to injury. For senior golfers, it also accentuates age-related loss of flexibility and wrist strength.

Achieving the Correct Wrist Position

There are a series of adjustments golfers can make to achieve a flattened, relatively stable wrist position through the golf swing to maximize consistency and power.

Setup for Success

  • Use a light, relaxed grip – Avoid white-knuckle tension which inhibits wrist motion.
  • Establish proper posture and alignment – Flex knees and tilt to allow arms to hang, align feet, shoulders and hips parallel to target line.
  • Position the golf ball correctly – Play the ball slightly forward to encourage shoulder turn rather than wrist over-hinge on the backswing.

Disciplined Backswing

  • Maintain the triangle formed between forearm and club – Keep the wrists flat and do not break down the angle between the golf club shaft and lead forearm pointing back towards the body.
  • Hinge slowly, staying wide – Allow the club to hinge naturally by turning back keeping lead arm connected to chest rather than pulling hands in towards body excessively on takeaway

Control Through Impact

  • Let big muscles lead the motion – Unhinge wrists slowly powered by coil and turn rather than “flicking” aggressively.
  • Transfer weight to lead side – This allows the body to pull the arms and club through contact for consistency.
  • Allow lead arm to straighten out naturally – Let the lead arm extend, avoiding manipulation with the wrists.


How do you fix a bowed wrist in golf?

To fix a bowed wrist, focus on lightening your grip pressure, maintaining your posture through the swing, hinging your wrists slowly on the backswing, and allowing your arms to fully extend at impact rather than flipping aggressively with your wrists.

What does bowing your wrist mean in golf?

Bowing your wrist refers to allowing excessive bending or flexing of the wrist joint during the golf swing, which leads to manipulation of the clubface and inconsistent contact.

How do I keep my wrist flat in golf swing?

You can keep your wrists flat by not over-hinging on the backswing, maintaining the triangle of arms connected to your chest, transferring your weight fully to lead side, and allowing the bigger muscles and hips to pull your arms and club through the ball.


Proper wrist position in the golf swing requires discipline, coordination, and an understanding of proper technique. By keeping wrists flat, maintaining angles, and putting the body in control of the motion, golfers can achieve consistency in both power and accuracy.

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