Tricks to Swing with a Flat Leading Wrist

In our last blog we recommended slowing down your backswing to allow more time for the weight shift during your transition. We are actually trying to achieve a number of movements during our back swing but you may not realize this. All of the movements seem to melt into one consistent motion. If you miss one key element in your backswing you will destroy the downswing and your perfect impact.

I noticed that the top golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson, starts his takeaway by bending his trailing wrist back to flatten his leading wrist. Bryson DeChambeau sets up with a very rigid straight leading arm and flat leading wrist which points down along the shaft of his club directly out from his leading foot. No other professional golfer setup with this rigid leading arm setup. It actually makes him look like a stiff robot but the power he generates is even greater than Dustin’s so it must be helping.

Dustin ends up bowing his leading wrist at the top of his backswing and adding more angles that need to be adjusted in his downswing. An even worse situation is that many recreational golfers cup their wrists.
Bryson keeps his leading wrist flat at the top of his swing and just unloads his straight arm down and through his ball whipping the head of his club through the ball with the explosive force of a catapult. We all need to learn from his powerful swing.

Hank Haney used these images in Golf Digest to illustrate a flat leading wrist to eliminate angles. Images to the right show cupped and bowed wrists which should be avoided.

1/ FLAT LEADING WRIST: Setting up with a rigid straight leading arm and wrist (like Bryson) is obviously not anyone’s preference (as no one else is doing it on the pro circuit). Why not setup with a straight leading arm, then flatten your leading wrist as the first move in your takeaway, the way Dustin does it.
2/ ADD RHYTHM TO YOUR SWING: Slow down you take-away to give yourself time to flatten your leading wrist and then cock that wrist to create lag at the top of you swing. That slower take-away also give you time to put some rhythm in your backswing as you transfer your weight to your leading foot. To slow down my takeaway I often mentally say: “1 aaand 2” with the rhythm of a 2-Step.
“1” to start my take-away as I flatten my leading wrist
“aaand” as I load up my back-swing with lag and start to shift my weight to my leading leg
“2” to start my downswing. I shallow my downswing from the inside and up my target line to a balanced pose.

Now that I have slowed down my backswing I have added about 10 yards for every club. I love the extra distance but it requires some adjustment to drop down a club for each distance. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight and also to keep your leading wrist flat. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #44: The lowest numbered iron in your bag will always be impossible to hit.


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>