Use the Ping Pong Paddle Drill to improve your impact position with proper wrist movement

By Josh McKinley

“It’s all in the wrists.”

A common saying in sports, for sure. When it comes to a good golf swing, though, a lot of it is.

Quite often, golfers who struggle with poor contact and offline shots experience this due to their wrists acting in a nearly polar opposite manner as the best players in the world.

These less-skilled players tend to improperly “release” their hands throughout the downswing by hitting the ball with their trail wrist turned over (flexed) and lead wrist cupped (extended) at impact. This is compared to the best players, who instead maintain an extended trail wrist and flexed lead wrist through the strike.

Ping Pong Paddle Drill - good and bad wrist positions
The GolfTEC SwingTRU Motion study found correlations between different body positions and handicap level. In terms of the wrists at impact, the professional’s position (left) allows for a flexed lead wrist and extended trail wrist, compared to the less-skilled golfer (right) who has an extended lead wrist and flexed trail wrist.

The difference in the two motions, among other positive benefits created to yield solid contact and on-target shots, is a key component leading to that piercing, push-draw ball fight the best players in the world often demonstrate with ease.

Wristy Business: A drill for proper wrist movement

Coaches at GolfTEC often create simple visual, auditory or kinesthetic drills to aid the principles we are trying to teach students. One I like to use with those who struggle with wrist positions is the Ping Pong Paddle Drill, which serves as a great visual feedback tool to create proper wrist movement in the downswing.

Take a look at the steps of the Ping Pong Paddle Drill below, as well as useful tips to keep in mind when practicing to ensure that you WILL start hitting the ball better from improved wrist movement in your swing!

The Ping Pong Paddle Drill

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Useful Tips:

1. By maintaining a visual of the red side of the paddle as the shaft reaches parallel to the ground in the downswing, your lead wrist remains flexed and trail wrist extended (characteristics of the best golfers), which effectively helps to close down the clubface in relation to swing path.

Why this is important: If you want to get rid of your slice, this a great place to start! Check out GolfTEC’s practical application of golf ball flight laws covering this topic.

2. By maintaining a visual of the red side of the paddle at impact, your wrists will maintain a similar motion as with the previous position indicated, which helps to position the handle of the club more forward toward the target.

Why this is important: This handle-forward position is a key component to how the best ball strikers get solid, ball-first contact with the low point of their swing occurring ahead of the ball.

Not sure if this tip is right for you? Find a GolfTEC near you and talk to a Coach who can help today!

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