To Hinge or Not to Hinge

I always knew that an active wrist hinge (traditional golf instruction), changed the club face and was not repeatable. This wrist hinge was only done in preparation to throw the club head at the ball for power. Well, you may get a little power from it, but for every action there is an opposite reaction… so essentially… hinge on the backswing, leads to a flip on the downswing. The chances of timing this into a solid, straight golf shot are very small. Plus, when every thing is hinging at the wrists, the radius of the swing is cut in half (the length is only from the wrists, to the club head.

So as my method progressed, I wanted to have a full radius at impact (the front arm in line with the shaft leading the club head), AND use the body rotating as the source of power. I could see this in all other athletic movements (like throwing a ball).

For many years, I taught “passive hands” and “constant grip pressure”. Some of my earlier teaching mentions, the wrists passively hinge and unhinge on their own. This was in hopes that we could remove the inconsistencies of active hinging and active unhinging. These thoughts of passive hands and constant grip pressure, did help improve consistency.

As time passed, many of my students still had the urge to throw the club head and had trouble trying to stop flipping. It then dawned on me that since we want a straight line of the front arm and club shaft at impact, we could setup that way to begin with… then maintain that setup shape using the shoulders only to carry the arms/club to the top of the backswing (Steve Stricker look)… and since there was no change in the wrists, there would be no urge to have to flip to return the shaft in line with the front arm or square the club face back at impact. We could just use the body to unwind, bringing the arms/club back down in front of the body and around to the left (right hander).

Using this concept, I realized we can setup with the shaft in line with the front arm, elbows close together and SET THE WRISTS* (just how we want them back at impact)… then we just maintain that shape (hold the wrists in that shape and pinch the elbows), then use the shoulders only for the backswing. This winds the Large back muscles for a ton of power potential… then we just use the body to unwind.

* Experiment with the amount of grip pressure. Squeeze and hold pretty tight the entire swing and just use your turn to trap the ball…you should hit a nice solid shot via your body rotation not hands.

20 thoughts on “To Hinge or Not to Hinge”

  1. Ross, As I look at your videos in slow motion it looks like you hinge your wrists to close to 90 degrees. I think with the weight of the club it would be impossible to fix the wrists throughout the backswing. Your thoughts? Thanks

    1. Hi Dave
      It is possible to fix the wrist throughout the backswing. Some of my older videos I was passively letting my wrists hinge (as I’ve mentioned in the post and in the forums), but it is more consistent to not hinge if possible.

      The club can be held it is not that heavy that it will hinge the wrists. It hinges the wrists when the wrist help hinge it … or the wrists let it hinge at the top. With practice, you can learn.

      Also, it is written in stone, that you should learn to not hinge if you’re happy and consistent hinging.

  2. Hello Ross,
    Is there a way to get just a list of your swing and drill videos ? I have watched the videos ( must be about 30 of them ) often and would like the list so I can use it inside at home or outside when the grass is green and not covered in snow. It would be a great reminder for practicing the various aspects of your Duplessis golf swing.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi George

      Practice Drills:

      – Fixed Wrists Drill
      – Trapping Impact Drill
      – Large Muscles Drill
      – Stop Swaying Drill
      – Squeeze Squeeze Drill
      – The Ross Move Drill
      – The Straight Arm Drill
      – 1 Finger Putting Drill
      – Front Foot Drill
      – Impact Drill
      – Shoulder Pause Hips Drill
      – Turn Drill
      – Gap Drill
      – Finish Drill

      You should also practice your “Routine” and could do it in the backyard with a club and no ball.


    1. In theory. It can be the for every “action” there is the “reaction” (flip), but it does not mean just because you don’t hinge, you “automatically” won’t flip. You can still flip, but there is a better chance you won’t or it will be reduced. Everyone is different. If you work on the drills, you’ll learn how to not flip. Takes some time & effort.

  3. Ross

    What drill should I work on to hit down on the ball and get ball turft?


    1. Hi Bob
      You don’t ever have to “hit down” on the ball to trap it. Trapping and Compressing the ball happens automatically as a side effect of a correct swing. If you’re not compressing the ball through impact, you’re doing something wrong. It might be setup, but usually the culprit is “flipping”. The ball is hit down upon automatically, when the shaft leads the club face through impact. We create this action because we use the body to “drag” the arms/club through impact around to the left (right hander).

Comments are closed.