Swap hinge for width in your takeaway. The results? Big yards.

Swap hinge for width in your takeaway. The results? Big yards.

There’s one particularly bad idea that plagues beginning golfers, and that’s hinging the wrists (especially with the driver). Don’t get me wrong, wrist hinge is key, but you’ve got to know when to use it, and that time isn’t early in your backswing. When you pick up the club in the takeaway, you’re setting your swing up for problems, mainly a loss of shoulder turn and the speed that comes with it. Beyond that, a “narrow” takeaway guarantees that you’ll need to extend your arms to reach the ball coming through, fueling an over-the-top path and a heavy dose of slices.

So press the pause button on your wrist hinge. Go for width at the start. Keep your lower body stable and take the driver away in one piece, swinging your left arm across your chest and getting the clubhead as far away from your right ear as possible. Your wrists are going to hinge naturally as you continue to the top of your backswing. Then you can unwind your arms, wrists and body in your newfound wider arc and blast your drives straight down the fairway.

NO!

An immediate wrist hinge (below) saps power and forces weak extension at impact. Slices and pop-ups are the norm from here. You’re also likely to sway your lower body in an effort to increase your turn. Not good.

YES!

When you take your driver away in one nice, wide piece (below), you’re creating extension that leads to a natural wrist hinge approaching the top. As you turn against a stable lower body, you’re loading your backswing for a powerful strike.