Wrist
Rotation

Wrist Rotation ruins many a putt. 


IN SHORT

Any rotation of your wrists during your putting stroke will change the angle of your putterface. This can lead to missed putts. However, there is a simple way to correct this habit.



'Dead Wrists'

Line on Hand

Line on Hand
Overhead View

As soon as you rotate your wrists, even a small amount, you change the alignment of your putterface. It is easy to do if you start your takeaway with your hands.

Our body is built in such a way to allow us to move freely. Our wrists can move in all directions which is a good thing, except when you are putting.

When you putt you want 'dead wrists' with no rotation or hinging. To achieve this you should start your takeaway with your arms and shoulders, not your hands.


Error Prevention

Consistent putting is only lent to you as small mistakes and bad habits can creep in, and all of a sudden you are missing putts that you expect to make.

To prevent errors interfering with your stroke, you need a fallback position – a back-to-basics approach. If you have good fundamentals you can self-coach and rectify a problem when it arises.


Draw a Line

One way to remind yourself not to rotate your wrists is to draw a line on your left hand.

Line on Hand

Line on Hand
Front View

It is perfectly legal within the Rules and the line can remind you of the correct start to your backstroke. When you look down you want to ensure that the line does not rotate, but moves back in more or less a straight line.

The degrees of freedom that you have at your disposal when you putt are numerous. Golfers try to eliminate some of them, for example, by using a long or belly putter, or anchoring their right elbow into their side.

However, there is no definite way to lock your wrists. Putting left hand low can help to eliminate hinging in the follow through, but whatever your grip it is still possible for you to rotate your wrists unintentionally.


Staying on Plane

Whether your putting stroke is straight back and through or on an arc, it must always be on plane.

When you rotate your wrists your stroke moves off plane, sometimes only slightly. This is enough to miss a makeable putt.

Off-Plane Backstroke

Off-Plane
Backstroke

Most of the damage with wrist rotation is done at the start of your backstroke when your hands and putter head are within your peripheral vision.

While it is not a good idea to watch your putter head as it moves back, it is still possible to observe the line on your hand.

With faster greens the length back and forward of most putting strokes for short putts is quite small. This should mean that there is less room for putterface error.

However, faster greens also penalise an inaccurate stroke more heavily than slower greens. The alignment of your putterface at contact must be 100 per cent square to the line or path that you have chosen. If it is marginally closed or open, you will run the risk of a missed putt.


Avoid Wrist Rotation

There is no sure-fire to control non-helpful movements during your putting stroke. However, having a reminder of the importance of avoiding wrist rotation, is like having a visual swing thought.

Finally, I would not recommend looking at the line on your hand when you putt, but having it there will act as a constant memory aid just prior to putting. At a later stage you should be able to visualise the line in your mind even though you have not drawn it on your hand.

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Related Topics
(Highlighted)

body

your arms and shoulders

degrees of freedom

belly putter

right elbow

on plane

faster greens

slower greens