Curing problems with the arm swing
August 22, 2002
Do you over swing, or does your left arm bend too much during the back swing?
These are common swing flaws that are not easily corrected. The reason these flaws are not easily corrected is that the flaws themselves are not the real problem but the result of another technique flaw. For instance, we are all well aware that it is desirable to keep the left arm fully extended. (I don’t like to say straight because it leads to the image of the arm being stiff, most good golfers have a relaxed left arm that is fully
extended but not completely straight or stiff).
Bending the left arm on the back swing is the result of poor body position not allowing the arms to swing freely. If the body is in poor position at the start of the swing or during the pivot motion (usually a combination of both) the only option is for the left arm to bend resulting in an over swing.
With this in mind we must understand that the problem is not that the arm is bending it is that the body is in the wrong position causing the arm to bend. Therefore the correction for a bent left arm or an over swing is not keeping the arm straight but positioning the body in such a way that we can’t train the arms to swing correctly.
An excellent drill to train yourself to position the body and swing the arms correctly without the club:
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Adopt the address position.
Allow the arms to hang naturally below the shoulders.
Hold the left wrist.
Turn the shoulders 90 degrees around the right thigh.
Allow the left arm to swing up to level with the ground.
Hands in line with the center of the chest.
Right elbow in front of right shoulder and away from the body.
During the exercise we stop when the arm is level to the ground, in the speed of a full swing we simply let it happen. Each of us will have a natural completion of the back swing. We do not need to manipulate it.
Terry Gingell is the PGA Director of Instruction at Eagle Valley Golf. For information regarding instruction please call Terry at 887-7174.
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