Why You Should Lead Your Downswing With Your Left Side

By Jimmy Ballard

Golfers makes full swing

You must realize in the golf swing that along with the firing of the right side and the fact that we're coiling into the right side, obviously the left side plays a big role because it's on the club. You must realize the left arm is shorter on the club than the right arm which always makes the left arm the inner centrifugal force and the right arm is always the outer force.

Elbow Position for Maximum Power

As I've said in everything that I've ever done in golf, the left elbow must always be down and against the body for you to use your left shoulder. A term that's been used for the release from the top of the swing is to pull your left side. I agree with that, but you have to understand that the left side is the left lat, the left leg - the whole left side.

The left side is not the left arm pulling across the body. Too often in golf people are taught from the top to tuck their right elbow in, this immediately puts the left elbow out, and makes a person have to pull outside across the line of flight. It's the laws of physics, if you tuck your right arm in, your left elbow will pop out and you will pull across. Notice how I'm just pulling from the left socket - now that would be outside across.

Loading Your Weight for the Golf Swing

The real truth in the golf swing is that once you have loaded your weight on to your right side and your left elbow is naturally down, the left elbow must stay down. Ben Hogan drew in his five fundamentals the left arm extended back and he drew the hand right here [above the left], and the left elbow was down. He then drew the club going here [impact position] that is hitting with the back of the left hand and squaring the club and hand. That is a pull with the left side which is the left lat and the left shoulder. Notice how the club would be extending right down the line, but to do that that left elbow must stay down.

Hal Sutton and Jim Colbert have told me many times, right from the top their feel is that they tuck their left elbow down and hit with their right side. That is the way the club releases. If the left elbow folds down, notice how the clubface can be square. If the left elbow pops out, how can you square the clubface to the ball? The left elbow controls where the clubface is.

Loading into Your Right Side

So always feel along with the loading in to your right side, that when you fire your right side you also tuck your left elbow in, and there's only one way the club can square to the ball. The left elbow has to be down, and the right hip has to be up. If the right hip is under, the left elbow would be up, and you are left to hang back, look up, pull up and flip. If you tuck your right elbow in, your left arm comes up, your hip will go under and you'll cross the line of flight. The only way to square a bat to a ball, the only way to square an axe to a tree, the only way to square a golf club to a golf ball is for the left elbow to be down, and the right hip to be up and level.

Category: Downswing
Sub Categories: Arms, Swing Mechanics

About the Instructor

Jimmy Ballard
Jimmy Ballard
Jimmy Ballard Swing Connection
24 Dockside Lane, PMB 406
Key Largo, FL 33037
Tel: 800-999-6664