The Correct Arms in Golf for a Backswing

By Mike LaBauve

I have a little tip here for your arm swing that may be the most important move you will ever do. Watch as I go from the right side of my body, in a one-plane swing this is what you want, to the left side of my body. Watch closely as my left arm extends going back, my right arm extends going through, I have extension both ways.

I have a little club here to help you see the clubface as I am doing this. You might even want to have one cut for yourself so that you can do this practice at home. Left arm straight, right arm straight. You will notice both arms as I am going from the backswing to impact are rotating counter-clockwise into this position. You will also notice something else.

#1 Backswing Mistake to Avoid

  • A lot of people think that the left arm should be straight the entire swing. It is supposed to be straight on the right side of the golf swing.
  • As your arms swing to the left side and you go to the finish, the right arm should be extended but the left arm should start folding and breaking.
  • The only way I could keep the left arm straight is if I kept my arms out in front of my body and I used all pivot going through, but that would deprive me of some clubhead speed.

You can see if I move my arms from side to side I can start moving this clubhead pretty fast. If I couple that with some body pivot, then I have quite a bit of distance. That is the most important move you can ever do. If I did it without a golf club, you should be able to do this while sitting in a chair, take your left arm to the right, your right arm to the left.

Arm Extension in the Backswing

Left arm extended, right arm extended. You will notice as I extend my left arm you can see how my right elbow retracts behind me. Right arm extended, then the left arm retracts. I use this a lot in short game shots. Jim Hardy uses it a lot in his one-plane teaching. Right arm straight, left arm straight. Try it, you will not believe how much distance you get and how much more consistency you have. You will hit better golf shots.

Category: Swing Plane
Sub Categories: Arms, Backswing, Bad Lies, Distance, Impact

About the Instructor

Mike LaBauve
Mike LaBauve
Kierland Golf Club
15636 N. Clubgate Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Tel: 480-922-9283