Most golfers learn the best visually, by copying the best player at the club or the course where you first start playing or watching the pros on television. Unfortunately there are a lot of illusions when we first start to look at the golf swing.
Does Your Arm Swing Sideways in a Backswing?
The thing that I think causes the most problems with peoples’ swing plane and arm position in the golf swing is the illusion that the arms swing sideways on the backswing. When a golfer sees someone play they think that guy is swinging his arms sideways. But golfers are not really swinging their arms sideways in the backswing, what they are actually doing is swinging their arms up. It’s the pivot of their bodies that is taking the club sideways.
The Correct Backswing Arm Action
- The club comes up in front of your body and the club shaft hinges in line with your left arm.
- The right arm bends to an angle of about 90 degrees and the wrists set. That is what the arms do in the backswing, even though it does not look like it.
- But if you watch this, I lift my arms in front of my body, and then I add my pivot, you will see that I am in the perfect position at the top of the backswing.
- Now if you look at it from the side. I am going to lift my club up in line with my left arm, right arm bent to a 90 degree angle, then I add my pivot around my set up angle, and you can see that I am in the correct position at the top.
Correct Timing of the Backswing Turn
It can be quite confusing when you see that. So why does the club not appear to go outside on the backswing. Well it does with a couple of Tour Players; Lee Travino and Freddy Couples. They take the club up on the outside and then turn, and that is what gets the club in a good position at the top. But from most people it is the timing of your turn taking your arms back before the arms start to lift that gives the impression that the club is swinging correctly back on the right plane. So it is very important to understand that the arms swing up and down as your body turns around your set up angles. That is the complexity of the golf swing, and that is the most common illusions that causes backswing and swing plane faults.