Radius of the Golf Swing

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Radius of the Golf Swing
Category: Swing Plane
Sub-Category: Arms, Backswing, Downswing

Video Transcript

Video Golf Tip | Radius of the Golf Swing

Let’s have a look at the radius of the golf swing. The radius is the width of the swing arc on the backswing and on the downswing. I was taught as a kid to take the club back low and wide and then on my downswing bring my right elbow in, so then my backswing width was much wider than my downswing. That never made any sense to me and it still does not. We want to control the radius of our swing so our hands are the same distance from the center of our chest throughout the entire swing. What guarantees that this will happen is on the backswing the right hand and the right elbow only bend to an angle of 90 degrees. If you have a 90 degree angle at your right elbow your right wrist will be the same distance from your chest on the backswing as it was on the set up. That also controls whether the left arm is “straightish.” I do not like the word “dead straight” because people then try to get that arm really straight and they get themselves all tied up. But if the right arm is bent to 90 degrees then the left arm will be in a good position as well. If the right arm bends to an angle of less then 90 degrees then you see that the left arm collapses. Or the right arm, in an attempt to keep the backswing really wide, does not bend to 90 degrees then you get your arms way back and you have a very wide swing. Now the right elbow is what controls the width of your swing. So practice just swinging with your right arm only, taking the arm back and just bending it to an angle of 90 degrees. It will also help to put your left hand just above the right elbow when you swing the arm back to 90 degrees. Now you are getting the feel of how the right arm works in the backswing. There is no value at all in taking the club back low and wide and then trying to get in narrow on the downswing. This is one of the myths that has been perpetuated throughout the years in golf, but when you look at the modern-day players most of their backswing radiuses are going to match their downswing radiuses. It is always going to be a little bit narrower on the downswing but it is much closer than it used to be. Try that.

About the Instructor
Steven  Bann
Steven  Bann
385 Centre Dandenong Road
Victoria Australia 3202
Tel: 61 3 9558 3688

Steven Bann is director of the Pure Golf Academy in Australia and instructor to PGA Tour Pros Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, and K.J. Choi.


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Takeaway Practice The takeaway is probably the most important part of the swing so use this drill to make sure you have this first move of the swing down right
One-Plane Impact Position The one plane swing is the way to go for consistent impacts because the clubface naturally closes on the downswing and does not require hand manipulation to square the face.
Circular One-Plane Finish Since we are swinging around the body in the one plane swing the club should travel on an arc and not down the target line, thus the right arm gets extended and the left arm bends on the follow through.