Understanding the Role of Arms in Your Golf Swing

By John Elliott

Understanding the Role of Arms in Your Golf Swing

Lead Arm

One of the unique challenges in swinging a golf club has to do with the fact that you have two arms that are doing two totally different things. The lead arm, which in this case is my left arm, basically throughout the swing until I get somewhere way over here in the finish stays as straight as you are capable of keeping it, watch. Now the wrists bends but not the elbow. Then as we come down the elbow and arm are still straight, the wrist begins to release, which it does here, the arm and the hand turn over and then the lead arm folds up here behind me. it is kind of neat, the other arm, my right arm, does not work like that at all.

Trailing Arm

My right arm, as I go back, it begins bending at the elbow and at the wrists at about hip high. As you continue up you are creating a nice 90 degree angle between the shaft and your forearm. On the way down the goal is to maintain that angle as the body is un-turning and the arm is swinging down. The wrists and elbow are still cocked, the release point is here and now the right arm is straight. As I go through it stays straight and then it, just like the left, begins folding up here near the finish. All the while that your body is rotating and the club are swinging, your two arms are doing what they need to do individually to propel the ball great distances with a minimum amount of effort.

2 Club Drill

A great exercise to see how coordinated you are, or a great exercise to learn to coordinate yourself, is to take two clubs and choke down on each one of them and put them next to one and other. Learn to swing them back and forth without any clanking. No hitting and no clanking, watch. I will show you this from two different views. You heard a clank there, you look here my right arm is rather bent my left arm is straight, the distance between the shafts is pretty much like it has been. Coming down we maintain that, for all of you that release early it looks like this, because it is not the left hand and arm that releases early, it is the back one, the right hand and arm.

Keep It Quiet

The goal here is to get the back shaft to follow the front shaft. Here they square up together, now they turn over together and then the two arms fold together. Here is what you don't want. If you happen to see that the next time you go to Benihana that is not the chef you want, you want the guy who looks coordinated. Let's watch from this angle. From this view what we don't want is clanking. I hate to say this but regretfully the last illustration is the one I see most. Let's try to get to that first illustration where the two shafts and the two arms stay near one and other but they do not collide with one and other. Those collisions are costing you a lot of high numbers.


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