Don’t let your left arm spoil your golf swing


‘Keep your arm straight!’. That is a common phrase heard when you practice your swings. For right-handers, one of the biggest problems you face when making your golf swing is having your left arm disrupt the flow and then stop you from creating full power.

Not rocket science

The fundamental move to get power into your swing is to keep your arms straight. You keep hearing the coach yelling it and even your friends when you are at the range or on the green. But is it as difficult as it seems? The truth is, it is not. If you know the right technique, it is not impossible to get it and it is quite easy. What you want really is to go with a good grip, the right body turn, a downswing path and the arm swing. Let’s examine each of them separately.

The elements of a good swing

What you don’t want to do here is to let your left (or other) arm get in the way during the swing. Follow the guide below and you should get a powerful swing very quickly.

  • A good grip – For right-handers, use your left hand and grip the club in the fingers. Form the ‘V’ by your left thumb and index finger. You would most likely see your left-hand knuckles with this. The V should be pointing towards your right shoulder and then on your right hand, grip the club with the pinky overlapping with your left hand’s index and middle finger.
  • First, the backswing  – With the grip firmly(but don’t kill it) in place, now do a backswing by turning your hips & shoulder. Use your shoulder and swing the club backward. As you are turning your shoulders, do not hinge your wrists and maintain your extended left arm and right arm. Do not bend your right arm. This is a common mistake in amateur golfers. Once your left shoulder is underneath your chin, stop the backswing. This is where your arms are now slightly above your shoulders and you would feel as if you are trying to push your hands as far out from your chest as possible.
  •  Now, the downswing – Move your lower body towards the target to start the downswing. You want to start turning your hips towards the target. You will notice that your club is being brought down towards the inside-out path. Maintain the extended left arm and as the club moves downwards, maintain the wrist hinge right until the contact point.
  • Following through – The body rotation is crucial here. You need to keep turning the hips as you are swinging until the contact with the ball and at this point, let the club rotate and then your arms extended towards the target. The 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock are the most important at this stage. Your left arm should only bend around the halfway point here.
  • Finally, your hips and shoulders should be facing your target as you fold both your arms.

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