Bending your arm awkwardly during the golf swing can cause mishits and poor shots. Jim Suttie, the 2000 PGA Teacher of the Year, notes that some right-handed golfers collapse and bend their arms while swinging. This causes their elbows to jut out, creating what Suttie refers to as a “chicken wing impact.” The chicken wing is a common problem that can be fixed with the help of a PGA or LPGA professional. An instructor can teach you the fundamentals of a good golf swing, including posture, stance and weight distribution. You can also identify problems on your own.
For right-handed golfers, the left arm is one of the most important aspects of the golf swing. The left arm determines the swing arc for a shot and helps release and rotate the wrists and club on the downswing. Understanding the purpose of the left arm in the golf swing and how to properly utilize it are critical factors in shooting low scores.
Trying to generate power during a long golf shot primarily using your arms can cause you to fight your body, resulting in an incorrect swing path. To generate power during a golf swing, you should use the big parts of your body. The larger the muscle, the more energy it can generate, which means your legs, hips and torso contribute more power than the smaller arms, hands and wrists. For golf shots, you'll want to use your lower body and your core to generate power, using use your arms to help you control your swing.
One common phrase heard around driving ranges and golf courses is "keep your left arm straight." This advice can help right-handed golfers create power in their swings. Most golfers, however, don't know the fundamentals that allow you to keep your left arm straight in a golf swing. Keeping your left arm straight during the swing requires the proper grip, arm swing, downswing path and body turn. Learn these fundamentals and you will consistently be able to create a powerful swing.
One of the most common questions golf teachers hear from students is, "What should the arms be doing during a golf swing?" It is important to understand the function of the arms in a golf swing if you want to be able to practice the correct swing. This article is written from a right-handed perspective, but left-handed golfers can use this information by simply reversing the hand indications.
It’s important that the club head lags behind your hands on the downswing. This hand position allows the clubhead to compress the ball, according to golf instructor Rob Akins. He recommends that golfers focus on keeping their hands in front of the club head through and past the impact zone. Many golfers use soft arms to achieve lag, letting the arms drop from the top of the downswing rather than gripping the club tightly and powering the arms through the point of impact.