GOLF: How To Keep The Left Arm Straight In The Golf Swing

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How To Keep The Left Arm Straight In The Golf Swing

To me, the left arm being straight is kind of like the whole “keep your head down” thing. It’s one of those things that I think your grandfather said as a way to help you get the perfect golf swing and then it stuck. When I watch really good golfers, do I think that their arm, their left arm is straighter rather than excessively bent? Yes, but you do not have to keep your left arm straight during the entire swing.

I want to emphasize that before we go into how to fix these things, maybe lose the idea that it absolutely has to be straight. Also, it doesn’t need to be firm or rigid straight during the entire swing.

Trying to fix your left arm, being straight by keeping your left arm straight is a difficult thing to do. And the missing link is when you make a swing, you have two hands on the club, right? I have much more success with people improving their arm structure by lengthening or straightening their right arm or their trail arm instead of lengthening or straightening their left arm or their lead arm.

During the backswing, when I make a swing, do I need to have my left arm perfectly straight? No. But I do want to have my right arm with a good amount of width. As checkpoint at the top of the swing, I’d prefer the right arm to be roughly 90 degrees or greater. I don’t want the right arm to get less than 90 degrees – I don’t want the angle between the bicep and the arm to be less than 90 degrees. Why is that? Because if I’m less than 90 with my right arm, how could I possibly have a straight left arm? I couldn’t.

But, if I go from the top and my right arm is very bent here and I straighten my right arm out, what happens to my left arm? It gets straighter. Look at that trail arm, straighten that right arm out and automatically – because you’re holding onto the club with two hands – it’s going to get farther away from you. It’s going to lengthen by itself.

When you go up to the top why do the arms tend to bend? Because a lot of you don’t turn enough in the backswing, the arm span shortens. Let’s say I have really good arm structure from setup to about halfway back. Now if I stopped my turn from there, what’s the only way I can get my hands and club over my right shoulder? How could I finish my backswing from here? I have to bend my arms back.

In terms of solidness and contact, I’d really like to see the arms straight PAST impact. The biggest differentiator with the left arm being straight or my right arm in arm structure is past impact. It’s not at setup. It’s not halfway back. So, if you’re going to focus on your left arm being straight, don’t lose sleep over it during the backswing. You can lose a little bit of sleep about it in the follow through.

There are a lot of ways to train to keep your arm straight. The best way I know how is to keep something between your arms. I put an object between my arms that can help keep my arms straight

Martin. Chuck has a ball that works really good for this, The Tour Striker Smart Ball If I was going to purchase one, I would purchase that one first

I would go ahead and make some swings with them and the goal here for me is not so much during my backswing, but really during my follow through to maintain that.

So the main points here:

The left arm doesn’t need to be entirely straight.

If you’re going to straighten it, probably do it with the right arm.
Understand that there’s a body rotation piece that goes along with this.

If you’re going to put attention into your left arm, put your attention into having your arms straight into the follow through. That’s where you’ll get your most bang for your buck. You might straighten your arms in the back swing and NOT hit the ball better.

If you straighten your arms into the follow through, for sure you’re going to hit the ball better.

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  1. Jordan Speth doesnt keep it straight. He intentionally bends it slightly. I seen him talk about it once. And seen Ricki how he talks about his right forearm on the backswing is plumb or straight up and down. Thx for confirming these things for me .

  2. watch old vids of a young davis love3. at the transition point he started downswing by pushing his hands st8 back away from the target. that is when his left arm got str8. very dangerous for weekend players to try. you just demonstrated many of my faults here. i'm so working on getting more hip and core rotation going back but for some reason i can't get my left knee, leg and foot to work right. trying to fold that ankle slightly in and knee back but it all seems to want to go towards the ball at best! rrrrrrrrr! got a drill for that? lols

  3. I know this is off topic but the video u talked abou ball striking and rolling ur wrist to have abetter impact position…. shuold that be put in practice for ur driver and fairway metals?????