The Arms & Elbows – Golf Swing

If you are not already preparing your arms and elbows like this before you setup, your swing is about to improve a lot. This question came to me this morning in an email and here is my reply:

Question – How tight are your elbows pointing at each other and how tight on chest?

Great question … I think the easies way to know, is to hold the club straight out in front of you from the shoulders with your arms fully extended, shaft in line with the front arm, elbows pointing down and towards each other. This is a critical. If the arms are not extended, they will elongate during the swing (changing the radius). Now keeping a little tension at the elbows, allow the arms to drop down on top of your chest (not pinching your chest, on top). This gives a radius that can be maintained but freedom to be controlled by the shoulders. I call this the “Template”. Now with the template hanging, we can use this as a guide for setup that is repeatable. One key point for all this is the elbows pointing back towards the hips as a recurring relationship. They start that way and realign as the hips pull the arms back down in front of the body turning through impact… here is a video that will help The Ross Move

All great players somehow before they hit, got their arms in this position. Hogan had a picture in his book with string winding around the arms to hold them close together. I see many tour players (subconsciously) stretch and lengthen their arms just before they take the club back to get into this same setup. We need a constant continuity through the arms that does not break down during the swing so the shoulders can take over and rely on the arms to stay the same… thanks for the nice comments… please let me know if you need more help… Ross

6 thoughts on “The Arms & Elbows – Golf Swing

  1. Thanks ross for your post on elbows close together, your explanation couldn’t be any better, I have been experimenting with this since may and my WHOLE swing has dramatically improved since! I just stumbled upon it myself by fluke, and by reading your post confirms my pleasure of actually striking a golf ball pure and effortlessly,
    looking forward to more of your instruction and thanks again.

    1. Great Dan. I’m also now sure that with my method (since the elbows/wrists are fixed or set), the body mass rotating, will release the arms/club together vs. traditional instruction where the hands release just the club head (not reliable). This body turn releasing the arms/club move is much more reliable for centered hits and direction. More on this to come… Ross

  2. May sound strange and it is not meant to be funny , but are there compensations that can be made for those of us with ample mid sections? Place a fluffy pillow under your shirt and it becomes hard to point your elbowed toward each other

    1. Hi Scott
      I see what you mean. The goal is to keep the elbows fixed during the swing so the radius does not break down. Pointing the elbows back at the hips, keeps them from hinging or chicken winging. The first thing that comes to mind (I will have to test this), is to keep the elbows close together, but favor the front hip or setup with the arms pushed forward a little (so they are not in the middle of your stomach). You would do this by dropping your back shoulder a little. Now, I don’t know how this will go so let me know. Again, we want to try to keep them together during the swing. As a last resort, trying to add a little more tilt, but do it athletically (don’t just bend over), may give you a little more freedom for the elbows.

      One more idea on this. Your arms may just be stuck behind your body rotation. Remember, you want to use your turn unwinding, to pull the arms/club back down in front of you body (the arms do not pull themselves down) as your body continues unwinding to face the target.

  3. Great Ross! I think this will help me not hit the ground. I am finally getting better at removing my arms from the equation. But during last weeks round I kept hitting the ground. And I think it’s because my radius was changing. Thanks!

    1. Check one thing Dave that you are NOT bending over to get down to the ball… you want to snuggle up and sit down athletically (like a quarterback). Your chest is kinda of counter balanced by your butt (so to speak) so you are still centered. If you bend down you can not maintain that angle and many times will hit the ground… Ross

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