Has your playing partner ever said after a bad shot, “You need to fix your swing! You’re bending your left arm!”?
Well, the good thing about this swing fault is, it’s very easy to see! So if you heard it, there is a strong possibility you did it. (Note: This is for right handers. If you’re a lefty, it will be your right arm)
Fix Your Swing – What causes it…
The left arm bending can cause a whole host of shots, but mostly I see either a topped shot or a slice.
Why does this happen? Above Right, I’ve ‘set-up’ to the ball and bent my left arm. As you can see the club has raised and therefore, I am going to hit the top of the ball from the bottom of the club.
Great! We now know why we ‘top’ it, but how can the left arm cause a slice?
Fix Your Swing – The Set-up…
If you bend the left arm in the backswing, after a few missed shots or topped shots, your brain will react and find a way to get the club to the bottom of the ball.
The brain’s fix is to get you to dip the upper body down to the ball. When the body does this in motion, it make the shoulder plane steep and throws the club over plane.
Apologies, some technical jargon there but below you can see from a good set up, I’ve dipped the upper body.
I’ve also lost my height, and you can see the club has moved well out in front of my body. The only place to go from here is to swing across the ball.
Fix Your Swing – How do I send it straight…
- Firstly ensure the grip is in the fingers of the left hand
- Have a look at the thumb on your left hand – make sure it is “short” i.e. tucked up close – as shown right.
- Both of these will help engage the muscles in the forearm effectively, allowing you to hold the weight of the club in the swing easier
- From waist high in the swing, we need to make sure the wrists hinge (and not the elbow). A thought that works well is to feel yourself push down on the handle of the club.
- This will push the clubhead up and cause the wrists to hinge. Pushing down on the handle engages triceps which will keep that left arm straight!
As you swing to the top, keep pushing down on the handle and turn the right shoulder behind you
The swing section today is quite detailed as failing to hinge the wrists and failing to turn will both cause the left arm to bend.
Fix Your Swing – Practice makes perfect…
Work on this, one swing at a time! Practice the wrist hinge, until you’ve got it and it feels less of a conscious thought.
Make a lot of half swings doing this, so the arm stays straight…..
Then get the shoulders turning!
By Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro