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pjsnyc

Elbows pointed which way at address?

24 posts in this topic

I recently realized something in my swing and honestly don't know what to do or what is proper.

I'm a righty and when I address the ball, the fold in my left elbow sometimes points directly up at towards the sky and at other times it points directly across to my right arm.

Can either produce a swing flaw I'm not aware of? I wanted to reference Ben Hogan's 5 fundamentals, but couldn't find it.
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Ben Hogan says that both elbow pockets face directly out and up. They don't face each other. Although the rear elbow is slightly, slightly bent at address.

I'm not a guru, but that's what Hogan's book says since you referenced it.
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Ben Hogan says that both elbow pockets face directly out and up. They don't face each other. Although the rear elbow is slightly, slightly bent at address.

Thanks. My scores have been suffering the past month or so. Hopefully this will help.

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Jack says the way they point when your arms hang naturally at your sides. Why complicate matters?
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Jack v. Ben.

Jack says "My Way."

Ben says "The Way" which in some respects wasn't actually His Way.

I intend on going with "The Way" until I come up with "My Way."

Does that make any sense? Fundamentals versus the way even somebody as legendary as Jack Nicklaus does it, and fundamentals will win every time with me.
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I do it Hogan's way, as mentioned earlier in the thread. It's a swing thought that really works for me (one of the very few), so I relay it here for your consideration. I feel that this keeps my forearms closer together throughout the whole backswing (see Hogan's drawing where the player's forearms are literally roped together), which keeps everything tighter, more on-plane and controlled.

This may or may not work for you, but I'd give it a try - inside of elbows pointing up and forward, not sideways at each other. Then report back to us with the results. If it works, I'll send you my usual bill ....
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I dont really subscribe to hogans address method because it locks your arms too much. Obviously it worked for him, but that doesnt mean it will work for you. I think letting your arms just hang naturally is the safest way to go if youre confused about this.
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Jack's fundamentals were very sound. I don't think it was his way vs. "the fundamentals".
Food for debate.
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Jack's fundamentals were very sound. I don't think it was his way vs. "the fundamentals".

I was just making an allusion to his book "Golf My Way." I feel like the title might be spot on. It's "Jack's Way" which obviously isn't bad. If you go to the thread here about his book, the concensus seems to be that it'll hose up a beginner, whereas Hogan's book is a bit of a bible for beginners.

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Fair enough DFB. I think the Hogan method works for me because it prevents me from doing something bad that I would otherwise do in the take-away with the other method. Sometimes you just gotta do what works without understanding all the why's and wherefore's. That's why I only suggest trying it for a while (consistently of course) and seeing what happens; same for the other way around. But if a golfer keeps flip flopping between methods they aren't ever going to find out which suits them better and will remain confused.
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Yeah, you do what you gotta do. Hogans book is taken as kind of a bible, but so many of the fundementals he depended on just dont work for me personally. His grip was (particularly his right hand) was way too strong for me and that thing he did with the sqaure back foot never worked for me either.Different strokes for different folks, i guess.
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DFB,
Interesting. I agree about Hogan's strong right hand grip - too strong for me as well. My game has improved since I weakened mine, i.e. left thumb (right hander) is now more fully covered. I seem to release better with this grip, a more fluid action. Picked this tip from one of Erik's posts actually.

Moral: never be slavish in following anyone's advice!
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Hogan has weak (to neutral) right hand grip. (and strong to neutral left hand grip).

regards,
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I stand corrected, I hadn't checked the source before posting and was making an assumption - my bad. In the Simon & Shuster paperback, the illustrations on page 49 (Ch. 2) show it all marvellously:

- elbows close together and pointing inwards toward the hips
- forearms are held close together as if strapped
- left thumb is completely enclosed in the cleft of the right hand (much more detail on this in Ch. 1 of course).

""Keep the elbows and arms as close together as possible throughout the entire swing".

If there's on page in one book on golf that has really helped me to play more consistently, it's this one here. Those drawings by Ravielli really are superb. I now see that I had not taken in Hogan's teaching about the right hand until reading Erik's post not so long ago. hmmm, maybe there are more hidden pearls in the book for me, time to read it yet again I suppose.
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So I played a round yesterday consciously trying one method - the elbow folds pointing straight up and away from me as opposed to facing each other at address. It felt more natural for me (I guess that's what I had been doing mostly anyway). I'm just surprised I'm noticing this NOW. The other day when I was doing both (the reason for this thread) it felt like the time a pro asked me if I held my breath while swinging and all I could think was 'I'm not sure' and proceeded to suck the rest of the round - totally messed with my head.
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Hogan recommended that the elbows be pulled inward with a little bit of "live tension" so that the left elbow points at the left hip bone, and the right elbow points at the right hip bone. The left arm is straight with a very slight engaging of the left tricep muscle, the right arm is loose, and has a natural bend. The purpose of this move is two-fold:

1. It establishes a consistent position for the left and right forearms. Your natural "hang" can change day to day with the tightness of your shoulders and traps. This is alleviated to some degree with a little bit of tension (Think "lift 1-pound, not 10-pounds).

2. It engages the pectoral muscles. This is key for maintaining connectedness between the arms and chest, which is a key fundamental in Hogan's teaching.

That's Hogan, anyways. I find it works for me, since I push the ball if I let my left elbow point outwards at any point.
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I've always been a Nicklaus style addressor of the ball (lead elbow crease pointed to the rear, trailing elbow crease pointed out). I never felt strongly about it being right or wrong - more of a habit.

But I do have a strong tendency to fan the club too far inside and flat on my backswing. I had always thought that my 'elbow crease to the rear' position would help to avoid that as there was no more upper arm rotation left to do (note that Jack's swing is much more upright than Hogan's which is much more around).

But I wonder - would taking a more Hogan-like elbow position at address actually help avoid my backswing error?

dave
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I've got the same backswing tendency, i.e. coming back too much inside (behind my back) on the takeaway. Tend to push or hook as a result. I find that the Hogan method helps prevent this and keeps me more on plane. Arms and hands should still be in front of your chest at the halfway-back point (shaft pointing along target line). But others may not find Hogan as helpful as I do in this. Give it a try is all I can suggest.
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