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Backswing: left forearm rotation drills, suggestions

5 posts in this topic

I've had ongoing issues with my backswing, and realized last night I haven't been allowing my left forearm to rotate properly in the backswing.

I found after allowing my left forearm to turn clockwise about 90 degrees that it's easier to turn my shoulders further without overturning my hips.  Ideally I assume the left forearm (not the upper arm) should rotate to a point where the butt of the club is pointing at or a little above the target line the ball is on.

In the last few months I've had issues with the backswing where I felt like I was getting stuck, and not sure if I was turning my shoulders and arms correctly or getting onto the right plane.  I had a recent lesson where stance and posture were an issue, but even after the lesson I was having the same swing symptoms.

As I was focusing on other aspects of my swing, I was just telling myself, "raise up the arms", but not allowing the left forearm to rotate as well.  Before I was just trying to turn my shoulders and raise up my left arm on plane, and let the club hinge naturally, but the results during the downswing have usually been bad.

The left forearm rotation has probably been natural or common-sense for most golfers, but for me I'm wired in a way where if I haven't told my limbs to do something, then they won't necessarily do it. I've had many swing problems the last few years attributed to this aspect.

Are there any other _thorough_ drills or videos to recommend to help groove proper left arm movement in the backswing ?  I found this one drill by Jeff Ritter that seems pretty good.  Based on his breakdown of the arm movement it's like I can rotate my left forearm up to the proper swing-plane.

I found another drill related by Sir Nick Faldo from his Swing for Life book that is demonstrated in this video:

What Faldo also does in his pre-set position besides cocking his wrists is to rotate his left forearm, which I just now put together.

Any other drills or ideas would be appreciated.

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I actually try not to roll my forearm on the backswing. I had issues before with rolling it open and then not closing it, leading to horrific push slices.
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I really don't want the arms to rotate more than they need to on the backswing. Relative to my upper arms and shoulders, I want to keep them in the same position as at address. The clubface will open on the backswing due to the right arm bending and possibly wrists hinging, but I definitely don't want the arms to roll the clubface open.

Here is a thread on the subject of keeping the clubface square to the plane: http://thesandtrap.com/forum/thread/31893/clubface-square-to-the-plane

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That Faldo drill is what is taught in the "Four Magic Moves" by Joe Dante. I worked with it over the winter and it helps with getting a feel for what a good wrist hinge is. However, like Zeph mentioned, you do not want much, if any, roll of the forearm artificially. Sure, it will happen slightly with a straight left arm, bending right arm, and a solid shoulder turn (not dipping!)

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All good points.  In summary there is some slight rotation of the left arm, but the movement is not supposed to be intentional.

Going back to the thread Zeph mentioned, I agree with the initial premise of the thread, the first post from iacas, where, "the proper position of the club's leading edge is...perpendicular to the plane".

However, my problem is after I get the club to the 9:00 position (shaft parallel to the ground), and my leading edge is perpendicular, it's after that when I'm not moving my arms properly.

To illustrate, I believe once my left arm was getting to the 9:00 position, it appeared the butt of the club was pointing straight down, based on some testing I was just doing.  But when I try this new movement, the butt of the club is pointing on a line about parallel to my club shaft at address, but above the address line.

I found it was difficult to getting back to swinging the old way, as this new way seemed to give me a better shoulder turn.  If anything I feel like my backswing is more like the drill illustrated in Jeff Ritter's video above.

Going back to my new technique, I found it was difficult to tell if I was rotating my left arm now or not.

Maybe my arms and shoulders were just getting disconnected somehow?

Well, thanks for all the info, I'll keep working on this.

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