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Keeping my left arm straight more important than longer back swing ?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I am a right hander. I have noticed that if I try to lengthen my back swing, my left arm bends at the top of my back swing. And when my left arm is completely straight, I feel as if I am only at half swing. But with that straight left arm and supposedly half back swing, the ball goes a nice distance and feels like distance is same as compared to when I try to lengthen my back swing.

 

That makes me think that keeping the left arm straight during the back swing is more important than the length of the back swing. Also length of the back swing is not that critical to achieve good distance.

 

Am I correct ?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 13

I found the following article online and not only is it a good read it has a nice pic with of a guy with his left arm straight at his full swing position:

 

http://www.worldgolf.com/golf-instruction/straight-left-arm-golf-tips-evans-3802.htm

post #3 of 13
Absolutely keep the left arm straight on the backswing. It should not be collapsing at the top.
post #4 of 13

A straight left arm is not a requirement at all. Simply make sure it's not bending as a means of "completing" your backswing - many people will turn their torsos a limited amount and then bend ("over-"bend) the lead arm to "complete" the backswing.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfdude71 View Post

Hello,





I am a right hander. I have noticed that if I try to lengthen my back swing, my left arm bends at the top of my back swing. And when my left arm is completely straight, I feel as if I am only at half swing. But with that straight left arm and supposedly half back swing, the ball goes



a nice distance and feels like distance is same




as compared to when I try to lengthen my back swing.

That makes me think that keeping the left arm
straight during the back swing is more important than the length of the back swing. Also length of the back swing is not that critical to achieve good distance.

Am I correct ?

Thanks.
Plenty of good players have a hard time keeping a perfectly straight left arm at the top so it's not really a big deal if your wrist angles don't break down in transition. Often swings that get too long lead to throw away and casting from the top. A shorter compact swing can make it easier to consistently deliver the sweet spot to the ball.
post #6 of 13

Yeah it's unreal watching tour players hit a driver, it's like they're double jointed freaks of nature.

post #7 of 13

You dont need to keep it perfectly straight but you shouldnt let it collapse just to complete your backswing.  A lot of people who lack the flexibility to complete their backswing simply cheat by letting their left arm fold or by getting disconnected.

post #8 of 13

I see women let their arm collapse all the time and I always want to say something.  It's such a simple concept and since they usually don't take a big backswing anyway it should be easy for them to implement.  If they kept it straight they'd probably instantly go from hitting grounders to poking it out there 100 yards or whatever.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Does it mean if I keep my left arm straight (or not let it collapse) but my back swing is short, I will be still able to hit a good distance ?

 

Thanks.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfdude71 View Post

Does it mean if I keep my left arm straight (or not let it collapse) but my back swing is short, I will be still able to hit a good distance ?

 

Thanks.

 

Yep, I learned this first hand this summer.  Keep your arm straight and take your backswing, when it feels like your arm wants to bend simply stop your backswing and make your swing.  In my experience I lost maybe a tiny amount of distance versus the crusher swing but my drives became about a thousand times more accurate.  You still need to do all the other things that go along with hitting a proper drive though, keeping your head behind the ball and so on.  I'd definitely suggest trying it out though, I think you'll be surprised how little distance changes.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

A straight left arm is not a requirement at all. Simply make sure it's not bending as a means of "completing" your backswing - many people will turn their torsos a limited amount and then bend ("over-"bend) the lead arm to "complete" the backswing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by golfdude71 View Post

Does it mean if I keep my left arm straight (or not let it collapse) but my back swing is short, I will be still able to hit a good distance ?

 

Thanks.

 

By "short back swing" do you mean not making at least a 90 degree turn?  Like Erik said above, most golfers don't turn enough and bend or lift the arms to finish their back swing.  Couple good drills to check out below.  You can stick a glove or tee under your left or right arm pit, helps sequence the arms with the torso.  

 

If you really were concerned with keeping the left arm straightish, you use your right arm/hand to do it. http://thesandtrap.com/t/62804/steady-head-drill-and-how-painting-mental-pictures-can-help-your-swing

 

post #12 of 13

I've never given a second thought to whether my left arm was straight. Or rather, I did, and the results were immediately atrocious and I did not pursue the matter.

 

I have given more thought to length of backswing. Originally, what "felt" like a comfortable, full swing put my hands behind my head (FO view) and the shaft parallel to the ground. My teacher wanted me to work on shortening my backswing - to a 3/4 position (left arm halfway between parallel to ground and my old position at the top).

 

I assumed I would lose some distance - but hopefully pick up better consistency.

 

As it turns out (as my teacher told me it would!) - I haven't lost any clubhead speed (verified by radar sensor) and perhaps gained a little by being able to step on the gas a bit more with a better sequenced swing. I'm having a hard time reconciling how weak my new backswing feels, with how good the results have been. A real eye-opener for me.

post #13 of 13

Bent or not bent, your arms should never be disconnected from your torso. They should always be more or less in front of your chest. Your swing should end when your back stops turning. If you do this, you'll get more distance, not less.

 

Raising and bending your arms at the top destroys a good swing.

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