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Right elbow - new swing theory?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
As you may know from reading other posts I have just started playing again after a long layoff. I have been watching tournaments on TV and have a question about a big difference in swings from what I was taught. I guess theories have changed.

I was taught to keep the right elbow in close to my side on the back swing. Keeping that elbow quiet is one of my two swing cues. Now it looks like all the pros have a huge "flying right elbow" as it used to be called. Is the idea that this increases the distance the clubhead travels and thereby allows additional time for increasing acceleration and, therefore, distance?
post #2 of 27
Originally Posted by RainmanP
As you may know from reading other posts I have just started playing again after a long layoff. I have been watching tournaments on TV and have a question about a big difference in swings from what I was taught. I guess theories have changed.

I was taught to keep the right elbow in close to my side on the back swing. Keeping that elbow quiet is one of my two swing cues. Now it looks like all the pros have a huge "flying right elbow" as it used to be called. Is the idea that this increases the distance the clubhead travels and thereby allows additional time for increasing acceleration and, therefore, distance?
Yeah, it would seem that the quest for the big arch has lead to the flying elbow. It works for them because they come back down the swing plane, where regular guys tend to go over the top from that position.
post #3 of 27

The Flying Elbow

Originally Posted by PowerXSwing
Yeah, it would seem that the quest for the big arch has lead to the flying elbow. It works for them because they come back down the swing plane, where regular guys tend to go over the top from that position.
"They" say the modern swing has a longer arc and offers more power--they say.
I'm not sure that the hands-higher-than-the-head, right-upper-arm-and-forearm-at-a-right-angle swing that the top teachers are pushing has all that wider a swing arc than the hands-above-the-right-shoulder right-elbow-tucked-against-the-body flattish swing that we were taught by Hogan-influenced golf instructors.
Here's why. With either swing, the left arm is straight at the top: so, whether the left arm is on a plane with the shoulder line or higher than the shoulder line on a different plane thanks to a flying elbow, isn't the swing arc necessarily the same?
And in fact, don't you get more leverage if the arms swing back on a line with the shoulders instead of on a diferent plane?
post #4 of 27
very good answer tom. let me tell you jimmy ballards idea. th e right arm must come away for extention. you would not throw a ball with the elbow next to your side.
post #5 of 27
Originally Posted by PowerXSwing
Yeah, it would seem that the quest for the big arch has lead to the flying elbow. It works for them because they come back down the swing plane, where regular guys tend to go over the top from that position.

What do you guys mean by "over the top"?
post #6 of 27
Originally Posted by zeusbrown
What do you guys mean by "over the top"?
Instead of bringing your hands back inside on the downswing it means you are moving your hands outside the swing plane and coming down across the ball. The result will be a push (slice). This is also known as cutting across the ball.
post #7 of 27
Originally Posted by who00knows
Instead of bringing your hands back inside on the downswing it means you are moving your hands outside the swing plane and coming down across the ball. The result will be a push (slice). This is also known as cutting across the ball.
Just a quick clarification. Coming over the top never results in a push. It results in either a slice (clubface square, path out-to-in) or a pull (clubface closed a little, path out-to-in). In rare cases it leads to duck-hooks (clubface even more closed, path still out-to-in).

A push and a slice aren't the same thing. Let's be careful about the language we use here... we've got a lot of it, I realize, but we've gotta use it correctly.
post #8 of 27
Originally Posted by iacas
Just a quick clarification. Coming over the top never results in a push. It results in either a slice (clubface square, path out-to-in) or a pull (clubface closed a little, path out-to-in). In rare cases it leads to duck-hooks (clubface even more closed, path still out-to-in).

A push and a slice aren't the same thing. Let's be careful about the language we use here... we've got a lot of it, I realize, but we've gotta use it correctly.
I used to come over the top, and I always hit it around 10-15 yards left....not a slice....just left. That was a push to me...

"Push”
Glossary

From Brent Kelley,
Your Guide to Golf.
Definition: A ball that flies to the right of the intended target for a right-handed player, and to the left of the target for a left-handed player. A push is the opposite of a pull. A push is distinguished from a slice by the fact that a slice curves to the right (for a righthander) while a push travels on a straight path to the right.

http://golf.about.com/cs/golfterms/g/bldef_push.htm
post #9 of 27
Originally Posted by who00knows
I used to come over the top, and I always hit it around 10-15 yards left....not a slice....just left. That was a push to me...

"Push”
Glossary

From Brent Kelley,
Your Guide to Golf.
Definition: A ball that flies to the right of the intended target for a right-handed player, and to the left of the target for a left-handed player. A push is the opposite of a pull. A push is distinguished from a slice by the fact that a slice curves to the right (for a righthander) while a push travels on a straight path to the right.

http://golf.about.com/cs/golfterms/g/bldef_push.htm
Then you weren't coming over the top. It'd be impossible to come over the top, hit the ball right of your intended line for a righty (or left for a lefty), and not curve the ball.
post #10 of 27
I just read a part of a Jack Nicklaus book where Jack talks about his elbow being out. He didn't consider it to be a "flying elbow", but it is definately not in. Jack mentions that this is a way to add distance.
post #11 of 27
My $.02:

Somewhere lately I saw a quote attributed to Hogan: " 'Coming over the top' -- What the h*ll does that mean?"
post #12 of 27
Originally Posted by Ole_Tom_Morris
My $.02:

Somewhere lately I saw a quote attributed to Hogan: " 'Coming over the top' -- What the h*ll does that mean?"
over the top
(also "coming over the top") a downswing path or plane above, or over, the correct or desired plane, causing the path of the club through impact to be across from outside to inside the target line
Example: Coming over the top is a very common characteristic of hackers, usually resulting in a slice or pull.
post #13 of 27

"Coming Over the Top"

That is something I tend to do: my hips, shoulders, and arms move out of synch and I blade the ball. Am trying to fix by concentrating on coming at the ball from the inside and keeping the shoulders square to the ball at impact.

As for the Hogan quote: If he really said it, maybe he was kidding. Some people claim William Ben had a sense of humor.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm not sure if Ben was kidding, but as the previous poster stated it is a VERY common problem among new players and those of us who have it creep in sometime.

A proper downswing starts with the hips then shoulders which pull the arms and club down to the ball. New golfers tend to swing with their arms, so instead of the clubhead dropping down to the ball along a plane in line with the shoulders it tends to loop "over the top" following path over and in front of the shoulders approaching the ball on an outside/in path resulting in slices.

Keeping that right elbow tucked in or bringing it back down to the right side is one of the things that helps prevent an over the top swing.
post #15 of 27

I cant believe there are people who like golf enough to sign up for a website to blog about it but dont know what a push or coming over the top mean.  any of you with a handicap over 20 and consistently slice the ball are coming over the top.  I dont need to know anything else about your swing.  it may feel like you are coming from the inside but i guarantee when you get to the top your throwing your hands forward.  your divots dont lie.  if theyre left of your target your coming over the top and cutting across the ball

post #16 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip24 View Post

I cant believe there are people who like golf enough to sign up for a website to blog about it but dont know what a push or coming over the top mean.  any of you with a handicap over 20 and consistently slice the ball are coming over the top.  I dont need to know anything else about your swing.  it may feel like you are coming from the inside but i guarantee when you get to the top your throwing your hands forward.  your divots dont lie.  if theyre left of your target your coming over the top and cutting across the ball


Aren't there posts from within the past five years that you could respond to?

post #17 of 27

Over the top.

 

Looking at the swing from down-the-line perspective, draw from the ball and up the shaft when it is at impact and extended all the way up trough the player's body. This is the plane line.  Different swings get to this position different way but everyone gets to this position. Most good swings keep the shaft under that plane line during the swing.

 

From the top of a backswing, a swing is "over-the-top" if the shaft is above the swing plane while coming down. For many, including me, this is because I start my downswing by moving the trail shoulder forward toward the ball. This creates an over-the-top swing that means the swing path is outside to inside as you are getting to the ball. It is probably the most common swing fault.

post #18 of 27

As for the trail elbow, I like mine to FEEL like it is in tight. It is not really "tight" and does not touch my side -- maybe 4-5 inches from my side in reality. The flying elbow issue for me is my trail forearm getting flat (instead of staying up-and-down) and the elbow flying out behind my side. My longest and straightest shots feel like the elbow is tight near my body and my lead arm feels straight. My tempo feels slow, my backswing feels short, and my hips feel fully turned. On video, the difference between what feels great and what feels awful is hardly noticeable.

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