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Jack Watson

The right arm in the swing

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I was reading a long involved diatribe on wrx about right arm mechanics and I am curious what folks here think about the right arm action they use or if they feel it does little.   I have played as a pure left arm swinger with right along for a ride and broke 80 and now I am a right dominant call it a swing and can break 80.  For me my current action is almost a hammering motion.  It's almost as if for me the right elbow is the swings center these days.  I enjoy this action very much and it's easy on my aging body.  

I tend to stay more centered with my head with this.  For me it's DOWN with right hand. The clubhead kicks out at the bottom.  I always wanted early shallowing but that's opposite how MY swing goes.   Just curious if most here are right sided swingers or if most are more left dominant.  Either way for me  I always get outt of sorts when my hands come out too much from the top comin down...high hands at impact is not good for me.

People get really into the right elbow and to me some players are more pitch and some punch but imo neither one is correct.  It's about what YOU do best...Feel free to ramble about your right arm here haha. 

Edited by Jack Watson

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@billchao

In your swing do you use the right arm as a power source?

Bizarre for me to hear YOU say that because imo you manage the right arm exceptionally.

I hate my Keegan Bradley Nicklaus right arm haha.  Really a lot of it is right elbow too.

For me to get where you get at the top Billchao is very difficult.  I have a feeling if you keep on track with what you do your ceiling as a golfer I see higher than mine.  We are both right arm haters lol.  Anyone else hate their right arm action?

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6 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

@billchao

In your swing do you use the right arm as a power source?

Yes. My golf swing is very right side dominant. There are a lot of things I do well with my left hand but swinging the golf club is not one of them.

9 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

Bizarre for me to hear YOU say that because imo you manage the right arm exceptionally.

Nah. Backswing is decent but have the tendency to overload the left arm by bending at the right elbow too much. Right arm also likes to roll the clubhead inward in the takeaway. At transition is where the train derails: the elbow moves behind me and tips the shaft steep, then I shallow late with inconsistent clubface control.

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

Yes. My golf swing is very right side dominant. There are a lot of things I do well with my left hand but swinging the golf club is not one of them.

Nah. Backswing is decent but have the tendency to overload the left arm by bending at the right elbow too much. Right arm also likes to roll the clubhead inward in the takeaway. At transition is where the train derails: the elbow moves behind me and tips the shaft steep, then I shallow late with inconsistent clubface control.

Thanks for posting your perspective.

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11 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

I was reading a long involved diatribe on wrx about right arm mechanics and I am curious what folks here think about the right arm action they use or if they feel it does little.   I have played as a pure left arm swinger with right along for a ride and broke 80 and now I am a right dominant call it a swing and can break 80.  For me my current action is almost a hammering motion.  It's almost as if for me the right elbow is the swings center these days.  I enjoy this action very much and it's easy on my aging body.  

I tend to stay more centered with my head with this.  For me it's DOWN with right hand. The clubhead kicks out at the bottom.  I always wanted early shallowing but that's opposite how MY swing goes.   Just curious if most here are right sided swingers or if most are more left dominant.  Either way for me  I always get outt of sorts when my hands come out too much from the top comin down...high hands at impact is not good for me.

People get really into the right elbow and to me some players are more pitch and some punch but imo neither one is correct.  It's about what YOU do best...Feel free to ramble about your right arm here haha. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMO This really is a source of trouble for me due to my combo-dominant handedness. I write, throw a frisbee and played tennis right handed. But I throw, bowl and bat left handed. You said for you it's 'DOWN' with the right (left for me) hand. How do you not come in too steep with that? Also, my problem is often I flip yet still manage to leave a divot in front of the ball. Just before impact I think my left hand always over powers my right and goes dorsiflexed to cup fast and strong through impact. I try sometimes to really come down and through with my right (lead) arm/hand leading the way and then post up on my lead (right) leg. I just don't have a good feel for this since both my hands/arms have a dominant 'feel' to them. What do you think?

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Sometimes I exaggerate what I want my trail arm to do more so than my lead arm.  I don't think most of us feel problems with our lead arm because what can it really do?  It stays straight and can pretty much only go straight at the ball.  Your trail elbow on the other hand can bend and point in a myriad of different ways.  Still, I feel like my best swing occurs when I am muscling both arms equally all the way through the swing.

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@Vinsk

The only thing I can really do is describe what I have felt/done. I played my best lead arm dominant golf with the intent of the lead arm being soft and swinging like a pendulum very vertically.  So,  what I mean is what worked for me was to let's say just stand normally no club in hand and then swing the lead arm at about a 45 degree angle to the chest.  Left shoulder swing center. Relative to golf posture I would imagine a straight line on the ground maybe 35-40 degrees from the inside and swing my lead arm on that line feeling like the hands never got outside that line.  The feel I used was left arm feeling like it was swinging vertically like a pendulum but right on the imagined line of approach.  So the line of approach let's say ball is 12 o'clock target is at 9 the line would be around 4 o'clock.

The trail arm in this method just added support but never dictated the clubhead motion.  This method worked well for me but I moved on to other things and can't really even make it workable anymore.  The crucial aspect was that the location of that vertical left arm pendulum created the body motion.  It was similar to the Malaska type deal a bit.

So,  now it's very different.  Now the basis of my swing is like if you stood there with a piece of wood horizontal at waist height with a nail in it and a hammer in the trail hand and hammered the nail.

So,  kinda like a bicep curl.  The lead arm is basically inert or soft.  The motion is controlled by the trail hand arc.  Feels like the swings center is more the right elbow to me.  My feel is that I try to hammer back through address.  I just try to remain still and make that motion. My body moves only a bit.  I never felt with either method when playing well that I was aggressively pivoting but that my body moves turns in accommodation of the master intention.  

The downward hammer arc basically kicks the clubhead out at the bottom.  For me I stay in pretty decent shape with steady head doing this and the clubhead carries me into the finish.  If you have watched Malaska it's kinda like a right arm Malaska deal.  It's not complicated.  

I don't shift weight bump hips squat or post up or try to spin the shoulders.  The swing gets me to my lead side every time without thinking about it.    For me this style is very very easy on my body.  

Thats my ramblings on that for now,  @Vinsk.  You have a unique situation.  I do know that I can't play well without having one side or the other be the master.  Trail or lead.  

 

 

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The most similar video I found was basically what he shows here with the right arm.  That's pretty much my swing

 

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1 hour ago, Jack Watson said:

The most similar video I found was basically what he shows here with the right arm.  That's pretty much my swing

 

I can certainly say I’m a culprit of ‘pulling through’ like he describes then trying to whip the club through at the last split second. I really need to work on this proper move from the top and try to silence my arms a bit. I’m always told ‘Phil is like that..right handed but golfs left handed.’ But I don’t think he’s like me in that I believe he does everything right handed except golf. 

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Look,  I am not a Malaska fanboy,  but he does have a good concept for ME to consider personally.  My right arm action naturally tends to go out away from myself too soon coming down.  The result of that flaw is standing the club up at impact reallybad.  That pretty much makes repeatable shots much more difficult than they need to be.

Malaska is very into left arm.  I am not,  what makes a big difference for me is simply using the right arm to dictate coming down but it does so with the hands much closer to myself at impact than my brain thinks they should be.  MDT had a drill where he would have  a student go to the top and then not swinging simply return the hands/club to where they were  At address.  We know address does not equal impact but for me this is very helpful since I tend to send the hands away from myself too much and shallow the club too much for my somewhat upright plane.  Many players whose mechanics are not compatible with doing so rotate the shoulders too much too soon and I am one of those.  IMO with certain mechanics one ought to rotate the shoulders as aggressively as possible straightaway from the top but imo this only applies within specific mechanical systems and there are prerequisites to that intent.

So,  I am right side swinger but I do like what Mike shows about the handpath he thinks is best.  I think it's all too easy to wanna spin and then the left shoulder destroys a good action,  at least for me.  There's so much more room for the hands so much closer to ones self than most people realize and imo if you can enter that zone then the club likes to square so much better.  So much of squaring the clubface in the swing has to do with handpath/clubhead position that it's not funny.  I like the right hand hammer motion applied to golf because it inches me closer to where I need to be.  Malaska is not into this concept I don't think although Pete Cowan is.

 

Edited by Jack Watson

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Here is a very weird flat swing but if you watch he makes it work by the Malaska move and never gets underplane...imo this is ugly but just think what would happen if his hands went outward at the ball...He'd whiff.

 

Edited by Jack Watson

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Pretty damn interesting regarding the movement of the hands. This is where I really prefer having a knowledgeable instructor present while I work on such issues. I could 'feel' I'm doing what is proposed and be hitting great shots only to see on video I don't look any different at all. I definitely know I often, if not most the time, 'throw' my hands out to the ball. After recent videos I made I've come to the conclusion that by far my shanks occur when I come outside to in and not inside to out. My shanks do vary however from a closed club face to square to target line but directly on the hosel. Maddening.

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Well,  I began this right arm thread in hope of more interest.  So,  this might be my personal swan song here in this thread but here goes:

For myself,  I went through many epiphanies during my years spent developing my own swing.  We've all done it.  Time heals all and also reveals false truths (epiphanies) about the swing.  I recognize and respect the mechanics OCD aspect of development many of us as golfers have gone through or are still going through since I went through it and can almost guarantee suffered more mentally than most because of that commitment.  No need for details...It's part of it for many of us with an analytical bent.  We suffer and the game can screw people up.

I enlisted professional help from very well qualified proven individuals a couple years back before I ever came here.

They bridged some gaps for me and I improved at the time,  but I wasn't the best student.  Looking back now,  I see so much more clearly what both tried their best to express to me in terms of mechanics.  

My goal in this post is only to relate my personal experience finally getting over the hump to where I honestly feel good about my game.  For me,  short game and putting is the smaller part of my game and always has been.  I am not very concerned about that.

For me as I have expressed before,  my opinion is mechanics are created first in the mind,  at least for me.  None of the quality one to one instruction I have received contradicts any of the five keys in fact they are only enhanced and made better by following what I was taught.  (Had I been a better student,  I would have saved myself much grief.);

Over time going forward I have realized that for myself personally because of my individual quirks and what not that many typical concepts taught online make me worse.  It's not that they are wrong, it's that I am an individual.

In terms of the intent that works for me,  it's unlike what I see on you tube(except one or two places),  other sites,  and even here and it's an intent/feel.  Starting from address/alignment,  and grip no changes from anything conventional.  IMO a good proper address is a good thing.  So after setting up wth am I trying to say?

Stand still and Hammer a nail with the right hand.  Don't try to make a big turn.  I personally do poorly when I lay off the club and try to enable the pivot and swing by that pivot.   I know it's weird,  many folks are TOTALLY OPPOSITE me and I also know they are not wrong.  I am not saying anything about anyone else and won't.  I am NOT trying to say people are wrong and I am not.  That's why I started the thread just to share not to judge.

What I have learned about myself is I am heavily oriented as a hands guy.  I see many people differ in this respect and it's not a right vs wrong deal.  In terms of myself ,  I chose to be a right hand guy vs left after doing both.  Many use both or are left dominant I am only expressing what has released me from mental pain.

So for me what I have found is that my pivot is a result of my hands intention.  I think of where my right hand and clubhead are and everything else that happens is subconscious.

The intent is a right hand hammering motion,  for me that's what swings the clubhead.  It's always about swinging the clubhead for me,  but how?  I like what Malaska shows above about handpath but imo,  he mucks it up a bit with left arm rotation.  That's for me.  That intent causes me to miss left.  So for me,  it's imagine you have a hammer in your hand hammering your dinner table to bits or as Cowen says an axe splitting wood.  

I know it makes no sense when you first consider it,  because the golf swing is on a tilted plane or let's say close to a tilted plane of sorts depending on how you define it and everyone wants a shallow one.'Roughly,  it's a planar kinda thing.  That's not total scientific analytical accuracy but it's good enough for this post about myself. 

So,  for me the takeaway is one piece until hands about right foot.  The shoulders move the club not hands.  At that point the right arm begins to fold into the hammer motion and wrist set happens...  No right forearm or arm rotation is given but the clubhead is swinging not being carried.  My right hand grip is very conventional but try this if you are interested...From address with no club make a right hand fist and fold the right arm up like you are using a hammer so that there's a 90 angle from forearm to humerous.  Totally ok if the right elbow raises a little.    Now turn your shoulders 45 degrees to target.  Now unfold the right elbow so you are moving the right hand down towards the right toe,  no casting of wristcock...  No rotating the shoulders.  The hands have a bunch of room to swing very close to your body.  The right side of the torso is not in the way  making you stuck because there's been no torso rotation.  Notice if you have followed to this point that if you are sitting there at shaft last parallel to ground that not much right hand arm rotation is required to bring that back to impact square.  There is some but in terms of feel?  IMO it doesn't feel like much.  For me,  this is a quiet hand motion going through...Again nothing here is in contradiction to proper fundamentals,  it's just a diff intention.

Doing this you learn something.  Or rather I did.  It's that rotation of the torso towards target because of the relatively straight left arm can make this impossible.  The pivot is stronger than the hands and for me because I tend to be out of sequence can really screw me.  I like to rotate too soon.   For myself this is a big thing because the very best ballstrikers get their hands at impact from dtl very close or for Hogan exactly through address.    IMO there's benefits from this but I won't get into that now let's just say clubhead squaring is easy like this...quiet hands...

so obviously if you go with a conventional 90 degree torso turn on the bs you will have to learn a little forearm r arm hand rotation to be on plane.  For me,  I play better without that turn,  but again on this point  abut a 45 turn most are not in agreement with me and I am aware of that.

Anywys,  this is my very best personal attempt to describe what has been working for me for a couple years.  I am very passionate and at times post things while having a cocktail.  Sometimes I post things that are not productive.  My apologies,  I am just excited about golf and that is a good thing imo. I am sure this post will be the last in this thread...At least I got this off my chest in some sense...;

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On 10/20/2017 at 10:18 PM, Jack Watson said:

I have played as a pure left arm swinger with right along for a ride and broke 80 and now I am a right dominant call it a swing and can break 80.

Neither of those things mean anything. They're feels. There's no such thing as a "right-arm hitter" and a "left arm swinger."

Any half-decent golf swing uses both arms as a source of power.

On 10/20/2017 at 10:18 PM, Jack Watson said:

Just curious if most here are right sided swingers or if most are more left dominant.

I use both arms. So do you.

On 10/20/2017 at 10:59 PM, Jack Watson said:

In your swing do you use the right arm as a power source?

Yes. So do you.

On 10/21/2017 at 11:53 AM, Jack Watson said:

Relative to golf posture I would imagine a straight line on the ground maybe 35-40 degrees from the inside and swing my lead arm on that line feeling like the hands never got outside that line. 

Feelings… worthless in a general discussion. Feel ain't real and your feelings won't work for a lot of players. Other players doing your feeling will hook the bejeezus out of the ball. Others will hit a bunch of shanks. Or whatever…

Feels aren't worth much generally speaking. Individually, they're the only way to teach:

24 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

At least I got this off my chest in some sense...;

Here's something else you can share: your actual, real name.

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Right arm in golf swing? Most of my swing problems center around bouts of phantom chicken wing of the right arm.

If my right arm is tense at address, or gets tense on backswing, I have varying degrees of chicken wing, in which the right arm - with raised right elbow - takes over at the top and I get variations of spinny hips and over the top on the downswing.

To combat this, I regularly do some of @mvmac's trailing arm drills (left arm under right elbow during swing motion). This has helped relax my right side. (I have an old rotator cuff injury on the right. A physical therapist who works with golfers says I have an impingement - impaired motion - on the right side).

A warning of potential problems is when, despite dynamic stretches before a round, I feel like my right shoulder socket is "shrink-wrapped." It doesn't hurt, it just feels tight.

If I stay relaxed, I work the right down and under and make proper impact with hands ahead of ball. This helped me towards several rounds in the 80s this summer.

Note: The right arm always joins in properly right before impact to help increase power.

Edited by WUTiger

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" Trail arm in golf swing". Come on, let's get updated first of all. If I let my trail elbow fly then I inevitably pull my trail hand palm off the grip. It's maddening how this has become a pattern in my golf swing. Even when I ensure to keep my elbow down, my palm comes right off. It's really plaguing me. Another of my issues with the trail arm is this whole 'throw a skipping stone' action. I put this feeling into my mind yet it never fails that I snap my trailing wrist too soon and flip. I just can't seem to get the feel of hitting the ball with a dorsi-flexed trail wrist. Or at least I should say I do it properly when I concentrate on keeping my lead wrist straight or bowed at impact. But the problem is I literally have zero proprioception regarding my trail arm or wrist. It's like I'm spatially/positionally dyslexic.  

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Since you, @Jack Watson, recently liked this comment, I'm going to quote it here:

On 11/16/2016 at 9:06 AM, iacas said:

I wanted to bump this thread to make sure people were aware of this.

While science informs everything I do in golf - it has to because there are certain physical realities, certain biomechanics, certain physics and geometry and so on - it doesn't make me a "scientific" teacher, or a mechanical one, or anything like that.

When a player comes to me and he's keeping his left arm in too far in the downswing and I determine that it's the priority piece, that player will get anywhere from one to three, four, even five feels to help change those mechanics. Feels are how we operate. Yes, the student will understand why what he's doing now is the area of focus and where I'd like to see his left arm, but the feels are how we get there. I'll try the first one that has the best chance of success (often that's all that's needed), but have more feels at the ready if that first one doesn't "click" with that student.

Every great instructor has a heavy "mechanical" background. They have to, because they have to understand how the thing works. But every great instructor also simplifies that whole mechanical marvel into the very essence, the simple thing, that the student needs right then, and gets them to achieve it.

You've complained quite vociferously (as much as one can in text…) that we talk a lot about "mechanics" here, but at the end of the day, that's all we really can do. You'll notice that there is actually a good bit of "feel" discussed in Member Swing topics, because those are topics about a singular person. We can discuss the feels that work for them (and those that don't).

Generally speaking, though, when speaking generally… feels don't work. Because they're different for everyone. The mechanics aren't all that different (or where they are different, you can express this - is the right forearm from the down the line angled like \, like |, or like /? But for all we know the one on the left might feel like someone holding a waiter's tray to one person, and the last one might be what someone does when you give them the same feel.

That's why this topic won't really go anywhere. It's a topic of feels. You sprinkle in a few mechanics, but the entire basis of being a "left arm swinger" converted to a "right arm anything" is a feel. All decent players use both arms if they have 'em.

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