- Stand upright in front of a mirror and pull your left arm across, getting as close to your chest as possible without turning the shoulders.
- With your right hand, grab the back of your left arm and pull it to your chest. You’ll feel tension in the triceps and the back of your left shoulder.
- Hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
- Next, assume your golf posture and repeat the process. As you pull the left arm to your chest, turn the shoulders until they reach a 90° angle to the target line. Again, you should get a strong stretching sensation in the back of the left arm and shoulder.
Just because your shoulders turn to the desired 90° mark doesn’t necessarily mean your backswing is sufficiently long. If your arms stop too soon, you’ll restrict the length and power of your swing.
This often happens to golfers who begin the downswing as soon as they feel tension in the left (lead) arm. In this case, tension is a good thing. Creating it requires pulling the left arm up and across the chest to match the full rotation of your shoulders. This creates a swing that’s not only longer, but wider – a major key to increasing distance.
Use this drill and you’ll learn to stretch the left arm and optimize your backswing:
The lesson is, don’t stop your arm swing when you feel a little tension. Stretch that lead arm across your chest to position the club for longer shots.