Top Tips on the Arms in the Golf Swing
The most important portion of the golf swing that comes with more “myths” than any other aspect of the swing. The first myth that is involved with the arms in the swing, is that you can generate more power by primarily using your arms and ultimately swinging faster. During this section we will cover this myth, and how to properly generate power by accurately using the arms during the swing.
When you try to generate power during a loner shot, you tend to primarily use your arms, which will cause you to actually fight against your body, resulting in an incorrect swing path. As you are probably aware of by now, when you fight your arms against your body, it will cause a world of problems within your swing. To truly generate power during your swing, you need to focus on the “big” parts of your body, which are what generate the most power. When I say this, I mean focus on your core, your hips, and your chest. When you put too much focus on your arms, you tend to do one of two things: get out in front with your arms, causing a block. Or you get behind with your hands, causing a hook. The larger the muscle, the more energy it will generate, which is why the core, hips, and waist are the major aspects of a powerful swing… not the arms. For the most powerful golf shot, you will want to use your core to generate the power, and your arms to control the swing.
The best way to work generating power, while quieting the arms is with the following. Step up to the ball and stand in your normal position (if you read my earlier thread, bend those knees!). Pay attention to where the ball is in your stance as well, keep it towards the middle. If the ball is too far from the middle, make the necessary adjustments. From here, slowly begin your takeaway with your wrists moving the club head back. When the wrist take the clubs back (not the arms), this will take away some of the tension from the arms, allowing a more free flowing swing. As you take the club back, do so with the shoulders, again, not the arms. The shoulders are moved by your chest, which is a pivotal key to the powerful swing. As the club continues back, begin to separate your arms from your body and complete the shoulder turn. Allow for the momentum you are gaining to help move your arms away from your body, but don’t force this motion. As you begin the downswing, allow for the natural momentum to take over. Again, don’t force the club down, this will ensure your arms are still remaining quiet. If you do force the motion, then the muscles will become tense, causing the swing to flaw. From here, start the follow through with your hips and core, which will drive your shoulders forward as well. I know by now I don’t need to say it, but leave the arms alone – keep the focus on the core and hips. Your body will drive your arms forward for you, with honestly, little muscle effort. This will lead the hips forward and create less stress in the arms… which is our main goal in generating power. As you begin to make contact, allow for the wrists to snap naturally, which will turn your forearms over just prior to contact. This ensures better contact, and ultimately better ball striking.
As with every drill I provide, I suggest really taking your time with this one. I provided a lot of info, and most of it revolved around fine-tuned movements that are not the easiest to apply to your swing. Start slow, and work your way up until you are comfortable with the entire motion, from start to finish. My challenge to you: Set aside one week of practice for this drill. This will not be a quick fix like changing the grip or bending the knees. This will take time for you to confidently apply it to your game. As you being the drill, start slow, as I already mentioned. Begin at about 50% swing speed, and work your way up as you become more comfortable. This will ensure you are able to focus on the correct parts of the swing, and will also allow for you to make sure you are keeping the arms quiet from start to finish. After you have invested a full week, take to the course and apply what you have changed. While on the course, take note of where your ball is going. Did you gain distance? Is the ball starting down the intended target line? If so, then great work. If not, don’t be discouraged, you may just need to invest more time into the drill to reach your desired goal.