How to Fix a Chicken Wing and Collapsing Lead Arm in Golf

One of the most common swing flaws in golf is a chicken wing or a collapsing lead arm. This occurs when the lead arm (left arm for right-handed players) bends excessively during the downswing, leading to inconsistent contact and loss of power. Fortunately, there are a few key adjustments you can make to correct this issue and improve your ball striking. Let's take a look at some effective tips and drills:

  • 1. Maintain a Straight Lead Arm: One of the main causes of a chicken wing is early extension and bending of the lead arm. Focus on keeping your lead arm extended throughout the backswing and downswing. Visualize a straight line from your lead shoulder down to your lead hand. This will help you maintain a solid connection and more crisp ball contact.
  • 2. Strengthen Your Lead Arm: A weak lead arm can contribute to the collapsing motion. To strengthen your lead arm, incorporate exercises such as wrist curls, forearm rotations, and tricep extensions into your fitness routine. Building strength in this area will promote a more stable lead arm during the swing.
  • 3. Use a Mirror or Video Analysis: Utilize technology to monitor your swing and identify any flaws. Set up a mirror near your hitting area or use a camera to record your swing from different angles. Analyze the video and check if your lead arm is bending excessively during the downswing. Making visual adjustments can help you understand the correct positions and movements you need to achieve.
  • 4. Practice with a Towel Drill: A useful drill to help eliminate the chicken wing is the towel drill. Take a towel and place it under your lead arm, against your side. As you swing, focus on keeping the towel against your body throughout the entire motion. This drill promotes the proper extension and prevents any collapse of the lead arm.
  • 5. Work on Proper Downswing Sequencing: Often, a chicken wing occurs due to a faulty downswing sequence. Practice initiating the downswing with your lower body rotation, followed by the upper body turning through impact. This sequencing will encourage a more natural extension of the lead arm, minimizing any collapse.
  • 6. Use Training Aids: Various golf training aids are available in the market to help correct a chicken wing. Some aids attach to your lead arm, providing resistance and preventing excessive bending. Research and select a training aid that suits your needs and practice with it regularly to reinforce the correct lead arm position.
  • 7. Seek Professional Instruction: If you're struggling to fix your chicken wing, consider seeking professional instruction from a golf coach or instructor. They can analyze your swing in person, provide personalized feedback, and offer specific drills and exercises to correct your lead arm collapse.

Remember, fixing a chicken wing or collapsing lead arm takes time, patience, and practice. Focus on one tip or drill at a time and gradually incorporate it into your swing. Consistent effort and dedication will lead to improved contact, increased power, and more consistent ball striking on the golf course. Happy practicing!