Drill 2 Short Swing 1

Maybe you’ve heard the age-old golf tip, “Keep your left arm straight.” Players who allow the elbow to buckle on the backswing often lose control of the club, resulting in weak, inconsistent shots.

Many golfers do, in fact, manage to maintain a firm left (lead) arm as they take the club back, but then allow it to collapse as the shoulders stop turning. The elbow bend is often accompanied by excessive hinging of the left wrist, causing the club to drop down past the left shoulder. From here, it’s nearly impossible to synchronize the downswing and deliver the club to the ball with speed and accuracy.

The key, then, is to keep the left elbow firm (but not tense) and the left wrist properly cocked as you reach the top. When the shoulders stop rotating, so should your arms and hands.

Here’s a drill that will help you shorten that swing:

Drill 2 Short Swing 2

  • Choose a short iron and locate a target at the club’s full distance. For example, if you choose a club that you normally hit 120 yards, find a marker at that distance.
  • Begin hitting shots that land 20-30 yards short of the target, focusing on a firm left arm and wrist.
  • Swing slowly and allow yourself to feel the arm and wrist holding steady as you complete the backswing.
  • After a while, you may find that your shots travel as far as – if not farther than – balls hit when making a full backswing the old way. By keeping everything under control, you’ll harness the power of the body’s big muscles and make consistently solid contact.