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Get your arm swing and pivot in sync

by   |   February 11, 2013
Golf Sync 3

One of the largest problems most golfers face is the hands and arms not moving in sync with their pivots. This causes all kinds of issues with both how they will pivot and the ball flight that will result.

I see far more golfers whose arms move too slow than too fast. When this happens, multiple issues arise. I will discuss these first, and then will discuss a drill and some ideas designed to address these issues.

When the arms swing too slowly, two general things will happen: The arms will end up too far behind the pivot (common with better players) or the arms won’t work down or forward fast enough and will be carried too far out by the pivot. These moves create two different results, but the root cause is the same. As a compensation, many golfers will either pull their arms across their bodies in an effort to get their arms back in front (the case of arms being too far behind the pivot), wiping across the ball and steepening the angle of attack. The other common compensation when the arms don’t work down and forward soon enough is to dump all their leverage in an attempt to reach the ball and get their path more in-to-out. If this sounds like you, I have something I want you to try.

This is a drill to train you to keep your arms more in sync with your pivot and working faster, which has the other benefit of helping you hit the ball farther. I want you to make some swings with both arms straight from side-to-side about hip-high to hip-high. The key part of this is I want you to set/cock the club fully, but do it without bending your arms. The majority of golfers over-bend their trailing arm in the backswing and the leading arm in the follow-through. This drill will force the club to stay in front of you and teach you to separate cocking the lead wrist and folding the arms. The sensation while doing the drill will be that it is very army, but if both arms stay straight while doing it, the club will stay in front of you and you will pivot back and through.

You can’t swing the club with your arms straight without turning — it’s not possible. The turn will happen subconsciously. The goal here is to swing the arms while keeping them straight and set the club from hip-high to hip-high as fast as possible. This drill is done without a ball, and meant to be done with speed once you feel comfortable with the motion.

Once you feel comfortable doing it without a ball, I want you to go hit balls while maintaining the same feel while keeping your arms below chest-high. If you were to film these swings, I expect the trailing arm to fold slightly in the backswing and the lead arm to fold slightly on the through swing.

The wrists will cock the club slower and later than it feels (it will be very gradual). I also expect the swing to be longer than you feel like it is and the ball will go farther than you expect it. The body will pivot back and through, but it will be doing so as a reaction to the arms swinging while extended. The faster the arms swing, the faster you will/can pivot and the farther the ball will go. This will create a shorter, more efficient and more in-sync swing allowing for consistency and hopefully lower scores.

Golf Sync 2

Golf Sync 1

Above are examples of a golf swing that has both arms are extended with the club setting in backswing and through the ball. The arm swing is in-sync with the pivoting of the body.

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About

I currently teach at Hidden Hills Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla. I began teaching golf in 2001 and have had PGA Tour teaching credentials since 2009. I have been lucky enough to work with players on the PGA, Web.com, LPGA and Symetra tours as well as top amateur and collegiate golfers, including multiple NCAA national champions. I've had two students in the last two years graduate from the Web.com Tour to the PGA Tour. I am constantly trying to push myself to learn as much as possible about golf and many other areas of life.


2 Comments

  1. Rich Hill

    August 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Dear Dan
    I am a 79 yr old lefty “golfer” and have had a slice problem ever since! Local pros did not solve it ; tightening grip, changing grip, etc. but your drill of using straight arm has now given me a little right pull. Great that I can work with! Also longer drive with much less effort (that I can live with too)! Thanks so much!!!!

    Rich

  2. tom stickney

    February 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Dan–

    If the arms and body are out of sync you do indeed have a problem…check out Homer Kelley’s thoughts on this in The Golfing Machine.

    PS: Just between us instructors: Power Package Loading Action– full sweep for this type of golfer. :)

    All the best; keep up the good work!

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