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Left Arm Problems
Over the last few weeks, I have been busy giving instruction to numerous avid golfers and beginners. While instructing several of my students, I found a common problem that made me re-examine one of the most important parts of the swing: the left arm.

The suggestions I made were for each of them to feel comfortable, relax their arms, and swing the club to the top of their backswing. For most of them, this was a challenge due to flexibility and some ill advice when first learning the game. The flexibility issue was obvious, hence my suggestion to bend the left arm at the top of the back swing. And the ill advice of keeping the left arm straight all the way through the swing was causing a short circuit in the logic department of the brain.

So as a snap shock treatment, I simply asked them if they felt they were as flexible now as they were when they were Tiger Woods' age. This seemed to help, but trying to un-learn something can be the greatest challenge of all.

I decided to break down the swing to show the importance of having a straight left arm at IMPACT. The impact position is undoubtedly the most important part of the golf swing, so it is important to start there.

Think, for a moment, of a yo-yo. They seem to be back in style, and being so close to Christmas they are probably still very vivid in your memory. There is a yo-yo trick called "around the world." For all of you yo-yo novices, it is achieved by spinning the yo-yo around in a circle with the string at full length.

The golf swing is very similar. If you take that yo-yo and swing it back like a golf club until it wraps around your body, and then swing it down as if to hit a shot, the yo-yo string straightens along with both of your arms. So, if it's possible to do this with string, what would be the harm in doing it with a golf club?

Next time you golf, allow your arms to bend just a little at the top of your swing. Keep them loose so that they straighten comfortably at impact. I believe that you will increase distance, improve your feel and decrease the discomfort in your back and joints.

Good luck in golf and life, and remember...

If it hurts or causes irritable discomfort, they have creams that will help that. But if you are uncomfortable and what you are doing seems illogical, you may need the advice from your golf doctor.

 
 ©1999 Craig Hocknull
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