Straightening Your Lead Arm Leads to Consistent Contact

By Ryan Gager

Try these tips to help straighten your lead elbow through the swing

As we all know, golf requires focus, technique, and precision. One aspect of the game that many players struggle with is keeping their lead arm straight throughout the golf swing. In the latest edition of Data Driven, Connie Chen, GOLFTEC Content Creator, and Nick Clearwater discuss some tips to help you maintain a straight lead arm and improve your contact at impact.

What is Lead Elbow Flex?

The first thing to understand is the concept of lead elbow flex. This refers to the amount that your elbow is flexed, relative to your wrist and shoulder, when you are swinging the club. The angle difference between these three points is your lead elbow flex. Better players tend to have less elbow flex, while less experienced golfers tend to have more flex. The measurements in the photo are provided by our OptiMotion technology.

Lead elbow flex often happens when the golfer pulls their hands towards their body. Instead, try to push your arms outwards and maintain that push throughout your swing. This will help you keep your lead arm straight and reduce your elbow flex.

We’ve previously talked about similar backswing flaws with Hannah and Fredrik, and correcting them to help you build a better swing.

When your lead elbow is bent on the backswing, it leads to issues on the downswing as well. Often golfers pull their arms down when delivering the club to ball causing the elbow to bend even more, and as a result the club gets very close to the trail shoulder, which causes fat and thin shots.

On the left, Connie has too much elbow flex at 76 degrees. On the right, Connie is in a much better position at the top of the backswing with 10 degrees of lead elbow flex.

Tips for Keeping the Lead Arm Straight

Connie provides two tips for keeping the lead arm straight:

  1. Push outwards throughout the swing. As you take the club back, try to feel like you’re pushing your palms into the ground and maintain that push throughout the swing.
  2. Use your right hand to grab your left wrist and stretch it straight. Keep a stretch or push out with your right hand into the backswing.

To keep your lead arm straight throughout the golf swing, it’s important to start at address. Stretch your arms out and try to push your palms into the ground. This will help you feel the stretch as you take the club back into your backswing. From there, maintain the push and keep your arms pushing outwards throughout your swing.

As you reach the top of your backswing, check to make sure you are keeping your lead arm straight. Avoid separating your elbows and keep them close to your body. This will help you maintain a straight lead arm and avoid excessive elbow flex.

When the shaft is parallel to the ground, check again to make sure your lead arm is straight. Many golfers struggle with excessive elbow flex at this point, which can cause the club to dig into the ground at impact. Keep your arms pushing outwards and maintain a straight lead arm to avoid this problem.

To help keep your lead arm straight try to feel like you’re pushing you palms into the ground.

Finally, make sure one last time to straighten your lead arm through the shot. This is a general rule that applies to 95% of PGA Tour players. Straightening your arm will help you maintain a straight lead arm, improve your golf swing and ensure you make consistent contact.

In conclusion, keeping your lead arm straight throughout the golf swing is an important aspect of the game. By maintaining a push outwards and avoiding excessive elbow flex, you can improve your swing and lower your scores. To find out what your elbow flex numbers are, find a GOLFTEC near you to start working with a certified Coach. Also, give these tips a try and see how they work for you on the course. Good luck and happy golfing!

Check out more Data Driven videos featuring tips on keeping your arms straight from GOLFTEC below.

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