How to improve your golf swing
You’ve been hearing it since you first learned how to swing a golf club — "you gotta keep your left arm straight during the golf swing".
The trouble is; how do you learn to keep your left arm straight?
A lotta golfers who think they keep their left arm straight during the golf swing are shocked when they see themselves swing on video…their left elbow usually breaks down somewhere during the backswing…or the downswing.
Some golfers are so intent on keeping their left arm straight during the golf swing they become rigid with little shoulder turn.
So, how do you learn to keep the left arm straight during the golf swing?
First, a little lesson on the physics of the golf swing…
Experts on the physics of golf refer to the "Magic Triangle" or "Eternal Triangle" that is formed in an ideal golf swing. This is the triangle formed by the golfer’s left arm, the golf club, and an imaginary line from the golfer’s left shoulder to the center of the club face. For best results, this triangle should be maintained from the start of the backswing to just before the impact area when you release the club head. This will produce a high speed impact with the ball as described in detail by Joe Dante in his top selling golf instructional book "Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf".
By focusing on maintaining the magic triangle throughout the golf swing you are taken advantage of a powerful physical force…the conservation of angular momentum…the principal that states angular momentum of an object remains constant as long as no external force or moment acts on that object.
If the object (club head) is brought closer to the axis (formed by the golfer’s stable spine), it speeds up. If the club head is moved further out, it slows down. In a golf swing, as the player rotates the club, the hands move farther from the body or axis and slow down. This reduction in momentum feeds into the much lighter club and increases the speed of the club head in the last part of the stroke, in a whiplash type of effect, increasing the force of impact on the ball.
The truth is, if your left arm does not stay straight during the golf swing, you are losing out on the benefits of centrifugal force because your swing arc is smaller. Think of your left arm as a spoke in a wheel and your swing arc as the circumference of the wheel.
You see, by not keeping your left arm straight you are essentially shortening the spoke thereby reducing the circumference. You are also upsetting the positive effects of conservation of angular momentum and thus reducing the impact speed between club face and ball.
Now that you understand the physics behind the benefits of keeping your left arm straight during the golf swing…
How do you learn to do so?
Assuming your golf swing fundamentals such as grip, stance, and alignment are relatively sound, all you have to do is simply become aware of this magic triangle. Don’t try to force this trianglejust become aware of it next time you go to the range
Then, just before impact, release all that stored energy you will have in the club head, like cracking a whip!
After a while you will be shocked at how solidly you can strike the ball
You’ll be surprised how straight your left arm becomes during the golf swing just by shining the light of awareness upon this magic triangle during the golf swing.
You will now have a tiger by the tail so use this new found power wisely!
Hit em Long and Straight!