A very common error that I see on the takeaway and backswing is that a student fans the face of the club open right away with their hands, usually initiating a swing plane error as well as a face angle error at the top of the swing (too open), which wreaks havoc at impact.
Others start their backswing like they are pull starting a lawn mower, with the right elbow pulling straight behind the body.
Tom Tucker is a teaching professional at Plum Creek driving range in Batavia. He provides instruction for BuffaloGolfer.Com twice a month. For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective. For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.
When a student learns the correct movement of the right elbow in the backswing, the clubhead will open to the right degree on the backswing, and will also square up naturally in the downswing.
The hands also don’t need to do anything special except follow the lead of the arms.
A good backswing has the right elbow close to the body, folding, and fanning open as you turn back.
It will feel like you are turning back with your elbow tucked close to your side and offering someone behind you a handshake.
I’ve seen drills where you swing back with a clubhead cover or a towel tucked under your right armpit to get the feeling of keeping the elbow from flying away from the body, but I prefer the following drill.
without a club in your hands, assume good golf posture then grab the right bicep area of your arm with your left hand
now turn into a short backswing, keeping your right arm close to your body with your left hand
allow your right elbow to fan outward and upward as if you are turning back to shake hands with someone
That’s how the right elbow is supposed to move in the backswing. It folds and fans open slightly and stays close to your side. This produces a correct swing plane and encourages an inside attack angle on the downswing.
After you’ve mastered the move without a club in hand, do it holding an 8 iron.
After you’ve mastered the move with the 8 iron while holding your arm, try it with an 8 iron with both hands on the club. Make sure you re-create the exact same motion, your right elbow shouldn’t move more than two or three inches sway from your side.
Get the right elbow motion correct on your backswing, and the rest will follow.
All the best,
Comments: ttucker @ rochester.rr.com
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