left arm impact and follow through

Left Arm Impact and Follow-Through: Tips to Improve

left arm impact and follow through

Today, we’re going to focus on the left arm and its crucial role in your golf swing, particularly into impact and the follow-through. These two elements are closely related: if your left arm’s motion into impact is off, your follow-through will likely suffer, and vice versa.

You can watch the video here or keep on reading:

The Dreaded Chicken Wing: Why It Happens

One common issue many golfers face is the “chicken wing,” where the left arm bends at impact. This can stem from a few different causes:

  1. Body Limitations: Sometimes, the chicken wing is a result of physical limitations.
  2. Misunderstanding the Motion: Other times, it’s a lack of understanding of how to properly use the left arm.

Even skilled golfers like Victor Hovland sometimes show a slightly bent arm at impact. However, for most players, a bent arm at impact leads to inconsistent shots—topping the ball or hitting it left.

Testing Your Body’s Rotation

Before jumping to conclusions, it’s important to test whether your body can perform the necessary motions. Here are two simple tests:

Test 1: Upper Body Rotation

  1. Place a club across your shoulders.
  2. Keep your hips still and rotate your chest back and forth.

If your hips and knees move significantly, it indicates that your body struggles with separating upper body movement from lower body movement. This could be contributing to your left arm impact issues.

Test 2: Lower Body Rotation

  1. Again, place a club across your shoulders.
  2. Rotate your hips while keeping your chest still.

If your chest moves with your hips, it shows a lack of separation between your upper and lower body—a common issue for those who spend a lot of time sitting.

Improving Your Rotation

Breaking Up Your Movements

Improving your ability to separate upper and lower body movements can significantly enhance your swing. Practice rotating your upper body independently of your lower body and vice versa.

Adding More Turn

If you pass the tests but still struggle with a bent arm at impact, focus on increasing your body turn during the swing:

  1. Backswing: Get to the top of your swing.
  2. Downswing: Let your hands drop and then turn your body.

This sequence helps ensure a straight arm through impact.

Drills to Eliminate the Chicken Wing

PVC Pipe Drill

  1. Hold a PVC pipe or an alignment rod so it extends out from your left side.
  2. Take your backswing and ensure your chest keeps turning through the downswing.

If the pipe hits your body, it indicates your chest is stopping and your hands are flipping. The goal is to swing without the pipe hitting your body, promoting a full turn and straight arm at impact.

Punch Drill

  1. Hold your hands forward as if you’re about to punch the ball.
  2. Take small swings, focusing on keeping your hands forward and your body turning.

This drill helps your body naturally rotate, preventing the chicken wing and improving your left arm impact.

Consistency and Practice

Improving your swing takes time and consistent practice. These drills can help you train your body to maintain a straight left arm through impact, leading to more stable and accurate shots.

By addressing whether the issue is physical, conceptual, or just a need for more targeted practice, you can make significant strides in your game. Remember, a more stable club face and a straight left arm at impact will help you hit the ball straighter and more consistently.