Here’s a little tweak that will improve your ball-striking immensely. It’s easy to do, takes just a little adjusting to, and you will be amazed at the improvement you get right away. Keep your elbows together throughout your golf swing.
In his book, Five Lessons, Ben Hogan stressed keeping your elbows pressed as close together as possible in order to have the arms operate as a unit. When that happens, he said, “they tend to pull all of the elements of the swing together.”
Mickey Wright, owner of whom many people (including Hogan) said had the finest swing they ever saw, also recommended keeping your elbows close together. The reason, she said, is that she keeps her clubface square throughout the swing by keeping the arms and elbows in the same relative position at all times. She even sold an elastic strap to wear as a training aid.
If the two golfers who had arguably the best swings in history both advocate setting and keeping the elbows close together, we should pay attention.
Before you start experimenting with this idea, keep in mind that whatever you do, you must not put tension in the body. Just as we want to be relaxed but not loose, we want to be firm but not tense.
So if you take your stance then pull your elbows in as close together as you physically can, you’ll feel a tremendous amount of tension both in your arms and upper body. Try it. That serves no one, even the best golfers.
To get your elbows where they should be, take your address with a club in hand. Stretch your arms out, by straightening the elbows, as far as they will go. You can feel the tension. Now relax your arms to the point where the tension leaves, but no more. This is the correct position for your arms.
During the swing, have the feeling in mind that they stay this close. They won’t, but feel as if they do. You will find it difficult to get the clubface out of square because arms have to turn, preventing the clubface from closing, but they can’t turn too much, which opens the clubface.
If your shots curve one way or the other and you just can’t figure out why, try this. It’s another example of how important a proper setup is for leading you into a good swing and a good shot.