Use Swing Width to Add Golf Distance (ei Flexibility required)

 SWING WIDTH EQUALS POWER

(BIG MUSCLES DO NOT…JUST ASK FREDDIE COUPLES)

Your left and right elbow positions are key ingredients to creating more swing width which translates into more golf distance.

Golfer is compensating for poor flexibility by collapsing elbows at the top of the backswing.

Golfer is compensating for poor flexibility by collapsing elbows at the top of the backswing.

Most golfers over 50 that are striving for more power, often allow the elbows to break down in an effort to lengthen their swing…kind of a John Daly attempt.

However, John Daly can make that swing and still keep his left elbow straight, the rest of us mortals can’t come close.

As a result, the more powerful swing is almost always a shorter backswing that maintains width, one with a straight left elbow.

No less important is the position of the right elbow. Many golfers know that they should keep their left elbow straight, but rarely do golfers understand the right elbow and how to position it for power.

At the top of your backswing, the right elbow should maintain a 90 degree angle for optimum power production.

Correct Position with left elbow straight and right elbow at 90 degrees. If you are over 50, you might have to shorten your swing to achieve these positions due to poor flexibility.

Correct Position with left elbow straight and right elbow at 90 degrees. If you are over 50, you might have to shorten your swing to achieve these positions due to poor flexibility.


The position of your left arm is also important as it relates to the head. It is much easier to consistently hit a golf ball if your head remains relatively still as opposed to a head that is moving.

Many golfers over 50 move their head to the side as they take their backswing.

This has several potential causes:

1) poor neck flexibility (the head needs to be able to rotate at least 70 degrees in order to be still in the backswing)
2) the head is tilted too far downwards and your shoulder is running into your chin on the backswing
3) you are raising your shoulders and they are running into your chin.

More often than not, the cause of the problem is either poor flexibility or that the head is tilted too far down which is usually the result of everyone telling to “keep your head down” or “keep your head on the ball.”

A more correct instruction would be to keep your head still. You need to raise your chin up just enough to allow your shoulders to rotate cleanly underneath your chin.

Fitness Fixes

STATIC STRETCH

Stand with something you can grab at shoulder level on your right. With your left hand reach across your body and hold. Finally rotate your hips and head to the opposite direction for a great golf stretch.

Stand with something you can grab at shoulder level on your right. With your left hand reach across your body and hold. Finally rotate your hips and head to the opposite direction for a great golf stretch.

DYNAMIC STRETCH

Begin with arms in front of you. Reach across your body with one arm and use the other arm to increase the stretch while rotating your head the opposite direction. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat to the opposite side. Do 10+ repetitions.

Begin with arms in front of you. Reach across your body with one arm and use the other arm to increase the stretch while rotating your head the opposite direction. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat to the opposite side. Do 10+ repetitions.

Check out this video Over 50 Golfer? Exercise to Improve Golf Turn and Golf Power on my merchant youtube page.

Pro Fixes

Extend The Hands At the Top – Golf Drill
Hands Extended Golf Drill
Take your normal backswing and stop at the top. From here, extend your arms moving your hands as far away from your right ear as you are able.

You want to repeat this position in your normal backswing to increase swing width.

Training Aid Fixes

1) TAC-TIC Left Elbow Trainer

 

Here again I prefer the Tac Tic Elbow trainer. It is designed to “click” if your left elbow breaks down in our backswing. There are also training aids that brace your arm into place to prevent your elbow from breaking down.

I don’t want you using any kind of “brace” because braces do not promote learning. You want to use a training aid that makes YOU work to get the motion correct, not one that works for you.

best golf training aids

 

 

2) The Swing Extender for the Right Elbow

Swing Extender

Swing Extender: Used by many of the country’s leading golf instructors and touring professionalsTo train the right elbow, I have used The Swing Extender for years and it works extremely well.Even if you don’t purchase The Swing Extender, I encourage you to visit the website and watch the 5 minute video. They do a great job of explaining the advantages of the proper elbow position in your back swing.

Here are a few benefits of using the Swing Extender which you may find useful. If you find your arms are too “close” the SE works to create a wider swing arc by encouraging your arm extension further. The good thing is, this extender suits both left and right handed players, plus many professional instructors choose to use it when coaching.

You also get to perfect that “perfect position” at the top of your backswing! You’ll find the Swing Extender very easy to use.

swing extender aid for a longer golf shot

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!!

D. Ryan York, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist

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