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Arm Extension - Timing And Direction

During the downswing, your goal is to build speed in your hands and then transfer that speed to the club head. This process involves a team approach of the body and the arms. When it comes to the arms, there are two general issues that can show up.  One is the timing of when the arms fire (almost always too soon) and the second is the direction (or the positions of the arms). For a full swing, the arms should work more across the body than down toward the golf ball. If they work more down toward the golf ball, then it will be almost impossible for your body to rotate and side bend as much as you would like.

Tags: Release, Concept, Intermediate, Beginner

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The struggle is arm extension timing and direction.

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So there's two major things that you can look at when you're watching a video and you're

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seeing when the arms are releasing and kind of what direction.

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Now, we can't see on video the intention and necessarily why your arms are extending when

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they are.

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But simply put, the more that your body stops, the more that your body kind of braces,

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that's going to cause your arms to extend, the more that your body continues rotating,

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and that's going to delay the timing of those arm extension.

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So if you videotape yourself and you look at your swing or you submit it and we talk

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about the timing of when the arms extend, this is roughly what we're looking at.

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What should happen is right about here, my arms are going to start extending, but my body

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is going to continue turning, so it looks on video like they're going to be extending

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more or less down through this hitting area with everything say longer than a seven-iron.

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The wedge is it will tend to look a little bit sooner.

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So the timing of it is the later we can get the timing of that arm extension, the more

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that we're using our body to power the swing, and the more that we're going to have

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a lengthy flat spot at the bottom, because the more that my arms are extending through

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the hit, that's going to keep that club head low to the ground.

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My arms have already extended, the only way that club could say low to the ground is

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if my upper body drifted forward like that, which wouldn't be very powerful or consistent

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or easy for me to balance with.

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So the only way for me to get a really good flat spot is to delay the timing of those

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arms extending and working on getting those arms to extend down through the hit instead

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of into the hit.

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So the timing piece is a little bit pretty cut and dry.

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We can look on video and see when that right arm is starting to extend.

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The second piece is going to be the direction.

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So I really break it down because there's only two real options.

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The arms could either extend straight out away from me, kind of like so or straight out

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in front of my right shoulder, or they could extend more across my body and head of my left

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So the more that my arms extend across my body, the more that they're going to go across

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kind of like so, which is similar to that white movement, similar to what we teach with

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the open trail hand.

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That's going to get the bottom this way and further forward and give me a more shallow

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contact, but it's typically also going to open the face.

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So it allows me to be more aggressive with both the supination of the lead arm as well

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as the motorcycle movement during transition.

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So a lot of golfers what they struggle with is using this arm release in order to get the

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club pointed in the general direction of the target.

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Now this can be fine for wedges when I'm releasing to get the club pointed in the direction

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of the target like so because I don't really need a really long flat spot there.

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I'm actually trying to get the bottom of the swing pretty close to where the golf wall is.

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But with the full swing of the irons, with the full swing of the driver, if the arms are

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extending too soon like so, then the club is going to come start working its way back

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up relatively quickly.

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If the arms working more across my body like so, that's going to help encourage that

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body rotation.

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In fact, if you look at it down the line camera and you see that you can you kind of look

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like this in impact where you're not seeing a whole lot of body rotation, then trying

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to get that elbow to lead that wrist and trying to get that arm to work more across your

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body will almost force the look of rotation at impact.

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In fact, that's part of my contention as to why golfers tend to look like they're more

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rotated as because of the direction that they're releasing their arms more across their

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body through the release as opposed to straight out away the way we would do in kind

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of a short game shot.

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So if you're struggling with either getting body rotation or arms releasing too soon or

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you're struggling with really consistent contact, typically working on the timing and

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the direction that the arms are starting to extend can be very helpful for lengthening

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your flat spot and working on your consistent strike.

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One last little piece about this arm timing and direction is that ultimately the timing

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of the arm extension should be driven more from the body movements, especially how my left

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leg is interacting with the ground rather than a force movement of the arms.

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So if I get to our delivery position and then I really push with that front foot through

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the ground to cause my side bend that will help trigger those arms extending.

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In addition, if my arms are working out away from me kind of like so when that leg tends

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to push that can cause me to hit behind it.

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So the more that I get my arms working more across my body then when it allows me to create

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this body side bend.

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So again the timing of when the arms should be starting to fire is driven by this brace

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of that lead leg not a forced or conscious action of the arms.

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If you're able to connect everything to the body and what the arms are trying to do,

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then conjuncture with how the body gets them to do it.

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Ultimately that will lead to the most consistent version of your swing.

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