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Arm Height for Top of Swing

Golfers who try to imitate the "high-hands" backswing of Dustin Johnson or a flatter arm swing like Matt Kuchar may be doing so without truly understanding "why" these world class players swing the way they do. Instead of focusing on what other players do in their own swings though, it is best to make swing changes based on your body's own strengths and weaknesses. Or in this case, you would want to ensure you are training a backswing position that is compatible with your shoulder flexibility. To do this, you can perform the classic "lat test" on any nearby wall. Ultimately, if you make sure to stay aware of your spine and arm position, along with any compensations you may use to try and "cheat" the test, you should come away with a good baseline for how your shoulders move and an idea of which style of backswing may suit you best. 

Playlists: Find Your Best Swing Quickly

Tags: Fundamentals, Backswing, Concept, Beginner

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This video we're going to look at testing your lats for arm height.

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So commonly golfers come in and they're making a backswing and their arms are more

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down than they see like a Dustin Johnson.

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And they'll commonly say, well, shouldn't I get my arms up higher?

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And I'll say, I don't know, let's go test and figure out.

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So one thing that you can look at when you're looking at your arm height is the flexibility

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of shoulders.

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So I don't want you to try to get an arbitrary position if your body, if you're going to be

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fighting against your shoulder flexibility in order to get there.

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It's better to stay within your comfortable range motion and adapt the swings lately.

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So one simple test is if I get into like a little quarter squat position so my feet

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are a little bit away from the wall.

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And then I'm going to try and get my lower back, flat up against the wall.

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And then I'm going to do a little pelvic tilt so that my lower back stays flat up against

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the wall.

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And then I'm going to try to keep my lower back flat up against the wall and bring the back

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of my head into the wall.

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So I'm not trying to touch the top of my head, trying to get the back of my head.

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So my spine is relatively straight as straight as I can probably get it.

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So then once we're in this good straight position, next we're going to test your shoulder

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Staying in this posture, you're just going to raise your arms up, keeping your arms

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straight and even with your shoulder.

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So you've got to make sure that your arms getting aren't getting wide, that you're not

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letting them rotate this way and that you're not bending.

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There are a few things that kind of monitor so you might want to do this facing a mirror if

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you can.

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But then you're going to keep your arms straight, raise your arms up.

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And if you have a hard time getting all the way to touching the wall while keeping your

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back straight, if you get to about here.

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And then you feel the arms wanting to pull, the arms wanting to bend or the back wanting

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to arch in order to raise it, then you're probably going to have a lower arm height

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than some of the guys you might be modeling after on TV.

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The normal is somewhere up around here about about year level, 160 degrees.

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But if you're not at least to about eye level, then you're fairly limited in your

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shoulder flexibility.

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And that's going to have a big impact on your arm height at the top of the swing.

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You'll probably do better playing from a flatter arm position.

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Otherwise you're really going to be trying to do something explosively from a position where

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your body is a little bit weaker.

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So if you're worried about the top of your backswing position, run through this simple little

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lat test and then adjust your expectations for your ideal top of the backswing based

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on your own individual flexibility.

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