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Case Study - Trail Arm Training

Training single arm releases can have a big effect on the club through the hitting area. The trail arm is especially useful for golfers who are strongly trail side dominant. I frequently see this drill sequence work to improve chicken wings, stall/flip patterns, excessive roll and others. A common miss pattern for trail arm problems is fat/thin and pull hooks. The trail arm can be responsible for both contact and face control issues. If your swing looks similar to the swings in this video, then you too may benefit from trail arm training. 

Tags: Poor Contact, Chicken Wing, Iron, Analysis, Intermediate

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In this case study, we're gonna take a look at the benefits of training the trail arm only.

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So we're gonna look at a couple different golfers with some slightly different swings, but one of the common patterns

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that we're gonna address with this drill is that trail arm kind of getting stuck to your side.

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And when that elbow gets stuck to your side and then the hands pass that frequently is accompanied by a chigamway.

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So it has that look of the arm's bending on the way through

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through, but if you try the lead arm only and it doesn't clean it up, more often than not, it's a trail shoulder and trail arm issue.

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So I'll walk you through a couple different golfers using the trail arm and what kind of changes it produces with the release.

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Okay, now every golfer has different keys when they're working through the drill, but here we can see one of the early drills that he was doing working on this right arm only.

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Now, the club got a little steep into the ground, but you can see that the arm is working much better across his chest and

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straightening on the way through instead of bending. And his body rotation is much improved as well.

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If you can imagine putting the left arm on that on the end of the grip with that hand position, the left arm would be pretty straight and there would be very little if any chicken wing.

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So here he is over on the right, hitting a little punch shot after doing that drill.

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Just trying to duplicate that same feeling of the right arm only. And what you'll see is that the left arm has no problem staying straight.

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The right arm maintains some of its good arm extension that he was doing in that single arm drill.

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So that results in a much wider arm extension on the way through. This is one of our goals for helping this golfer eliminate the contact issues of fat thin and the ball

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flight issues of more of a overdraw or a pull draw.

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And then here we're taking a full swing after doing some of that trail arm training.

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And we'll see that there's always a little bit of regression, but you can see that right arm extending better on the way through.

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You can see the body continuing to rotate and the lot less of that chicken wing look.

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So as long as everything is moving in the right direction, this is a successful drill and will help us with getting better low point control.

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Better low point control that are face control as well as more consistency and avoiding that big left pull miss that we're trying to avoid.

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All right, next we'll take a look at a junior golfer who's got a little bit more of that trail arm internal rotation style release and gets into that really pronounced bend look on the way through.

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So you can see that right arm bending and really rotating a company by that left arm getting into more of a bent position.

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Let's see what working on the trail arm only did for this release pattern.

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Okay, so over on the right we're going to take a look at him doing the drill and again everyone's got little different keys, but one of the rules that I gave him was make sure that you take a divot and make sure that the right arm finishes fully straight.

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So you'll see he accomplishes both of those feet.

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You'd see if we were to take the left arm and put it on there there's no way it would be bent the only way that that left arm could be bent would be if we move the grip further back that way and made it more of a scoop and he struggles with the same thin contact and airing more on a pull draw.

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Now over here on the left he's taking a few practice swings and then trying to duplicate that feeling immediately with the ball and what we'll see is that he did a great job of maintaining the skill that he learned with that trail arm while doing it with this wing.

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Now you can see that there's a little bit of a Jordan's speed-esque bend to that arm.

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I don't have a problem with that as long as the trail arm right arm is getting extended on the way through, which is a sign of the better shoulder release kind of body release instead of just a hand manipulation.

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So over here on the right is where he was at the end of the lesson again getting really good arm extension on the way through, especially when he shortens him hits more of a punch style release.

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But here he was at the beginning of the following lesson after practicing it for a week and you can see that he maintained a lot of this pieces and a lot of the improvements that he got from that trail arm drill.

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So while each of these swings looked very different you can see a common trend.

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If you have trouble getting good arm extension and getting into a really solid follow through position then I recommend giving it a try the trail arm only training.

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