Right Elbow: Secret To A Better Golf Swing

If you’re frustrated with your lack of consistency and yearn for a better golf swing, you’ll want to understand the correct movements of your right elbow. You might think you just let it bend going back, then straighten coming down, but I can tell you firsthand it’s not all that easy.

For the majority of high handicap golfers, there are a ton of manipulations going on to hit the ball, and the sad thing is they don’t know they’re doing it, or if they didn’t they wouldn’t know how to fix it.

Just like throwing a baseball or hitting a tennis ball, the action and movement in your right arm (and elbow) need to be consistent, or the accuracy of the improper movement will not happen.

When you take the club away, your right arm does not bend until about 2 feet back. You want some width in your swing, and an early bending of this joint will reduce the amount of width you have.

It also picks the club up early with a lifting fashion, as opposed to sweeping it back.

Any independent move you make in any joint going back, needs to be undone coming down. So eliminating this wasted movement will simplify your golf swing.

Same goes with your wrists. Cocking them too early will set the chain of motion in the wrong sequence, creating compensations coming down, then you’ll entered timing into this equation which will complicate your swing even more.

I hope you’re seeing a consistent trend in my approach to better golf. The more you can simplify your swing, the more enjoyment you’re going to get out of the game.

So at the top, your elbow should be pointing nearly straight down at the ground from the down the line view. If it is pointing behind you, you’ll be crossing the line with your club, which will make it very difficult to come down on plane.

Also, you want to make sure you can get that elbow down and in front of your right hip, to be able to compress your golf ball.

This is where many golfers get it wrong. The most common fault is throwing (casting) the club from the top, which prematurely straightens the arm, and does not allow it to get in front of the hip at impact.

The first part of the downswing is a dropping of the right elbow, not an extending of the elbow. If you can focus on it dropping, you’re on your way to better ball striking.

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Written by Mike Pedersen

Mike Pedersen helps golfers' improve their golf swing power, consistency and golf swing faults by addressing the physical limitations in their golf swing. For more golf backswing tips, visit


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