Posts Tagged ‘elbows’

Back to Basics, Getting your Shoulders and Elbows Aligned!

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Today I started hitting balls at the range and totally lost it.  I was hitting a 50-yard sand wedge but couldn’t hit it at the target.

No matter what I tried, my swing just felt out of it and literally hooked or sliced my sand wedge 15-30 yards CONSISTENTLY!

But no worries, this has happened to me more than I can remember and it does happen to even the best golfers in the world.

After doing that for about 30 minutes, I finally realized what I was doing wrong, my shoulder alignment was off (it was way open) and my elbows were open too.

These two things had radical effect on my backswing as I couldn’t “feel” my usual, correct backswing, or at least the swing I was comfortable with.

As soon as I consciously started aligning my shoulders square to the target and making sure my right elbow is a bit bent, I started hitting the golf ball miraculously well.

In golf, these small mistakes can be costly, especially if you are playing on the golf course.

One more note about your elbow alignment.  If your elbows are aligned square and parallel to your target line, your right elbow should be bent a bit naturally.  Otherwise, your elbows are a bit open and this can cause havoc, make you hit hooks and slices but never straight.

So, just another reminder that in golf, basics is everything.  Like I said yesterday, alignment is where it happens.

I remember countless days of practicing on the range, except I was aligned way right.  Now, I did this for months and by the time I realized I had been aiming 30 yards right of  target, I had developed this swing that pulls the ball in order to correct it.

When that happens, it takes me just as long to correct it.

Nowadays, I make sure to put a club down when I practice, at least in the beginning so I know I am aimed correctly.

It’s nearly impossible to develop a good, consistent swing if you don’t aim first.  It’s like shooting a gun but you aim 30 yards left of your target then try to move your hands 30 yards right, right before shooting it.

Anyways, if you ever fall into a blackhole like I did where you cannot find your swing, go back to the basics, start with alignment, mostly like that is the reason.

The Importance of Elbows in a Golf Swing!

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Today, while hitting about 300 balls at the range, I began to realize that my elbows were a large part of the golf swing.

For some reason I can’t explain, I started hitting the ball really great when I felt like my elbows were in sync.

Well after tinkering a bit, I came to an answer, the elbows play a big part in your golf swing. Even Ben Hogan was once quoted saying that he used his elbows as part of his swing thought. (By the way, that swing thought was imagining a dot on both elbows and making it point up at the sky on both backswing and followthrough, you can read about that in the book, The Man Behind Mystique, perhaps the best book with a ton of still photographs of Hogan. I used to read it like everyday when I was in high school.)

What do the elbows do?

Actually they don’t do much, it’s not what you do with them but how elbows act in relation to rest of your golf swing.

In layman’s terms, you want to keep the elbows the focus of your golf swing. When your elbows are in sync, you move your body in sync. When your elbows are in sync, you can turn through the golf ball without any manipulation in your hands.

So how to do this?

After a bit of practice, I found that the “length” between your elbows must be constant throughout your golf swing.

Try it next time you are on the range, try to keep the length between your elbows constant. And feel like there’s a string attached between your elbows and keep them taut the same.

After you get the feel for your elbows being in sync, you don’t want to think about it. What I do is at address, make sure to feel the elbows together and parallel to my target. Once I get that feeling at address, my body instinctively try to keep my elbows in sync throughout my swing.

This motion of keeping elbows in sync has done some wonders for my golf game, especially my driver because it makes you swing in the correct swing path.

Well, another great day for my golf game. I will be heading over to South Korea a bit next week (not for golf) but will be back soon!

P.S. A great way to really understand what’s going on here is to actually open up your latest cover of Golf Digest and see some still photographs of a PGA golf pro and watch their elbows, you will see what I mean.

Lorena Ochoa Driver Swing Analysis

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Lorena is a very good pro who exemplifies her game with her great swing.

Let’s take a closer look at how the champ does it.

At takeaway, Lorena is perfectly on-plane. A lot of the top pros are moving towards the 1-plane swing, which is following that red plane line.

At 3/4 backswing, Lorena gets slightly upright. This is still okay though.

At the top of her swing, Lorena is definitely slightly too upright and her club “goes across the line”, meaning it’s pointing right of the target. She will have to “re-route” her arms slightly to hit the ball square and if she doesn’t, she will hit a block to the right. This is something she could fix in the future. Greg Norman used to play like this for years and a lot of other tour pros do play “across” the line, but do as they say, not as they do.

Being slightly upright and over the line is actually not a bad thing. It’s easier to control than being slightly flat and under the line.

On the downswing, Lorena “drops” her arms to get the club back in position which is fine here.

At impact, Lorena looks perfect.

After impact, Lorena looks good too. Take a close look at how her elbows, arms, and hands have formed a “triangle”, this is really good stuff.

Conclusion

If Lorena Ochoa is winning every other tournament she plays, she shouldn’t change her swing but if she stops winning or has some time off to re-work her swing, I’d recommend to get slightly flatter at the top of her swing and that should automatically help the club point more parallel to to the target line instead of going “across-the-line” at the top of her swing.

Lorena’s takeaway looks reaaal good though, I’d recommend everyone to copy that.

Here’s Lorena Ochoa’s driver in action:

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