Be Your Own Drill Sergeant

Jeff Fisher
Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
Mesa, AZ

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There is a lot of talk in golf about swing plane and where the club should be at any given point in the swing. I like to define that as easy as I possibly can. Each part of the body has its own specific job and if you allow that to happen you will be able to swing on plane and in balance.

The first part of that equation is to define what job belongs to each body part. The job of the arms is merely to lift the club. The wrists and elbows hinge and the forearms rotate slightly but all of these movements are meant to create the UP in the golf swing.

The job of the shoulders and hips are to create the AROUND in the swing. They do the turning motion in both the backswing and the through swing. The problem comes when you allow the arms to get involved in the AROUND motion because that pulls the arms across the chest and behind the body, typically creating a high rear elbow. In the downswing, when the arm motion and body motion are not in sync with each other, you will typically see the chicken wing move in the lead elbow.

If you are able to coordinate the correct movements of the arms with the correct movements of the body the club will stay inbetween your arms throughout the swing and your arms will remain in front of your chest throughout as much of the swing as possible.

Here is a fairly easy to drill to help you feel and accomplish that. First, take your normal address position holding the club only in your rear hand (right hand for right handers). Now, tuck your front hand under the elbow of your rear arm as you see in the first picture (pic 1). While swinging the club into the back swing, make sure that you are also turning your chest and use that lead hand to keep your rear elbow from moving behind your body. The finished product should look like I do in picture 2.

To get the feel for where the arms and club should be in the through swing, just reverse the drill. Hold the club in your lead hand with your rear hand tucked under the lead elbow. Then swing into the follow through, this time using the rear hand to keep your lead elbow in from of your body. The finished product should look as I do in picture 3.

If you understand what the job of each body part is and then work to sync up the swinging of the arms with the turning of your body you will be able to keep the club on plane and have a better chance of hitting better golf shots.

Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or