Have you ever been told that your left arm bends too much? Have you ever been told to keep it straight? Do you notice that you take really inconsistent divots (some that are really deep and sometimes none at all)? If this sounds like you, I have a concept that will really help.
When you watch PGA Tour stars, you’ll notice they all keep their left arm pretty straight during their takeaway and downswing. There are two reasons for this: 1.) Their bodies are flexible enough and trained to coil properly, and 2.) More importantly, their RIGHT arm works correctly. In truth, your left arm must be very soft and free of tension in the backswing if you are going to get any speed and release in the forward swing. But if your left arm needs to be relaxed, how can it still keep its width? Answer: When the right hand pushes the grip away from your shoulder at the top of the swing, your left arm will look straight, and still be relaxed. Picture your arm as it swings away from the ball. It starts with a slight bend at address and then folds into an "L" position (like the old image of a waiter holding a tray of food) by the top of your backswing. See this picture of Tiger at the top [right]. If your right arm can create an "L" at the top like Tiger, rather than a "V", you will have plenty of width and the result will be a straighter left arm. Keep in mind that your left arm should be long, but most Tour players do not have it perfectly straight. A rigid arm is never the goal.
Remember, your right arm controls your width, not your left. Once you train your right arm to work correctly, your left will followed perfectly. When you learn how to get in this position every time, you’ll start hitting the ball better than ever before. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jason Carbone teaches at the Jim McLean Golf School in Litchfield Park, Ariz.