Use an MLB pitcher’s elbow as a guide to help your golf swing

October 25, 2019

If you’re a golfer and a baseball fan, then take careful note of what’s going on with the World Series. Here’s a baseball move that’s good for your golf game.

Game: Pitcher’s Elbow

How it works: Three of the top-five golfers in MLB are pitchers (and if you went deeper down the list, you’d find that the fireballers dominate the rank). Chalk that up to a pitcher’s dedication to process and his ability to transfer max energy toward the plate by pushing off the rubber with his back foot (see Tyler Clippard, below right) — an absolute must in the downswing. But while energy and speed are nice, a pitcher also needs control. That’s done by keeping the throwing elbow in line with the body (see Zack Greinke, below left). The right arm may look like it’s lagging, but that’s only because the weight of the ball is holding it back. As Greinke opens up toward the plate, he’s doing all he can to make sure his right arm is keeping up with his torso turn. If it doesn’t, his sequence goes kaput. In golf terms, you end up “casting” the club.

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How to groove it: Your arms are weaker than your body, yet they have the most ground to cover when you swing. Make practice swings, firing your arms much earlier in your downswing while doing everything else as normal. When you get it to look like Tony Finau (below), you’ve got it.

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