Amen Corner: Let Arms, Torso Work in Tandem During Swing

  • Keeping your arms and torso connected through all points of the swing will produce better and more consistent striking of the golf ball.

Special to the Valley News
Thursday, June 07, 2018

Staying connected is a common phrase you’ll hear in golf, but what does it really mean?

There are many ways to talk about staying connected within in the golf swing. It assumes the premise that when the arms and body are moving together, the overall timing of the swing and path of the golf club will be improve and provide better and consistent ball striking.

Keeping the upper arms connected to your chest on the backswing, impact and follow-through is probably the most common form of connection, and it can also be misunderstood.

On the backswing, keeping the upper arms connected to your chest allows the path of the golf club to move inside and naturally along the proper arc.

A great drill to practice the feeling of a connected golf swing is to place a glove, towel, tissue or dollar bills in both armpits as you address the golf ball. You can even just tuck the upper sleeve your shirt in there.

As you begin to take the club away on the backswing, the goal will be to swing your arms and turn your body together. You want this feeling of connection as you swing the club back to waist height on the backswing before lifting the club to the top.

A common mistake during the backswing is failing to turn your body, where you just lift your arms and cause them to become immediately detached from torso. This is common for golfers who believe you must take the club back on a straight line away from the target and keep the path on that line for as long as possible. Ultimately, this vision will cause the left arm to become disconnected early in the golf swing by moving it away from the body during rotation, making it difficult to lift your arms and club along the correct path to the top of your backswing.

The other common mistake is when you keep your arms connected to your body but do not lift your arms as the club reaches waist height, resulting in the club traveling around and behind your body. This leaves you with a very flat swing, making it difficult to swing the club along the right path on the downswing.

This drill is best practiced with half swings, with your focus on feeling how your arms are connected to your body on the initial backswing. It’s OK for your arms to be disconnected and the top of your backswing. Later, we’ll talk about staying connected through impact and the initial follow-through.

Practice staying connected in your golf swing, and it will help synchronize your body and arms to create a better path to better ball striking. Have fun!

Peter Harris is the director of Golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column appears weekly in the Recreation page during the golf season.