The Chicken Swing

Wrong Wing, Wrong Swing
The incorrectly executed chicken wing finds the shoulders spinning to start the downswing, but the hips and lower body lagging behind. This forces the club out toward the target line, resulting in a weak sideswipe at impact. For most high-handicappers, the chicken wing is the bane of their games, but if used correctly and “on-call,” it can stop the ball from going left—the mistake most good players fear.

The reasons why average players have trouble with the chicken swing is: 1) they don’t do it correctly, and 2) they don’t do it on purpose. The chart below shows the differences.

 Chicken Swing
 BackswingToo long Three-quarters, under control
 Downswing InitiationShoulder spin Weight transfer to front hip
 Weight Hangs on right side Lateral hip shift moves weight to left side
 Arms Outrace the bodyDrop downward in sync with body
 Path Outside-inInside-out
 Right Wrist Loses its angleRetains its angle through impact
 Left Wrist Collapses (flips) toward the targetRemains in-line with forearm (no flipping)
 ElbowsBoth chicken-wing Left chicken-wings, right stays tucked to hip
Face PositionOpen or closed, producing erratic results
Slightly open, producing consistent results

PGA professional Dr. T.J. Tomasi is regarded as one of the top 100 teachers in America. He instructs at Pistol Creek Golf Club located outside Hartford, Conn.


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