In my years of teaching, I’ve seen far too many “disconnected” golf swings resulting in weak and off-line shots. It’s a common issue, but it’s easily remedied.
I was personally trained and certified by the legendary Jimmy Ballard. He always taught me to teach my students to set up “connected” at address. That is, to have the upper part of your left arm connected and tied into the body in a soft manner (Photo 1).
This prevents the lead arm from disconnecting from the body which causes all kinds of problems. Walk down the practice tee at any PGA Tour event and you’ll spot several players employing a method to keep the left arm connected to the chest — a true source of both power and accuracy.
Here’s how I recommend you getting the feel of this all-important connection:
Put a credit card or golf glove under the left arm at set up. In Photo 2 I’m using a credit card, which is thin enough to demand that you keep that left shoulder and upper arm connected to the torso, but light enough to not interfere with the swing. By keeping it there all the way through the swing as I do in Photo 3, you’ll feel more connected, and see the results immediately both in distance and accuracy.
If you don’t stay connected and experience the dreaded “chicken wing,” as I demonstrate in Photo 4 and 5, you’ll end up with far too long a backswing and an abbreviated through-swing. I’ve clearly let the card go, and there it is, tumbling to the turf.
So, keep that card, glove or towel tucked where it needs to be throughout your swing, and these and other issues will disappear. This simple tip creates the proper feel for connection throughout the swing. It works for 100 percent of golfers of every skill level.
Barry Goldstein is PGA Teaching Professional at Inverrary Country Club in Lauderhill, Florida.