In the 33 years I have been a golf teaching professional I would venture to say that the majority of golfers that walked onto my lesson tee initially swung the club wildly with their arms trying to swat that ball down the fairway. I always tell them that you are swinging like a drunken sailor and that their arms are AWOL (absent without leave).
Swinging the golf club into the back of a golf ball is tough enough without trying to swat the club violently at the ball with the arms free of leverage and control of the upper torso. There has to be some point of control to keep your arms from going A W O L. This point is the connecting of the upper triceps upon your pectoral chest muscles. This connection limits the ability of the arms to run of and leave your body behind. This concept is why so many tour professionals place a towel under both arms to practice. The towel drill and connection of the arms on the chest not only limits the premature lifting of the arms on the takeaway but leaves your body no choice but to initiate the swing with a pivoting motion.
Once the pivot sets the club in motion and energy is passed to the club head as it swings back around a little and up into a set position at the top of your back swing. The pulling force may pull your arms off a little as the club swings up but don’t lift the arms actively on the back swing! If you do lift your arms it is more difficult to control the swing arc and stay on a constant path. Your goal is not to try to get the attention of a plane or ship like Tom Hanks waving his arms in the movie Castaway. I personally have my students hold a volley ball in front of them and tell them to use their body to toss the ball forward while all the time keeping their arms on the side of the body. They do have to yell WISLON loudly when they toss it.
Percy Boomer the most influential golf instructor of all time stated this about the arms in the golf swing. “Now I have told you not to use your arms to hit with, in fact you should not play golf with your hands and arms at all but with your feet and legs. Now this is an exaggeration but one that is necessary to correct the natural tendency to use our hands and arms to the detriment of foot and leg work. THE ARMS WANT TO WORK AND WILL WORK, so it is necessary to emphasize the importance of foot and leg action in order to get the proper balance”.
The control or counter balance is the connection of the arms to the chest to power the swing through rotation into the resistance of the feet both on the back swing and through swing. The arms will swing naturally reacting to this pivoting motion.
WAIT A MINUTE CALL THE M.P’S I SEE ANOTHER DRUNKEN SAILOR TEEING OFF HOLE #1.
Happy Golfing Rick Bradshaw