Tour pros like Hunter Mahan use torso rotation to pull their left arms in the downswing.
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Many top golf instructors emphasize using body rotation to pull the left arm and the club down to the ball during a right-handed player's downswing. These instructors believe the arms should respond passively to the body rotation. This motion allows for force to whip the lead arm and the clubhead through impact with greater speed. Left handers can create the same motion by switching these tips for the opposite arm. With a few practice drills, you can learn to connect your left arm to your torso and use rotation to pull the left arm through the downswing.
Connect your arms to your chest as you address the ball. Ben Hogan, perhaps the best player ever to come out Texas, liked to feel that his triceps rested against the top of his chest when he set up to the ball. Get used to this feeling before you start the other drills. It will make your practice more productive.
Groove the rotation you will need to pull your left arm in the downswing. Assume your address position without a club or ball. Cross your hands over your chest so your opposite hands touch opposite shoulders. Make a backswing pivot and pause. Shift your weight onto your front foot and begin to rotate your hips toward the target. Use the hip turn to trigger your torso to rotate. Swing guru David Leadbetter uses this drill to teach the feeling of body rotation controlling the golf swing.3.
Learn to use your arms and torso together. Wrap a towel across your chest and secure it underneath your arms. Make half and three quarter swings with a short iron and keep the towel in place. Swing coach Sean Foley uses this drill to focus his students on proper body rotation. With the towel secure, the only way to deliver your left arm and club to the ball is to use your body correctly. Work on this drill until you can repeatedly hit solid shots without dropping the towel.4.
Swing your left arm across your chest on the backswing and keep it connected to your chest on the way down. Instructor Jim Hardy has tour players hit balls with a head cover under their left armpit to learn this feeling. If the head cover falls out during the downswing, then your arm is dropping freely rather than being pulled by your body rotation.5.
Create the proper downswing sequence. Swing back to the top of your backswing and pause. Start down slowly following the correct sequence. Your lower body should begin rotating first, then your torso will follow. Your left arm should lag behind your torso, which indicates it's being pulled down. Pause halfway down. Your left arm should still be connected to the left side of your chest. Swing through to a balanced finish.
- It isn't easy to hit good golf shots with a drill right away. Practice the drills without a ball first, then start hitting with a wedge or short iron. Be patient and learn to do the drills correctly to get maximum benefit from each exercise.
- Make sure you start the downswing with a weight shift and lower-body rotation before your upper body begins to move. Opening your chest and shoulders too quickly can throw the arms away form the torso and lead to pulls and slices.