The Flying Elbow

As I’ve written before, the Golf Blogger has a big problem with the flying left elbow. It’s all that stands between me and a single digit handicap. My friendly local golf professional said that it’s a matter of my arm becoming “disconnected” and suggests practicing with a club cover under the left armpit.

Being a gadget guy, I’m convinced that there’s a better (more expensive) way. Has anyone out there had any experience with this flying elbow problem? What was your solution? Can you recommend a gadget that would help? Even better: is there a manufacturer out there who would like to send their gadget for review?

I’ve thought about the “Swing Jacket” but have heard mixed reviews. I’m not willing to shell out $135 on the off chance it will work. But maybe there’s someone out there who will give me a convincing two thumbs up.

Anyway, if you’ve got a comment, click on the comments link below.

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7 thoughts on “The Flying Elbow”

  1. Need more info.  Do you swing left handed or right handed?  When is the elbow “flying”?  Is the person telling you this a teaching golf professional, a friend who is a good player, or someone you can beat?

  2. I swing right handed. Using a video camera, I have seen the left elbow break and fly outward as I come through the strike zone. The person who offered the advice was the club golf teaching pro.

  3. If your left elbow breaks and folds outward at impact, it is called a “chicken wing”.  Describe your ball flight; Straight, draw, fade, high, low.  Also are you a natural right handed person or a converted lefty?  Which eye is dominant?  It is my belief all “bad swings” are caused by a grip and/or set up which are incorrect for the person swinging the club.

  4. I hit a high fade when I’m hitting it well. When I’m not, it’s as likely to drive straight left and low, as it is to go into a high slice. I’m a natural righty and I’m sure my right eye must be dominant.

  5. If you’re hitting a high fade, your hands and fingers are not on the club correctly for you.  If your hands and fingers are not on the club properly for you, your forearms and the club can not release.  The result is an open clubface at impact and a high slice.  In my opinion there is no one grip for everyone.  All good grips share some characteristics and look similar, but all should be unique to the individual.
    Perhaps I should explain the release.  The club is engineered for the clubhead to rotate around the shaft.  As you swing the clubhead rotates around the shaft through impact.  This occurs because of the momentum generated by the swinging action of the body and the club.  If your hands and fingers are on the club properly for you and your set up is correct for you, the club will do this automatically as you swing.  You will notice your forearms and wrists will rotate through impact as well.  This is called pronation and supination (Ben Hogan talked about this in his books).  To illustrate this, hold your arms up in front of you.  Now rotate your palms up and then your palms down.  Your radius and ulna bones in the forearm allow you to do this.  This is what happens during your golf swing to square the clubface.  Look at any Golf Digest or Golf Magazine and check out the swing sequence pictures.  Check their forearms and clubface as the club swing through impact.  Do any of them have a chicken wing?  If you have your hands on the club properly and set up properly, you will lose yours too.
    Hope this helps.

  6. Based on your miss and the description of the shape of your standard shot when you are hitting it well, you would not want to fix the chicken wing. This move in your left arm through impact and follow through is a compensation that must be compatible with your downsing path and clubface. If you go back and review the taped session you refered to you will see that the path is outside in and the clubface is probably closed. The “chicken wing” saves the left miss and makes it at least playable. If you were to change the downswing path there would actually be some inscentive to get rid of the chicken wing.

  7. In the above post: “The chicken wing saves the left miss…”—- this means the move is to hold open the clubface by using the hands and arms to keep the face open through impact therefore the left elbow folding out.


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