Left arm connection critical for golf swing

You must keep your arms and body connected so they move in a synchronised unit.

If your arms separate from the body, you are totally dependent and hand/eye co-ordination and timing and that is inconsistent from one day to the next.

If you keep your arms and body connected, there are less moving parts so your swing becomes more repeatable. Your also using the bigger muscles in your body so you get more power with less effort.

‘Maintaining this connection, almost magically, synchs up your body turn with your arm swing while keeping you on-plane with your clubface square during your backswing. Maintaining this connection on the way down keeps you on-plane with the clubface square and lets you synch up your body turn with your arm swing to help you produce your maximum power through impact.’

Golf Tips: Stay Connected

The best swing thought is that your left arm is ‘glued’ to your chest in the left arm pit area. A well known training drill is to put a glove, tee or towel in your left armpit to practice it. You’ll see some pros putting it in the right armpit too, and some even do drills with a towel in each arm pit. Personally, I find that if I focus on connection in both armpits it makes me too rigid and doesn’t work.

I’ve found that focusing on my left side to stop my right side dominating the swing has been a good strategy for me and this left armpit approach obviously achieves that whilst at the same time tightening up my swing. Played 10 holes today and my iron play was much better.

‘Left side connection was invented by Sam Byrd and later popularized by Jimmy Ballard. Byrd was a sensational golfer (25 tour wins) who also played pro baseball at one time. He was known as ‘Babe Ruth’s legs’ as he often would serve as a pinch runner for Ruth. during his time spent with Ruth, he began to learn Ruth’s trick for hitting the ball with power by putting a handkerchief under his lead arm.’

3Jack Golf Blog – Left Side Connection

The Key Move – Mindful Golfer

Jimmy Ballard even use to talk about a ‘shorter left arm’ or ‘half a left arm’ meaning that the upper part of the left arm was attached to the body. I now realise that most of my swing problems have been attributable to the fact that I was getting far too armsy and disconnected, getting out of sync and hitting fat/ thin shots etc.

The annoying thing is I’ve been aware of this before but like most swing fixes I didn’t stick with it long enough to really see the benefits. I’m definitely not going to forget about it’s importance again.


Notes from the range

Currently working on grooving an inside-out swing path and it’s working nicely, has definitely improved my ball striking. Ball flight still seemed to be high and it felt flippy though, so I’m also focusing on not letting the club-head pass my hands.

The combination of inside-out path and holding on to the angle seems to sort out the rest of my swing; better sequencing etc. Direction was a bit erratic but contact was generally pure with a more penetrating ball flight.

So, practice plan for the next few weeks is simply 1/2 to 3/4 swings making sure I have an inside-out path and delay release as long as possible. Working up to full swing and through the bag.



Narrow stance for better golf

Yet again my ball striking improved when I consciously narrowed my stance mid-round today.

It makes sense – the wider your stance, the less likely you are to find the low point in your swing unless your weight transfer and timing is spot on. The narrower your stance is, the smaller the mergin for error.

I’ve been here before but never stuck with it consistently and I found some good articles and forum posts that advocate it strongly. Many a golfer has discovered a shoulder-width stance is not optimal, it would seem:

The Width of Stance Myth

Rotary Swing – Correct Stance Width

Your stance is too wide!

Very narrow stance…try it!!

I’m going to need to spend some time at the range working out what the perfect stance width is for all my clubs but a narrower stance is definitely the way to go, I’m sure of it.

Best advice appears to be to get your lower body ‘stacked’ – ankles, knees and hips all on top of each other. Shoulder width is old, restricts your turn and makes it harder to get back to the ball.

You still have to make sure you are using your legs to shift the weight in the swing, don’t just plant legs and do nothing with them. Narrow it up, and feel the weight shifting to the right leg and back to the left. Your hips rotate nicely rather than slide.

Obviously the stance widens for the bigger clubs, but I’m going to play around with how much wider. Was hitting my hybrid good today with a wider stance and a bit more of a lateral shift.

Will be working on plenty feet together drills over the next couple of weeks.