Cure Golf Elbow Pain

Cure golfers elbow and elbow pain related to your golf swing and learn its root cause.

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Clinton
Hi. I have hyper extension in both my elbows. So basically at impact it’s hard to stop the over extension due to the speed at impact. Any suggestions ?
May 16, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Clinton. It would be easier to help diagnose the cause with a video. However, even with speed you should be able to shy away. If using a lead release practice Left Elbow Position at Impact Video to help.
May 17, 2021
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Brandon
Hello, I’ve recently been getting pain in my lead tricep...right where it meets the elbow. Would this be caused by the same thing here? I’m hitting in the garage on a mat and can certainly feel it when I come down to steep.
November 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brandon. Yes. Sounds like you need to shallow out the plane/path. You should be shaving the mat. More than likely throwing the club into the ground getting the brunt of the blow back into the arm.
November 23, 2020
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Brandon
Ok...I am surprised I’m still doing this considering I’m doing the 9-3 drill with just my lead arm. Any recommendations on what I should look at in terms of videos to shallow out my plane/path. Thanks!
November 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brandon. Take a look at Drill to Learn Inside Path and Fix Your Release. Shallower plane and don't get too active with the arm/wrist.
November 23, 2020
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greg
I need some advice or a tip to help keep my lead elbow facing the target
September 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release, Left Elbow Impact Alignments, Fix Your Release and Left Arm Downswing Drill Videos. I would start there. Make sure you are releasing it properly with forearm/wrist.
September 12, 2020
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Jonathan
Hello Craig, I've been working on and will continue to work on this drill. However, I'm getting pain on the outside of my left elbow (not the inside). I release the right arm at impact, at the range is fine, but on the course (depending on the hardness of the grass), I get incredible left elbow pain. When I release the right arm (or even have it lightly on the club) my left arm is just taking too much of the blow from the ground. Any idea of what would be causing this and how to fix it? My guess would be coming in too steep. I'm just looking to be able to play consistent golf pain free. Thanks.
August 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jonathan. Sounds like you are coming into the ball with a very sharp angle and the leading edge is digging. Sounds weird. But, take a look at the Master the Golf Chipping Stroke Video. See if you can gain a shallower strike in the smaller move. Then, graduate and when graduating we have to shallow out that plane/path.
August 5, 2020
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Gary
I am really struggling with getting my left elbow to stay down the line without having the face open at impact. Can you please tell me how I can get the left wrist to turn without turning the entire arm on the downswing? My left elbow is in real pain at this time and no matter how much I try I can't seem to get the elbow pointed down line thus the continued pain at impact. Is there something that can be done during the takeaway, backswing, transition t downswing that could change the elbow to point down the line?
August 3, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Make sure the arm is rotating properly from the shoulder socket. LADD Video (Left Arm Downswing Drill). And, Left Hand Power Release Video to make sure you are rotating forearm/wrists correctly.
August 3, 2020
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Kevin
After taking two years off for this exact issue, I have been trying to remedy this since I started golf back up in January. I have had two periods of slight elbow pain during these 6 months. It’s nothing like what it was when I quit playing, but still worrying. I have worked on these drills and also the Chris Tyler video related to this subject. I feel good hitting into an impact bag that I can get into position. In the last two days I’ve restarted with no club just practicing the forearm rotation from post up to impact. I completely get the movement, but it seems to lapse once I get on the range. Overall question is, will these reps also help my club release properly? I had been putting in lots of release drill reps since the last boot camp, but now I’m getting the elbow tenderness back. Definitely frustrating as I want to play golf freely and pain free, but am always weary of injuring my elbow again.
June 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Yes, these reps will help. But, the key is when you add back the ball at the range you need to practice lead arm only releases. Work through the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release as add back the ball. You must make sure to start slowly until comfortable with the motion.
June 3, 2020
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Robert
My elbow pain is not in my lead elbow, it’s on the inside of my trailing elbow (I swing right handed, it’s the inside of my right elbow). What am I doing wrong, and how should the trailing elbow be positioned at impact? Thanks, Bob
May 18, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. Elbow pain in trail is usually 99% because of over using it in the swing. Trail elbow at impact should still be facing away from the body, but not locked out. I would check to make sure you aren't over using it on the backswing first.
May 18, 2020
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Christopher
When this video first came out a while back, I worked the hell out if this. I swear this was my key to stop hooking the ball. Before focusing on keeping the left elbow pointed at the target at impact, I could see on video that I over rotated it causing majority of my shots to go left. This video was my hook stopper!
April 30, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Christopher. Awesome. Thanks for the post for our members.
April 30, 2020
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Joost
If you point the lead elbow to the target, and at the same time keep it soft and relaxed, it is quite hard to keep it straight. Specifically if you let the arm get turned by the body. Do you have any tips on keeping the (passive, relaxed) arm straight?
April 30, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joost. Try the drill with two clubs in the Play the Best Golf Of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 2 of 6.
April 30, 2020
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Dan
I've just started practicing with the rotary connect device. After only two days, I notice sharp pain on the outside of my lead elbow. This is what is called "tennis elbow", not "golfer's elbow" (which is on the inside). I like the results I'm getting with the rotary connect, but I don't like the pain. Any suggestions?
February 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. Make sure the lead arm is rotating properly from the lead shoulder socket while making the move. Take a look at How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video. If you lack that rotation it may cause issues.
February 10, 2020
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David
Hi, great video of left elbow injury and how to correct it......I also know a few friends who are having right elbow pain, and yes, they are very right arm right shoulder dominant, coming over the top, taking big deep divots with every iron.......I didn’t see a video about how to fix their right arm pain........I know they need to change their swing pattern, etc. but would be great if there was a video that explains that pain and how it occurs from this sight with the rotary teachers.......doubt if my explanation to them would carry much weight......and it’s very possible you have that video, I just have not seen it........is it somewhere on RST? Thank you so much
February 9, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. We don't have a video explaining trail elbow pain. Nevertheless, you pinpointed the greatest hits that lead to trail elbow pain. Most issues arise from over use. "Tennis elbow" on the trail side comes from exacerbated work. Folding the arm too much to soon, excessive flexion, trail side dominance into the strike, etc... The arms do relatively little to nothing in the swing and when they over work it leads to inflammation/pain. Sadly, the only way to diminish is rest and stop swinging the arms too much.
February 9, 2020
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Paul
what swing flaws would be causing me tennis elbow (top of elbow) in my right arm
September 24, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Trail arm pain is usually over use of flexion going back coupled with improper release. Using the trail arm too much through the shot. Use the 3 Functions of the Right Arm and the Vijay Release Drill to help.
September 24, 2018
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Carl
I'm in line with Jacob. I'm right handed and my right elbow swells and gets sore. I have to ice it every time I'm done golfing. What causes the right elbow to inflame?
February 1, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Carl. Typically having too much flexion on the backswing and over use on the downswing. Make sure your trail arm isn't folding more than 90 degrees going back (3 Functions of the Right Arm). Also, (Vijay Release Drill) too start letting the trail arm/hand/elbow be more passive into the strike.
February 2, 2018
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Rocky
Is there certain drills I can do that will help with having my elbow pointing at the target at impact? Does the strength of your grip impact your elbow at impact?
January 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rocky. Overly strong would require more wrist rotation, but shouldn't be much of an issue. I would work on the Left Hand Release Drill and Left Elbow Alignments at Impact Video.
January 8, 2018
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Bryon
If I understand this right, at impact the lead elbow and back of the lead hand should both be pointing at the target. In this position my lead wrist has rotated almost as far as it can (without also turning elbow). Since the club needs still needs to continue to release after impact, how does the club continue to release? If my lead wrist can't rotate more, does this mean the lead elbow rotates after impact to allow the club to continue past the hands?
October 9, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bryon. It will rotate a little as the arm swings from the shoulder socket to provide the ability to finish. Take a look at Moving the Fulcrum.
October 9, 2017
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Jacob
I have been battling golfers elbow for a few years now but it is on my right elbow. Will there be a video soon about the causes and fixes for that?
July 5, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jacob. I will be happy to check.
July 5, 2017
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Peter
Kudos to you for your discussion. Would that you began your work ~10 yrs or so ago, Tiger may have had a longer career, not to speak of countless others. Peter S K . MS MD
June 10, 2017
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Micah (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Peter. Completely Agree. Chuck actually had a discussion about that very topic right as Tiger underwent the swing change that resulted in his injuries.
June 10, 2017
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John G
Hi I have the same complaint as Paul. You tell us of a new video and "watch it now" - I log in and it's nowhere - surely it should be in "new videos". An annoying puzzle - you should correct. John
May 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. I apologize. The link is working correctly on my end. This sounds like a topic for tech support. I wish I could be of more assistance.
May 12, 2017
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Paul
I just got another email telling me to look at the latest video, "Trow for Power". When I go there, it ask me to log in and when I do this and look under latest video's, I just cant find them. What can I do to find these video's??
May 11, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Try in the search box "Throw the Club Head at the Golf Ball." Use the search box. If you can find a common word like "throw" it will list all videos with the word "throw" in the title.
May 11, 2017
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Paul
Thanks, I tried all this, still no results
May 12, 2017
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michael
I see a lot of pros appear to preset their left elbow so it is already pointing down the target line, is this ok? Then you don't have the extra movement of rotating the left arm going back, it is already where it should be at impact. More efficient to do this?
April 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Michael. Take a look at the Gorilla Grip Video. Ideally, you don't want to preset the position.
April 21, 2017
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Rod
Good video I also get elbow pain in my right elbow. Any help would be appreciated as it gets painful
April 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rod. Take a look at the post below to Ray.
April 21, 2017
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Ray
Good to know. I have that problem from time to time, but with the right elbow. Any suggestions for that?
April 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. Trail arm pain is usually over use of flexion going back coupled with improper release. Too much trail arm usage through the shot. Use the 3 Functions of the Right Arm and the Vijay Release Drill to help.
April 21, 2017
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Claudia
Than you Chuck , what is the key to preventing Tennis Elbow in the lead arm?
April 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Claudia. Chuck is referring to the lead elbow in the video. Using the Left Elbow Position at Impact Video and the Left Hand Release Drill Video will help cure.
April 20, 2017
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Claudia
Thank you Craig but tennis elbow issues affect the the top side of the elbow whereas golfers elbow is the underside.
April 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Claudia. Typically, tennis elbow in the trail arm for the backswing is linked to the issue of adding too much flexion too soon and the amount being greater than 90 degrees. Do you tend to have any fold in the lead arm going back and/or coming down?
April 20, 2017
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Brenda
Thanks for this Chuck. I wish you could have taught this to one of my previous golf instructors. Even with every lesson being recorded on their video system, she did not notice that my elbow pits were pointed to the sky and after a year of this, I ended up with chronic golfers elbow. 'I' finally noticed and told her about it!! What a waste of money those lessons were :(
April 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brenda. I'm sorry about the waste of money, time and pain. Hopefully, the RST System and this video have you on the path to recovery. Thanks for the positive compliments of the video.
April 20, 2017
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Edward
Very helpful Chuck. Thank you. Have you another on preventing damage to the left knee? Ed
April 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ed. We don't have one pertaining to exactly the lead knee. But, I would check out Fixing Your Weight Transfer and Perfecting Lower Body Stability to make sure you are shifting properly combined with proper posting up.
April 20, 2017
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Peter
Edward, There are knees and knees. Some of us have a congenital anomaly, which makes the patella track medially (the inside of the leg) w/ flexion at the knee. You may have it too. No big deal, except if your knee is pointed behind the ball when you make your turn. In the extreme, the patella (Knee cap) can dislocate if you make the old Tiger Woods ("How I play golf") move--a forceful lateral rotation of the lead leg as a means to accelerate the hip turn. The solution: make sure your knee is pointed at or ahead of the ball when you go back. This will also help your hips from sliding to the right as you go back. Peter S K (peterskernnedymd@gmail.com)
June 10, 2017

Hey guys, and welcome back to another edition of Rotaryswing.com's "Golf Swing Injury Prevention" series. Today we're going to be discussing the topic of the elbow. Now I know a lot of golfers struggle with some of that elbow pain. And we're going to be talking about what some of the causes may be to that problem alone, and more importantly, we're going to teach you how to correct it so you never have to feel elbow pain ever again.

       Last week we discussed how to avoid back pain, and this video series we're going to be going through some of the critical joints in the golf swing. So if you've been battling with elbow pain or you want to just prevent it in general, you want to pay close attention to today's video. Let's go ahead and get started.

      Okay everyone, I know exactly how frustrating it can be to leave the golf course or leave the driving range and get home and start to feel some of that elbow pain. It's also frustrating when we're constantly looking for answers and a solution as to why this is happening and we really can't get it. Well that's exactly what we're going to be doing today. We're going to be defining why this is happening in your golf swing. And more importantly, we're going to be able to correct it with a simple drill in the end that's going to give you no pain and more control. I know control is a big thing for a lot of us golfers because control leads to consistency.

          So here is what I want you to do. I want you to think of it this way. We're going to be focusing primarily on the left arm at impact in your golf swing because that's where we see about 90-95% of the people that visit us that have had some previous instruction or previous issues with their golf game, they've - it's really focused in their lead arm. That's where it gets most of the stress.

       So, I'm a right handed player, so we're going to focus on the left arm here. So, what you're going to see here, I flexed my arm to about 90 degrees or so, and I've got my palm facing my face. And you can do this at home if you want. Go ahead and just let your arm extend out. Now, why does my arm not extend past this point? Well, our body has got built in safety mechanisms. It doesn't want us to go any further than that. It's got built in safety mechanisms all over the place. It's just a matter of how we use them.

        Can my arm extend further past this? Absolutely. If it happened, it would be extremely painful. You see a lot of professional athletes that play contact sports actually hyper extend their arm and they're sitting on the sideline for months and months and months. It's a very painful process. You're probably wondering at home, "okay, so how des that relate to my golf swing?" Well, I'll get there in just a second.

      I want you to also think about what the left arm is doing in the golf swing at all times, okay? The left arm is rotating in the golf swing. No matter what you hear on TV from a lot of these talking bobble heads, the golf club is always rotating, okay? I've - we've heard it before, this golf club ... This person holds the golf club square to the target longer than anybody out there, that's absolutely a farce. The golf club is always rotating, it's designed to rotate.

        For a stock shot format, a tour player is typically rotating the toe of the golf club 6-8 mph faster than the center of the club. That's a lot of speed. 6-8 mph faster this guy's rotating through the hitting area. It's just rotating at a constant rate. Generally speaking it's been measured right around 300-400 degrees per second. Where amateur golfers tend to rotate the golf club at an excessive rate, between 800-1500 degrees per second. That's quite a bit, right? You can see that's a drastic upturn.

      So, how does that cause the pain though? How do those two things together cause the pain? Well lets take a look at that very closely. So I'm going to turn to the side view here so you guys can really, really watch. And I'm going to try to get my arm to rotate very quickly so I can mirror what 800-1500 degrees per second looks like. Grab the club here. So I'm going to go through the hitting area, and I'm going to rotate that club very quickly. And I want you to just pay attention to the movement of my arm here. Okay? You see how my arm from my shoulder down to my wrist is rotating as one unit, all the way down. And it's rotating the club very quickly.

        Why is that a problem? Well lets look at it very objectively here. If I were to rotate my arm from my shoulder down, all the way down into the hitting area, and my elbow starts to internally rotate towards my body, you can see that my wrist is now suppurating here. Okay my elbow starts to rotate in towards my body. Why is this bad? Well if I strike the golf ball with my elbow now moved into this position, the force, the impact itself, is going to start moving my arm into that hyper extended position. If I impact the golf ball, you can see that that's the direction it wants to go. That's where a lot of the pain and discomfort comes from, believe it or not. Is because you are rotating the arm as one unit all the way down into your golf swing, getting the club face to rotate very excessively.

       Where tour players, if you watch their golf swings, their elbow position is now facing more down the target line. Okay? It's down the target line, because why? Well, here's the good news. We can rotate this guy, okay? With our wrist and our forearm. We don't have to have the entire arm rotating. We can rotate it with our wrist and our forearm based off the distal radioulnar joint. So if I were to keep my elbow moving down in front of me here, I can rotate my wrist. Okay? That's exactly how tour players control the club face so well and avoid elbow injuries.

     So, how does this ... How do we fix it? Well, that's a good - that's a good question, because that's what we're here for, is we want to drill. Now let me show you exactly a little bit more on top of that. When the elbow position's down on the target line, and I impact the golf ball, okay? I'm starting to feel the force here. What is my arm going to do if my elbow is down the target line? Well, my arm would move in this direction, okay? This is obviously an exaggerated form, we wouldn't see a lot - anybody break their arm like that. But I want you to just to see, if my elbow's down the target line, and I impact this golf ball, my arm is going to move this way. Well, you and I can probably sit here all day and do this movement and never really feel any pain or discomfort. Where the other way, you're going to start to move the arm in the direction it doesn't want to go, where that safety mechanism's saying, "nuh-uh. No way."

       So now, as far as the drill's concerned, and this is a good one for you guys at home that really battled with this, is I want you to just go ahead set up. Okay? You can set up with about 80% of your weight on your left foot, head in behind the golf ball, I want you to just go ahead and start without a club here, and swing your arm out here to about 9 o'clock. Okay? So my glove logo or my watch is facing back at you at home.

        And what I want you to do, is I want you to slowly pull your elbow down the target line, very relaxed, you don't need to yank it down there. Just pull very lightly. And I want you to rotate your wrist keeping your elbow facing down the target line as long as possible. And I want you to stop at impact. So elbow down the target line, rotate the wrist. So when you get into the hitting area, or at impact here, I want your elbow facing down the target line, I want your watch - your glove logo facing down the target line as well. Okay?

           So you can see here, my wrist is slightly bowed, this would be flat. Bowing of the left wrist just delofts the club. Okay? I want you to do about 100-300 reps without a golf club. Then your next practice session, I want you to start out the same way. So aim, if you're going to do 300 reps, your first 150 reps need to be done without a club. Then for those of you players that have an impact bag, this is a great drill for you. Start to put the club in there, you're going to set up the same way, and then as your arm starts to move, or your elbow starts to move down in front of you, keep it down the target line, and let the wrist rotate and have those same checkpoints.

          Once you do enough reps of this into the impact bag, then slowly start to add some weight shift to it, slowly start to add some more width, some more rotation, and repeat the process. Still continuing to hit the impact bag. Don't work on pulling your arms down the hitting area, just let your arm kind of fall and release. Keeping the elbow position down the target line. You'll see that this is, number one, you're going to alleviate a lot of the elbow pain. Number two, you're going to see that we can start to square the club face up with our wrist, and now you're going to have more control.

         Then after you've completed that process with the impact bag, then slowly start working on your release, and you're going to see that you will never have elbow pain ever again, and you've got more control of your club face, you're hitting more greens, which is way more fun and way more exciting. 

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