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Simplify Your Backswing with Shallow Arms
Make this one simple change to reduce tension in your backswing to start hitting more EFFORTLESS shots today! Tension KILLS your golf swing and this one simple tweak will make your swing more compact, easier to repeat for more consistency and help you feel more effortless on every shot.
I want you to think for a moment about the best shots you've ever hit in your life. Tell me one thing, what did you feel your arms doing during those shots? If you had to stop and pause this video and think about it, I want you to really go through this exercise because it's really important to help you understand what exactly I'm trying to do with rotary swing
For me, the best feeling in golf, and perhaps one of the best feelings in life is those effortless, pure golf shots, right out of the center of the face that fly straight and true and high and land so soft for me. That's why I play golf. I love hitting those shots and every time I've ever gone through this exercise to think about what it took to replicate those shots, I keep coming back to my arms and every single time I felt like my arms were very relaxed. And you may feel the same thing. Most people who I've talked to and gone through this exercise with say that they didn't feel their arms do anything. And to me, I think that's a huge part of the key, the secret ingredient to measuring and quantifying what these effortless shots really are, so that we can repeat more of them because that's really the funnest thing is peering those shots.
So if you think that having your arms being more relaxed, what's led to the more of those shots. Then we need to understand how we can keep replicating that by not doing so much with our arms and the back swing, because that's where almost everybody sets themselves off on the wrong foot. If you start building a lot of tension in your arms and specifically your shoulders, then all of a sudden, by the time you get to the top of your swing, you've got nothing to do, but to get rid of all this tension and it feels tight and it feels like a lot of work, you hit the ball, doesn't go anywhere. It's so frustrating yet the easier we swing, the less tension we have, the better shots we tend to hit.
So as I was doing my arms research with the force place this year, I really started wanting to create a formula and figure out the ingredients for success for hitting more of those effortless shots for everybody at all skill levels. And it kept coming back to the tension I had in the arms and the way that I use the arms in the swing. And that's where I started wanting to research the amount of elevation or how high your arms are in relationship to your shoulders at the top of your backs. Because your arms, if you have a lot of elevation swing, for those of you who aren't familiar with that concept, it's just how much your arms are moving up and down. So if I had a relatively flat shoulder turn and really high
Hands, that's a lot of elevation. Now I had to lift my arms up there. They didn't get up there magically, right? So the more I have to work to lift my arms up, the more difficult it is to turn that off and let arms naturally shallow in the downstream, because that is a critical part of the transition is that your arms, no matter how high they are, even if your arms are low, you're not hitting the ball from this position. They have to get back down and in front of your body. Now you can swing them down, push them down, pull them down, all sorts of different things you can do, but that doesn't lead to effortless, that effortless feeling of your arms being soft and then whipping through the shot right at that last second. That's the secret key to hitting those effortless golf shots. And in order to do that, I found that it was much easier.
The less elevation I had in my swing. Now, many of you guys remember my book from like 2005 where I used to teach a very, very low hands position. And I ran back to those times and looked at my old swings and I could see how my arms were so relaxed throughout the whole swing. And that was really a key reminder for me to feel, yes, if my arms are up high, it gives me a lot of leverage. I can swing my arms really fast. I have a lot of time to accelerate the hands, but it doesn't feel effortless. And the ball doesn't really go any further. If at all, it's so much harder to hit it more consistent when my arms and hands are doing so much in the swing. So I wanted to see if I lowered my hands a lot. Could I get back to hitting more of those effortless shots?
And could I see that instead of maybe one out of five, I could get three or four, even five out of five effortless feeling shots out of my golf swing. And the more that I shout out my hands, the more I relax them, the easier it got. So to make things simple, to help you hit more of these effortless shots, here's all I want you to start to think about that your arms need to do in the swing. It was focused on the trail arm, cause this is one of the ones where people, most people are trail, arm dominant, who are golfers of, if you're a right-handed golfer playing with right-handed clubs, you probably are pretty right-hand dominant. And that leads to so many swing flaws, you know, swinging over the top, casting the club that's all right, arm stuff. And really so much of that is due to just two things.
It's a lot of tension in the arms and hands and not using this lead hip to initiate everything, to get the swing started back down. So I'm going to talk about that part in just a moment, but let's first focus on the amount of elevation, because I think I can make your swing radically simpler. If you can just do that. If you can do this right here, just standing here right now. I want you to do this. That's the whole back swing with rotary swing. As far as your arms are concerned, now you can elevate more, but I'm suggesting that you don't, because I think you'll find it a lot easier to reduce the tension that you feel in your upper body and your shoulders and your arms and trying to muscle the ball and not getting any power out of it. If you can just do this,
A minimal amount of elevation, my elbow pit facing out my right wrist, hinged back. That's the whole swing and then a little bit of rotation. All right. Like I was going to clap my hands together. This is all I'm doing with my arms. Just letting it externally, rotate slightly that if I put that into the context, I'm not going to move my arm from what I just showed you. I'm just going to turn back. That's the whole back swing again, just this rotate back with my body may not look like much at first, but let me get a club in there. So I'll do the same thing. So now you can see elbow pit out, right? Wrist, hinged, back,
Little bit of external rotation as I go to the top, starting to look like a golf swing, right? A very shallow one in terms of the arms. So you need the steep in your shoulders. As you go back, we see so many golfers in our online lessons turn really flat with their shoulders. And this is devastating because now you've got to use your arms to try to get the club back to the ball. But if you get your shoulders, make sure that left shoulder goes down as the right shoulder goes back to rotate your shoulders, perpendicular to your spine. Now you can have this shallow or arm position, but still have plenty of leverage in your swing and really only have to move your arms. That much, that is going to make your swing radically simpler. Reduce the amount of tension that you feel in your shoulders. If you have a lot of tension in this trail shoulder, cause you lifted your arms up going back and instead of just doing this tiny little move, then you're going to want to heave the club over on the way down and swing over the top.
Take deep divots struggle with good contact. But from here, my arms barely need to shallow out at all. It makes everything so much simpler, so much more repeatable and puts you on the pathway to the giving you one of the key ingredients to hitting those effortless shots. So just work on getting this motion with your right arm, your trail arm in the backswing, and then just transport that to the top. Put a club in there and start feeling how you can make your backswing so much simpler and start working to reduce the tension in your arms. Now the second piece, once you have this tension removed in your swing and from your upper body, you need to use your lead hip. Remember the clam shell video, right? Where we talked about getting that left hip to go back into the chair. Almost everybody starts pushing off this right side way too much, way too early, drives their pelvis into the ball and they stand up the loser posture. And then of course, they got to use their arms to compensate.
If you get your lead hip to initiate everything this shift back over to the left and getting this left hip to go back out of the way, when you do that and you don't really do anything with the arms other than keeping them relaxed from the shallower position, my hands come right down to this perfect delivery position. I literally didn't have to do hardly anything to get the club into this perfect spot. Other than the clam shell video, just getting that left hip to go back, keeping my arms relaxed, passive don't fire them hard from the top, but it's a lot easier to not fire them. Hartford is hot when not tense because you didn't elevate them so much. So keep that lead arm across the chest a little bit longer. Don't try to start pulling your arms and separating your arm from your rib cage. Keep it back here and let your left hip do all the work as you shift back, keep it nice and relaxed and then let it rip through nice and easy for effortless shots. So put those two moves together. Really simple trail arm, work on the clamshell video and see if you can't reduce that tension and start hitting a lot more effortless golf.