Eliminate the Dreaded "Flying Elbow"

By Mike Malaska – Nicklaus Academies'
World-Wide Director of Instruction

Photos courtesy of the Nicklaus Academy at DragonRidge.Countless students come to me with a very common problem – "the flying elbow" or as it is also commonly referred to as; “the chicken wing”. The flying elbow can occur during the backswing, or on the follow through, or in some cases, both. Whether you have issues on your takeaway or your follow through, a flying elbow will rob your swing of consistency and power.

Photos courtesy of the Nicklaus Academy at DragonRidge.I use a simple drill called ‘The Towel Drill’ to train students on how their arms should sequence with their body, and to train proper forearm rotation.

Start by taking a standard sized bath towel. Position the towel across your chest so that the towel is secured in both arm pits. Begin with slow, tension-free practice swings.

Photos courtesy of the Nicklaus Academy at DragonRidge.On your backswing, keep your right elbow near your right side, and then focus on keeping your left elbow in contact with your left rib cage on your follow through. As you get comfortable with your new elbow position and controlled forearm rotation, gradually add speed to your swing until you can go at the ball at full speed.

Photos courtesy of the Nicklaus Academy at DragonRidge.The Towel Drill will help resolve several common faults that are found in many players – first, “the flying elbow” and second, improper forearm rotation relative to body turn.

Master The Towel Drill and you will start to generate more speed and power – consistently.


About the author:

PGA Professional Mike Malaska is No. 24 on Golf Digest’s ranking of instructors and is one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100. To arrange a personal session with Mike, call 602.799.7099 or visit www.nicklausacademies.com


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