– Hi, Adam Bazalgette
here in Naples Florida, two-time PGA Teacher of
the Year Award winner. And today’s subject is
really one that’s of interest to a lot of people, and
it’s an important subject. How to keep the left arm
straight in the golf swing. That’s for the right-handed golfer. Let’s check it out. (upbeat electronic music) So, how to keep the left arm
straight in the golf swing? It is important, we’ll
give you some parameters on what to do, what I
think is the big pitfall, I’ll give you a drill for this. And we’ll talk about some of you that maybe are a hair less flexible, how you might be able to overcome not having a dead straight left arm. So, hopefully this is going
to be helpful for you, and you’ll know how to keep your left arm straight in a golf swing. If you like the video please subscribe to the YouTube channel. is my home website. Have full courses in
every aspect of the game, would love have you go
check the website out. Okay, let’s get started. Okay, so let’s talk about
this all-important subject. This is from the
right-hander’s perspective. How to keep the lead arm, or the left arm for the right-handed golfer, straight. Very very important subject. And we’re going to talk
particularly in this video about the backswing. We’re not going to deal
with impact so much. So, do in fact all great players keep their left arm straight? Well not necessarily, you’ll see a few Angel Cabrera, Tom Watson, Curtis Strange, There’s probably quite a few more, if I could think of them right now, that are a little bit bent up there. That said, I like a
nice straight left arm, and most of them have
a really straight arm. What they all do though for sure, is they maintain sufficient
space and structure in their backswing. We’ll talk about that, a little
bit later on in the video. But that said again, I like
a nice straight left arm. Talk about why it’s so important. Let’s have a very brief look
at a couple of great players that do it a little differently, so you’ll get a sense of this. Then we’ll get back, and we’ll
really flesh this thing out. Okay, Ernie Els there on the
right, Tom Watson on the left, obviously fabulous, fabulous players. Tom Watson, not the straightest
left arm you’ve ever seen. Ernie Els, fabulous looking. Now Ernie from what I’m told is borderline,
double-jointed in his elbow, so, it gives him that accentuated look. But either way, that is a
fantastically straight left arm, very, very flexible guy. Tom Watson though, if I back
him up just a little bit, cos’ he’s gotta long swing
there with his driver. He still retains good structure
and good space up there. It’s not like the club’s
resting on his shoulder. So, I like that Ernie Els look there. Let’s see how we go about it. So as I said, I like a
nice straight left arm if possible in the backswing. Depends on your physique,
and your, you know, your flexibility, et cetera. Here’s a couple of things it does for you. Number one, it supplies
structure in your backswing, The radius of your backswing, the width of the circle
you’re making with your arms, is consistent if your
left arm is consistent. So it’s a much more repeatable motion than a significant change in radius. And number two, you’ll find when your left arm is nice and straight, it creates a lot of torque
through your shoulder, your tricep, and your lat,
and creates a lot of coil that can really help you
snap through the shot, with a lot more energy and zip. So it’s got its upsides for sure. Here’s the key, the biggest key
I think, though in the left, in the left arm straight deal. So, many people when
they first start to work on a straight left arm,
they get that arm straight, but they lose all the
speed motion in the club, the wrists stiffen up. So, that doesn’t do you any good at all. So here’s the thing, I’m gonna
show you a little drill here, that I think is great. And the thing of it is, you’ve
got to, with this left hand, the wrist-cock is basically downward, or if you like, out away from my body pressure with the hands. As I push down and out on the handle, the club head comes back up towards me. So you can kinda get both
things working that way. The structure increases in the left arm, but you do it with mobility and the wrist. I love this little split hand drill. Let me show you a close-up
of how to set up for it, then I’ll show you the drill. So I’m gonna take my
left hand as per normal, near the end of the handle. I’m gonna get my right hand
about half off the grip. Some of my fingers on the
metal, some on the rubber there. And this gets me ready to
do the split hand drill. Okay, so here we are with the drill. Now this split hand
setup helps me accentuate the fact of pushing
out with the left hand, and sorta pulling back
with the right hand, and really sharpens that angle. And I can feel a real,
not only straightening of the left arm, but a real stretch there through my tricep, and left shoulder. It is a wonderful drill, and I would just practice that at home. I wouldn’t begin from a complete setup. I’d begin from out here, and just practice that feeling like that. Let me say, although in that drill, you’re pulling that right
hand back a little bit, to accentuate this, the
real role of the right hand is actually to do something
very similar to the left, and that is to put pressure on the handle. So, once you’ve done this a few times, I’d slide that right hand
down against the left thumb. And again, I’m feeling
the butt of that left hand push against that left thumb. And after a little while,
I can just practice this, and practice that hinge. And I really start to feel the structure, and I really start to
feel a consistent with it. Some of you can practice at home. It’s an easy thing to do, and honestly if your grip is good. And I have other videos on the grip. If you can supply pressure onto the club, in fact the grip is
very important on that. You are gonna have the secret to this straight left arm sorted out. And you can really work on this at home, and get this knocked out
pretty quickly, I promise you. One little thought though, when you do this, make sure when you’re adding all this pressure, you don’t push your head way off the ball. Head should stay pretty steady, or if you like spine pretty steady. I see a lot of people
accidentally incorporate some lateral motion, when
they first work on this. Okay, earlier in the video, we said that there are some great players with a fractionally soft left arm, they maintain great structure. Let’s have a look from the other angle, and talk about that a little bit. So, how can you have a
slightly bent left arm, and still retain pretty good
structure in your backswing? And I mention this not
just to encourage you to have a bent left arm. But some of you just
not as flexible as that your arm’s a little bit less, you have the less of an ability
to really keep it straight, or maybe you’re just not that flexible through the shoulders, and back and a little bit of bend gives you more length in your backswing. Here’s the key. You’ve gotta keep your forearms and elbows reasonably close together. If they get significantly
wider in the backswing, and spread, that facilitates your hands getting close to you, and gives you a loss of width. So, Tom Watson, when he gets up there his arm might be slightly
bent, but his elbows, his forearms, are pretty firmly together about like they were at
address about the same width. And if you can do that, even
if you’re not super flexible and you can’t get this Ernie
Els look in the left arm, you can retain good structure up there, and hopefully that’ll give you the consistency you’re looking for. So I hope that helps you, gives you some thoughts with
how to keep the left arm straight in the golf swing. It’s really not so difficult
when you look at it. Please subscribe to the
channel if you like the video. Love to get you more free content coming. Already have a lot of videos there, and of course
is my home website. And we have full courses in
every aspect of the game, including all the building blocks on putting a swing together. Hope you’ll check that out.


  1. Hi Adam, I really like your instruction style. my question does not pertain to this straight left arm video, but I was hoping you had some instruction on early extension or maintaining the tush line. I did a search and I did not find anything on that from you. I would appreciate your expert instruction on this subject.

  2. Just done this drill with the wrist push and on every swing i felt all the power release at the bottom of the swing and also had a complete full finish which i never have. My finish never follows through as well as it does with the hinging of the wrists.. Straight arms have never been an issue but the pushing with the wrists have unlocked something i never had. Thank you, cant wait to try it out on the course

  3. You say straight, another guy will say it doesn't matter, just too much contradiction. You'll have a hard time finding 2 guys on tour with same swing. It's not even about the backswing, it's about getting the club in the slot, hip to hip area. No wonder the average guy can't break 90.

  4. LOVE this. Realised I was getting really relaxed with my left elbow, knew I had to keep it straight but was not doing it right. This drill and feeling makes it so easy to keep it straight.


  5. I think my left arm has always been a problem…I will You this drill to see if I can get that squared away..thanks again for the videos Adam I am looking forward to get outside and golf…

  6. Your videos have helped me win tournaments in my school! Thank you so much! Keep up the videos maybe I'll make it in the PGA because of practicing with this videos!

  7. Thanks for the instruction, hopefully it'll help me lower my scores. For some reason i like to see the instructor hit a ball at the end of the video. Maybe you could incorporate that in future videos.

  8. This is an incredible drill which has help w my structure. I feel that my right hand is pushing away from the target while my left hand is pulling toward the target. It's more tension feeling than anything. Thank you so much for this great tip, its helped my ball striking enabling more of a consistent sweep off the grass.

  9. Adam, I really like your videos but I have to disagree with your thoughts on this one. The golf swing should be free of tension and you do not want to feel tension both in your back lat muscles and consequently more importantly in your left arm as tension is the killer and will badly effect the timing and smoothness of the swing. In my mind, it is ok to bend the last arm in the back swing but it should straighten out prior to impact of the ball. Thanks again

  10. At about the 4:45 mark, you refer to pushing the butt of the left hand against the left thumb. Do you mean the butt of the right hand pushing against the left thumb ?

  11. Adam, can you explain the relationship between wrist hinge on left wrist vs the cupped, bowed or flat position? For me when I hinge my left wrist it seems to me it has to be in a cupped position. But during impact most instructions said it has to be a flat left wrist or even a bowed left wrist. How can we achieve this transition with hinging and unhinging and from cupped to bowed position or am I getting it wrong?

  12. By far the best tutor on youtube in my opinion. Doesn't talk numbers and fixed rigid positions all the time, just good basic movements

  13. Adam, your videos are my "go to" lessons on line and this is my favorite. I've struggled with coming over the top and this video has helped me tremendously. If you were In Charleston you'd have a life-long student, thanks much!

  14. I'll be playing far more in retirement than I do now. Still haven't decided if we retire in Los Angeles, Phoenix, or Naples!

  15. My swing is the tail that swings the dog. My grip pressure with both hands at each moment of the swing, completely dictates the movements in the rest of my body.
    As the backswing happens my left hand grip pressure goes from firm to nothing. My right hand grip pressure increases from light to very firm during the backswing.

    When I start the forward swing from the top, my right hand grip is very firm and my left hand grip is very very light.

    As the forward swing continues and I decide to uncock my wrists, I transfer grip pressure from the right hand to the left hand. Usually I uncock the wrist when both hands are about the height of the right trail hip. At that moment I reverse left and right grip pressure. At that momente I decrease the right hand grip pressure and increase the left hand grip pressure. Relaxing the right hand grip allows my wrist to uncock, and increasing the left hand grip pressure at that moment causes the wrists to uncock.

    Because I do my golf swing in this manner, the momentum of my arms and golf club pull my body up onto my left leg after impact and my right foot heel also comes up without any effort.

    I use the right hand to be in complete control of delaying the uncocking of the wrists. As I decide to uncock the wrists, I relax the firm right hand grip and increase the grip pressure with my left hand.

    For me and in my case, the only way I can delay the uncocking of the wrists on the forward swing is to grip the club only with my right hand firmly, and force the left hand to only have a very small amount of grip force on the club. If I try to grip the club with my left hand with a significant force on the beginning of the forward swing, my wrists uncocks, and so my swing is totally dictated by the dynamic,grip pressure graph of both the left and right hand. My body is used to coil and uncoil in a manner that is consistent with how the club moves as a result of my grip pressure in both hands and how my arms are swinging back and forward.

    So I am focusing on using grip pressure to stop any possibility of a premature uncocking of the wrists. The entire point of my swing being designed around changing grip pressure is the release the club during and after impact, rather than releasing the club before impact, which I do not enjoy.


  16. Watched loads of these things in the past (many contradicting each other) but Adam, yours are so well done. The only ones I watch now.

  17. You are an excellent teacher. I am not surprised you won Teacher of the Year two times. Thank you for your videos.

  18. This guy has given much thought on how to explain the golf swing than most (all?). Part of this is that he provides the 'why', not just the how.

  19. Really appreciate the fact you show that you DON"T need to have a stiff left arm, i feel it's virtually impossible for anyone I have met that started the game after their teens. Structure is the best thing to teach, work with what your body can do, i dropped 10 strokes once I stopped trying to do what "was right" – so if you have to bend that arm, do so, but remember the structure and get as close to that as your body allows, work/practice with what the good lord gave ya – and enjoy the game, if you have to sway cuz you have to then do it, but minimize it, it just helps not to.

  20. Adam – great to see your viewing numbers. Much deserved. Not sure if you do a video dealing with how the right elbow behaves during transition. I know there is the glove under the armpit thing. Do you really feel the glove should stay intact throughout take away?

  21. When I first started playing, I was under the impression that the club needed to be brought to parallel on the backswing. In order to do that (at age 62), I had to bend the left elbow. One day I was at the range admiring the swing of the young fellow on the next tee. He had a swing right out of the picture book. Turns out he had been a college star and had continued to play at a fairly high level. He asked if he could make a suggestion. "Sure," I said. He suggested I try keeping my left arm straight. I put a ball down and took a swing with a straight left arm. "BOOM!" The ball exploded off my club like it had never done before. No tip I have ever gotten has made such an immediate improvement.

  22. Should I focus on keeping a straight arm and give up on the goal of getting the shaft parallel at the top of the swing? What I'm asking is, whats more important, getting parallel at the top, with the club pointed at the target, or keeping the left arm straight with a shorter backswing. I'm not sure I can do both.

  23. Love this drill. My left arm has become more bent over the years and I have never been able to eradicate it. It caused me to overswing and to be very inconsistent, despite getting down to 8 handicap. One session at the range after seeing this video and I think this is already helping. Thanks for this and your other videos!

  24. I can't believe I've only just discovered that the left (right for me as LH) arm should be straight. I coil up a heap at the top and only noticed it once I filmed myself. I think this could be a game changer as I tend to come over the top slightly and timing of my wrist, elbow and shoulder release seems so much simpler with a straight arm. That's what 15yrs without a lesson will do.

  25. Pull with right hand, keep left arm straight, right hand against left thumb, twist your shoulders, add pressure, don’t push head off the ball, wanna a soft arm, keep elbows and forearms together, GOT IT! I hate/love golf!

    Great videos, (kidding aside)

  26. Another great video I'm still trying to figure out what is the better feel for me I really like this left arm pushing I've heard of other videos of the right arm straightening the left arm I believe it's called extensor action golf machine terminology your method seems to be a little easier with the left arm what method is best for is it the same

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