Out of the Bunker: The secret of soft elbows

Metro Creative
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I have been a lucky guy when it comes to golf.

I have shared many great experiences with some of the best players the game has ever seen. I competed with Phil Mickelson during his final two years in college at Arizona State, and I was able to compete with Tiger Woods during his first year at Stanford.

However, the experience of competing with those two greats pales in comparison to the time I learned to teach golf from the amazing Mr. Jim Flick.

Flick was a master communicator when it came to dealing with golfers. He knew exactly which buttons to push, and I learned early on to watch and listen anytime he was nearby.

His knowledge of the golf swing was unmatched. Yet, for every lesson I learned from him, there are two words he spoke that resonate with nearly every lesson I teach today.


The idea of soft elbows seems to contradict the first lesson many of you probably learned in golf. Keeping the left arm straight. Focusing on keeping the left arm straight can lead to tremendous tension in your elbow, and this tension ultimately leads up to your shoulders and causes all kinds of problems in your golf swing.

Now don’t get me wrong, soft elbows doesn’t mean I want you to intentionally bend your arm.

Rather, it simply means to make a golf swing by focusing on keeping the tension out of your lead elbow. Your golf swing will be more comfortable, and you’ll be able to generate much greater speed due to the lack of tension in your elbows and shoulders.

A great exercise to practice at home is to stand up and let your arms naturally hang to the sides of your body.

They should hang comfortably.

Now, focus on straightening your arms. You will immediately feel the tension creep in. This is the same thing that happens in your golf swing.

The next time you practice, focus on keeping your elbows soft, and you will feel an immediate difference and a greater sense of comfort in your golf swing.


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