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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bent Elbow Power

Here's a recent video from by Golf Magazine Top100 Teacher John Tattersall  It's about how bending your lead elbow can give you more power. I know that sounds strange, but some of the power hitters like J.B. Holmes do it.

If you're curious, here's the video.

Tattersall says that this move will cost you some accuracy but give you more power by adding another lever to your swing. As long as you straighten your arm fully at impact, you'll transfer all of that extra power to the ball.

Here's a link to a post I did on J.B. Holmes's swing several years ago, documenting that bent elbow. And here's the photo of his swing sequence I used:

J.B. Holmes swing sequence showing bent elbow

I would like to add a thought to what Tattersall says -- namely, that you need to straighten that bent elbow BEFORE you uncock your wrists at impact. (You can see that in the Holmes sequence above.) If you don't, your swing will be out of sequence and you won't get that extra whack at the bottom. It works like a whip, a ripple effect that starts at your lead shoulder and works its way out to the club head.

Personally, I think this is a natural move if your muscles are fairly relaxed during your swing. If you don't do it naturally -- and especially if you really tighten your arm muscles during your swing -- I'm not so sure it's something you should try to add. As a general rule, I think you should try to swing so it takes as little conscious thought as possible; you just want to focus on where you want the ball to go.

But if you do this naturally, just realize that you don't have to get rid of your bent elbow if it's working for you. Isn't that nice to know?

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