The flying right elbow is a nasty, and destructive swing flaw which is often caused when people lift the arms to the top of the backswing while attempting to create more power. In fact, this only causes massive swing path issues.
It forces the club, arms and body to reach the top of the backswing out of position
From here, it robs you of any torque or power and makes achieving a straight and consistent flight impossible, as the angle of the clubface can vary from swing to swing.
There are two main faults caused when we have a flying right elbow at the top of the backswing. The first is that it can throw the arms out in front of the body, causing a steep, aggressive attack angle, resulting in a fat shot, a pull or a vicious slice. The second possibility is that the elbow will drop in behind the body, causing the hands to try and save the situation by flicking the face over at impact. This will either send the ball straight right or cause a hook left.
To combat this horrible flaw, tie a Thera-band around your chest and tuck your right arm underneath it. Practice a few swings and notice this naturally forces your right arm closer to your body, and keeps it in the correct position as you reach the top of the backswing.
This also makes it possible for your right forearm to sit at the same angle as your spine at the top of the backswing, which indicates you are in a powerful position and can attack the ball on the correct path.
You will become much more aware of the length of your backswing. As your right arm stays close to the body, the flexibility of your shoulder turn determines how far you can swing back.
This all leads to avoiding manipulation of the club at the top of the backswing with your hands and arms.
Kevin Craggs is the SLGA National Coach and coach to Catriona Matthew. For lessons, call Kevin on 08451 303433. Follow him on Twitter @kevincraggsgolf
Originally published on bunkered on July 16, 2012.