Knight: left arm straight?

WE'VE all heard the advice to keep the left arm straight in the golf swing but is it good advice? Let me explain why it isn't.

THERE are any number of myths about the golf swing and one of the most common is the notion of a straight left arm.

When most people first start playing golf they are told, usually by a well meaning friend, that the left arm needs to be straight.

The problem with friendly advice like this is that it doesn't cost anything but is often worth even less.

A lot of people interpret that 'straight left arm' advice as keeping the arm stiff and that's exactly what we don't want.

When we take the club away, the left arm may stay straight or it may fold a little but the folding is no problem because, as we take our downswing, the force of the turning of the body will cause it to straighten naturally.

In fact, the only time you ever see a player with a bent left arm at impact is if that player has tension in that arm from trying to keep it straight! The interpretation of that 'straight left arm' advice is what actually causes the problem.

Obviously, there is a limit to how much folding you can have before it becomes detrimental and a complete collapse at the top of the swing is definitely not what I'm advocating.

But if there is a little movement in your left arm on the way back it is certainly nothing to worry about and, in fact, is likely better than the alternative.

The message really should be to keep the left arm tension free because that's what allows it to work properly in the swing.

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Peter Knight

As one of only four Master Professional Coaches with the PGA of Australia, Peter Knight has a long track record of helping players whatever their age or ability level.

Peter applies the same care in coaching you as he does international teams and professionals.

All he asks is that you are prepared to put in a little practice to reap the rewards you want from your game.

 You can book lessons with Peter at Yarra Bend Golf Course either on the website www.yarrabendgolf.com or by calling (03) 9481 3729.

Check out his site www.melbournegolfcoach.com.au and subscribe for weekly golf videos and other updates.

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