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  • Hitting the ball farther and more solid is helped by keeping the left arm straight, though it is not imperative to do so.
  • Golfers who keep their left arm straight during their swing create more width at the top of the swing, which leads to more speed and consistency.
  • Keeping your left arm as straight as possible upon impact with the ball will help you preserve club speed. However, many people inadvertently bend their left arm at impact, which causes what is known in the golfing world as the chicken wing.
  • As one Reddit user pointed out, the idea is to have fewer moving parts that you need to worry about. It’s necessary not to extend the arm fully or bend it too excessively.
  • Another Redditor suggested that exercises to improve flexibility in the shoulder and wrist may help you turn more. And keep your left arm at 75% for straighter, more consistent ball striking.

My friend is a golf enthusiast. He’s been playing the game for many years, and he’s gotten pretty good at it. One of the things he’s learned about his golf swing is that he needs to keep his left arm straight during the swing. If he doesn’t, his shots will not be as accurate.

So, my friend has been diligent about keeping his left arm straight during the swing. However, a few weeks ago, he experienced some pain in his left shoulder. He wasn’t sure what was causing the pain, but he suspected that it was because of how he was swinging the golf club.

He decided to talk to his golf instructor about the issue. His instructor told him that he was probably experiencing pain because of how he was holding his left arm during the swing. The instructor said that my friend should try swinging the club with less tension in his left arm.

My friend followed the instructor’s advice and found that it helped relieve the pain in his shoulder. He is now able to keep his left arm straight during the swing without experiencing any pain.

OK, so what’s the deal about a straight left arm?


  • 🏌️‍♂️ Focus on the trail arm and its extension for a straight left arm in the golf swing.
  • 🤝 Use a split hand grip drill to push away with the right arm and lock the left arm straight.
  • ⬆️ Keep the chest up and right shoulder up to create more width and easier arm extension.
  • 🔄 Practice the drill with the right hand placed normally to feel the width and extension.
  • 💪 The straighter the left arm in the backswing, the easier it will be to manage the downswing and hit the ball solidly.

Golf, my friends, is a game of precision and control. It’s like assembling a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle with each swing of the club. And one piece of this puzzle, often stressed in hushed, reverent tones on the driving range and in the clubhouse, is the importance of keeping your left arm straight (for right-handed players).

But why is this seemingly innocuous technique, comparable to the Game of Thrones’ Wall in its level of unyielding rigidity, so significant? It’s not like we’re preparing for a duel against Darth Vader, right? Let’s do some digging.

The Power of the Straight Left Arm

The reason behind the straight left arm can be boiled down to two things: consistency and power. Imagine you’re Steph Curry lining up for a three-point shot. Now, imagine if he changed his shooting form every single time he took a shot. He’d be as likely to land a basket as I would be in making a free throw with my left hand – not a pretty sight.

  1. Consistency: Keeping your left arm straight helps maintain a consistent swing plane. This consistency leads to better contact with the ball, improved accuracy, and fewer mishits that can send your ball into a neighboring fairway (or worse, a water hazard).
  2. Power: It’s not just about accuracy, though. The straight left arm also acts as a lever in your swing, helping generate power. It’s like using a slingshot – the more you stretch the band (or in this case, your arm), the more power you’ll have when you let go.

The Balancing Act: Tension vs. Relaxation

However, a word of caution. ‘Keeping your left arm straight’ doesn’t translate to ‘keep your arm as rigid as a steel beam’. Your muscles aren’t auditioning for a role in ‘The Terminator’. Too much tension in your arm can restrict your movement and sap your swing of its power faster than Kryptonite can drain Superman.

The key is to find a balance – keeping your arm straight, but not locked or tense. Think of it like holding a bird – firm enough so it doesn’t fly away, but gentle enough not to hurt it.

Why You Should Keep Your Left Arm Straight in Golf

Golfers keep their left arm bent to provide enough width to make a swing. Pushing your hands far from the body allows them to swing their arm further.

Keeping your left arm straight while golfing also helps maintain consistent swings. Getting a consistent swing with a bent left elbow can be challenging. It’s difficult to gauge what degree your elbow should bend for a perfect swing.

This technique also helps golfers avoid over-rotating while getting maximum power for the swing. Bending the lead arm will result in over-extension and shot inconsistency.

Does my Arm Need to be Straight During the Golf Swing?

No, you don’t have to bend your left arm. While golfers can hit great shots with a bent left elbow, keeping it straight is a general rule of thumb. However, the lead arm should not be too rigid since this will also interfere with the swing.

Keeping your left elbow straight gives enough flexibility when taking your shot.

Your left arm should remain bent to slightly give the required hip and shoulder turn. Golfers that are older or do not possess the required flexibility can bend their lead arm.

Advantages of Keeping Your Lead Arm Straight During the Golf Swing

Swing into any golf conversation, and you’ll hear theories, tips, and techniques being tossed around like confetti at a parade. One topic that often emerges from the fog of advice is the idea of keeping your lead arm straight during the swing. It’s a bit like eating your greens or getting regular exercise – a widely accepted truth. But why is this? Let’s uncover the reasons why this piece of golfing wisdom holds water.

The Straight Arm Advantage

  1. Power Generation: Picture David and Goliath. Now, imagine your golf ball is Goliath, and your club is the slingshot. The straight lead arm acts like the stretched sling – the straighter it is, the more power you can generate. When kept extended, the lead arm allows for a wider arc, which in turn leads to a more powerful swing. It’s simple physics, really.
  2. Consistency: The straight lead arm is to golf what the bass line is to a good song – it sets the rhythm and pace. By keeping the lead arm straight, you can maintain a consistent swing plane, leading to more reliable and accurate shots. It’s about creating a repeatable motion, which is the bedrock of any good golf swing.
  3. Improved Ball Striking: A straight lead arm can help you hit the sweet spot more often. By maintaining the distance between your shoulders and the ball, you can better ensure solid contact on the ball, leading to improved ball striking. No more awkward hits that send the ball skittering off in directions that defy the laws of physics.
  4. Better Control: Keeping your lead arm straight helps to control the clubhead throughout the swing. It acts as a sort of rudder, guiding the swing path and helping to keep the clubface square to the target line at impact.

Golf might not be rocket science, but it does involve a fair bit of physics. The straight lead arm is an essential part of that equation, aiding in power generation, consistency, accuracy, and control. It’s a tried-and-true technique that can help improve your game, much like a good caddy or a lucky pair of golf socks.

So next time you’re on the course, give the straight lead arm a shot. Keep it relaxed and fluid, not rigid or strained. With some practice, you may find it becoming a key player in your golfing arsenal, the unsung hero of your golf swing. After all, in golf, it’s often the smallest adjustments that lead to the biggest improvements.

Disadvantages of Keeping Your Lead Arm Straight During the Golf Swing

Lead Arm Straight During the Golf Swing

As I’ve said before, golf is as tricky as deciphering hieroglyphics without a Rosetta Stone. One of those enigmas is the age-old adage about keeping your lead arm straight during your swing. It’s touted as gospel truth, but is it really a one-size-fits-all solution?

The Downside of the Straight Arm Doctrine

Like anything in life, from indulging in a Game of Thrones binge-watch to downing a supersize bag of popcorn, too much of a good thing can turn into a not-so-good thing. And the straight lead arm doctrine in golf isn’t exempt from this rule. Here’s why:

  1. Tension: The biggest downside of keeping your lead arm straight is the risk of creating excessive tension. You might be trying so hard to keep your arm straight that you start gripping your club like it’s a sword and you’re preparing to battle the Night King. This extra tension can hinder the fluidity of your swing and restrict your range of motion, leaving you with shots that are about as impressive as a deflated balloon.
  2. Inconsistency: Striving to keep that lead arm pin-straight can lead to inconsistency. If you’re more focused on your arm position than the ball itself, you could end up with wild variations in your shots. Your golf ball might end up seeing more of the course than you do, and I’m not talking about the fairway and greens.
  3. Injury Risk: Excess tension from attempting to maintain a straight arm can increase the risk of injury. It’s like trying to do a deadlift with a stiff back—you’re just inviting trouble. Golf should be about sinking birdies, not nursing a torn rotator cuff.
  4. Loss of Power: Despite the common belief that a straight lead arm generates power, overdoing it can have the opposite effect. The key to power is a combination of speed and control, and an overly rigid arm can sap your swing of the speed needed to launch your ball towards the green like a SpaceX rocket.

So, is the straight lead arm rule more of a golfing myth than a golfing must? Not exactly. Like many things in this sport of ours, it’s about balance. A straight lead arm can provide structure and control to your swing, but not if it comes at the cost of tension, inconsistency, and reduced power.

The solution? Aim for a relaxed, extended lead arm rather than a rigidly straight one. Your golf swing should be a fluid movement, more akin to a symphony conductor gracefully guiding an orchestra than a robot performing pre-programmed movements.

Remember, golf isn’t a game of absolutes. It’s about finding the techniques that work for you and adapting them to your style. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how textbook your swing looks, it’s about how well you can play the game.

And who knows? With a bit of practice and the right adjustments, you might just find your perfect swing yet. After all, in the wise words of the great Arnold Palmer, “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”

Final Word

Keeping your left arm straight is key to having a perfect golf swing. Nevertheless, it would help if you did not keep your lead arm too rigid, as it can also ruin your swing. Bending your arm too much will lead to erratic swings. The best way to keep your lead arm is to allow it to be comfortably straight.

Now that you know the truth about keeping your left arm straight, you’re better positioned to perfect your swing. Remember to reduce the tension in your lead arm and bend your arm slightly for improved results.

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