I have been getting a lot of questions lately about getting the left arm straight at the top of the backswing (for right handed golfers).
First of all, there are many factors that can come into play that would prevent or make it difficult to do this. So I recommend taking our At Home Golf Fitness Assessment below to see where your limiting factors are.
Now that you have found your limitations, lets take a closer look or if you don't think you have any limitations scroll to the bottom.
Breaking Down The Assessment
Let's look at the 3 tests that could have an effect on the left arm in the swing.
Seated Shoulder Turn- 7:13 mark of the video
If you can't turn your shoulders to at least 45 degrees, there becomes a point in the swing where the shoulders stop turning and the arms start to bend or lift. Getting more mobility in the thoracic spine will give your arms more freedom to move and make keeping the left arm straight easier.
Found some tightness here? Check out 2 exercises you can do in this video
External Shoulder Mobility-8:18 mark of the video
This is a great test to show the overall mobility of the shoulders. Many factors come in to play here, and poor posture (C-Posture) could be the culprit here.
If you are unable to get your arm to equal with your spine either standing or in golf posture it could effect the way your arms and shoulders move in the swing.
Limitations in your right arm (flying elbow) could make your left arm break down at the top of the backswing.
Limitations there? Check out this video. Even thought the main subject is pain, it will help you get more mobility in the shoulder joint itself.
Lat Length Test 10:25 mark of the video
This is a big one and usually the biggest factor when it comes to keeping the arms straight and getting that extension in the swing.
If you can't get your arms past your ears while maintaining a solid core posture, chances are there is now way you will be able to keep your arms straight AND good posture in your swing.
If you've found tightness here, check out the video below
One more video for you that combines all of these, and is one of our most popular videos on our youtube channel.
If you've done all these, watched the videos and think you don't have any physical limitations that would cause this, then it could be bad mechanics in your swing. I have had people tell me they think their chest may be too big and gets in the way. It's possible, but I suggest watching some professional women swing and see how they get around a "big chest".
My last tip, if you don't think you have any physical limitations and you can't keep your left arm straight at the top, is take away the club with your right arm. Feel like you're pulling it away from the ball instead of pushing it with your left arm.
Give these a try and let me know how it goes, I can't wait to hear!