The straight left arm

Talk to any top class player of a moving ball game and they will tell you that footwork is critical to good performance. In golf the ball is stationary but we take such a smack at it that footwork is just as important as in any other game. Jack Nicklaus said ‘golf is played from the feet up’.

Ben Hogan gave a friend of mine a twenty minute lesson about the importance of correctly placing the right foot yet every golf book or article I have ever read relates ball position to the left foot. If the right foot is not perfectly placed for the shot some adjustment has to be made during the swing to compensate. If the foot is too far away you have to lunge to reach it, most amateurs stand too close to the ball and then have to pull away as they swing to give themselves room to hit.

The centrifugal force generated by the weight of the club head when swung at around 100 miles per hour is huge, it is very difficult to bend the left arm though the hitting area of the swing even if you wanted to. So stop worrying about your left arm, if it bends it bends and it will never actually bend as much as you feel it does. If it is relaxed during the swing it will almost certainly be straight at impact as a result of a good swing! A straight left arm is not a contributing factor to a good swing!

The photos show Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Tom Watson at the top of their backswings with left arms that are relaxed and not ‘straight’. If they don’t care about it why should you?

For more help on this subject or any other golf problem contact Tom Linskey on 0412 072 145 or any of the other Professional Staff at Australian Golf Schools at