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Improving Your Golf Swing: Tips on Proper Elbow Motion and Rotation to Avoid Flipping the Club

When you flip the club your trail wrist is flexing too fast in the golf swing through impact. This really destroys your consistency because it changes the low point, the club path and the face of the club relative to the club path. As you can clearly see from Trackman, if you don't control those impact conditions with great precision, you have no consistency of impact and the ball can go anywhere. I see people that flip that have over 10 degrees of face angle change from shot to shot and that can lead to over 100 feet of left to right variance with a 7 iron! avoid flipping when you learn proper elbow motion and rotation in the golf swing!

One key to avoid the flip is knowing how your upper arms and elbows have to move in the golf swing. One concept that helps a number of our students is to feel the elbows (as opposed to the hands) rotate around the body. When you focus on feeling how your elbows move then you are controlling how your upper arms move. And proper upper arm rotation will transform your impact and stop the dreaded flip.

When you engage the proper muscles the rotate the upper arms around the body in the downswing then you can keep the elbows close together through impact. This will help keep the trail wrist from flipping. You also want to feel the elbows leading the hands as you are coming into impact - this is what happens when you have proper forward shaft lean. On the lead upper arm you should use the teres minor muscle. It connects the lead upper arm to the scapula to rotate the lead upper arm down and around the body from the eld of transition. On the trail arm you engage the upper head of pec to pull and rotate the trail upper arm across and into the upper torso. These two combined muscle motions will give you the upper arm and elbow motion that you see in this training video.

Let's look at a great impact position from coach Nathan Ouimette from a swing where he properly rotates the elbows (upper arms) around the body in the downswing

Impact Conditions with Elbow Rotation
Proper Impact Angles When Elbows Rotate Around

Notice how the shaft position marked with the yellow line is still behind the while line - the center of the forearms. The club head is behind the hands. You should have this level of forward shaft lean with an iron shot when you properly rotate the elbows around the body. See how the trail wrist with the red lines is still extended at the point of impact. If your right wrist is flat at impact and the lead wrist is extended this is a bad sign that you are flipping the club. Your path, face to path, and low point are all very difficult to control when this happens.

Elbow Rotation Around
Notice How Elbows Rotate Around

Post impact as the rotation continues notice how the lead elbow has rotated down and around relative to the trunk and the trail elbow is rotating more laterally into the trunk. When you flip the club the lead elbow comes up like a chicken wing as opposed to this beautiful down and around motion that you see with Nate. Remember, the trunk is tilted. So while the lead elbow is going up relative to the ground it is going down relative to the trunk. The left elbow is soft and bends down and rotates around the trunk post impact.

When you are practicing make sure you look at your impact and post impact elbow motion and arm angles from a face on perspective. If you don't have this general look you are losing consistency with your ball striking.

You see our coaches giving great lessons all the time in at Alta View helping people with proper rotation mechanics. If you haven't already, you should really leverage your practice time and take a few lessons. It can transform your game to help you better understand and feel the key arm rotation principles that drive great ball striking.

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