How to Keep the Arms Passive in a Golf Swing

By Sam Ashe-Edmunds
Swing easy and hit hard using less arm effort during a golf shot.
Swing easy and hit hard using less arm effort during a golf shot.

Trying to generate power during a long golf shot primarily using your arms can cause you to fight your body, resulting in an incorrect swing path. To generate power during a golf swing, you should use the big parts of your body. The larger the muscle, the more energy it can generate, which means your legs, hips and torso contribute more power than the smaller arms, hands and wrists. For golf shots, you'll want to use your lower body and your core to generate power, using use your arms to help you control your swing.

Stand in the correction position to the ball. If you are too far away from or too close to the ball during your swing, or if the ball is too far forward or back in your stance, you may have to make adjustments to your forward swing, requiring extra arm effort to make these corrections.

Begin your takeaway with your wrists moving your club head backward. This will decrease tension in your forearms.

Move your club backward with your shoulders, not your arms. Your shoulders, aided by your upper body, can more easily push your arms backward than your arms can pull your upper body backward.

Separate your arms from your body naturally as you finish your upper body turn on during your backswing. Let momentum help take your arms away from your body, rather than using muscle effort to straighten your arms.

Decelerate the club at the top of your backswing using your natural momentum. Trying to stop the club abruptly with your arm muscles creates muscle tension prior to the forward swing.

Start the forward swing with your hips and legs, which will drive your shoulder forward. Your shoulder will then drive your arms forward naturally with little muscular effort from your arms. Leading with the hips is more natural, creates less muscle stress and accelerates the arms better during a sport swing, according to Ben Kibler of the Lexington Clinic Sports Medicine Center.

Swing through the ball at contact using a natural wrist snap, turning your forearms over just prior to contact. Actively making the forearms turn over, rather than letting this occur naturally, can create a hook, according to top golf instructor David Leadbetter.

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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