Golf Swing Elbows – The Chicken Wing (more help)

In a nutshell, a “Chicken Wing” is one of your elbows bending outwards, behind you. This can happen in either backswing or downswing. It disrupts many things. In my opinion, you could partially blame some form of the Chicken Wing, for almost every miss hit. It is that prevalent. Almost no golfers (Pros alike) use their elbows correctly by my discoveries.

Why Do golfers User Their Elbows?
Golfers use their elbows because they are getting ready to throw the club head at the ball with just the arms and hands. They subconsciously hinge every possible lever, and lift the arms, to try to create as much potential possible to throw the club head. None of these movements are consistent or repeatable.

I do not want to go into all the different miss hits caused by this problem. Let’s just get to what will make your swing more athletic, control your chicken wing, and improve your shot making.

Read the next paragraph slowly, then simulate with a club up against a door jamb.

If you look at a powerful, solid golf shot, at impact, the hips are slightly turned (not cleared)… the arms and wrists form a solid Triangle. The front wrist is flat and the back wrist bent in. The wrists are firm and holding this shape (being pulled by the body turn, not releasing). Also, the shaft is in line with the front arm, and the elbow pointing back at the front hip, with the back arm slightly bent in towards the front arm, and its elbow too pointing back at the back hip. At this moment, the body is pulling all this around to the left. This is the position we want to be in at impact.

If we are not in this position, what happened during the swing? Some thing(s) broke down, disconnected and disrupted everything. So who are the “Disrupters”? The “Disrupters” are the Elbows and Hands. We need to control the disrupters, how do we do that?

How to Take Control of the Distupters:
1. Setup shaft in line with the front arm, elbows pointing back at the hips, pinching a little. Maintain that pinching during the entire swing. They only separate at the very end of the swing.
2. Once the shaft is in line at setup, lock your wrists and keep them fixed in the setup shape, the entire swing. Let your shoulders turn around your spine on the backswing and your body unwind your arms/club for the downswing.
3. You should have a feeling of Squeezing your grip a little and Squeezing your elbows a little at the same time, the entire swing. This defeats them. Gives them something to do that is productive and allows the Large Muscles to take over.

Start with short swings/shots to feel this work. Make sure the club face stays square. Many of you will want to use the hands and roll it open (no hands).

Productive vs. Non-Productive

Most golfers have many non-productive (not needed or detrimental) movements.  Moves that found their way into the golfer’s routine and that they may not be aware of.  Some of these moves help but most hurt and should be actively eliminated or changed.  Here are some non-productive moves and their replacement productive move:


A waggle originating from wrists.    
   Replace with:  Shaft in line with front arm and use your front shoulder to push the club straight back with no wrists.  This gets the shoulders starting the takeaway and teaches the hands to be passive.  Feel your shoulders move your arms and club all the way to the top.

A practice swing that starts with your hip sliding and slinging your arms up to the top.  
   Replace with:  A delibrate takeaway from the front shoulder while you restrict with your lower body… or another way to restrict your lower body is to “Hold your Front Knee” while you push your arms and club back with the front shoulder.

Looking at the target while you are walking up to your ball. 
   Replace with:  Watch a spot about 2 feet in front of the ball as you approach and turn to setup to the ball. Avoid looking at the target at this point.  The reason is that most golfers misalign themselves as they are watching the target and turning to setup and almost always close their stance.  Check this out by putting a club on the ground on your toe line once you are setup.  This club line should be parallel to the target line NOT POINT AT THE TARGET.

Productive vs. Non-Productive

Most golfers have many non-productive (not needed or detrimental) movements.  Moves that found their way into the golfer’s routine and that they may not be aware of.  Some of these moves help but most hurt and should be actively eliminated or changed.  Here are some non-productive moves and their replacement productive move:


A waggle originating from wrists.    
   Replace with:  Shaft in line with front arm and use your front shoulder to push the club straight back with no wrists.  This gets the shoulders starting the takeaway and teaches the hands to be passive.  Feel your shoulders move your arms and club all the way to the top.

A practice swing that starts with your hip sliding and slinging your arms up to the top.  
   Replace with:  A delibrate takeaway from the front shoulder while you restrict with your lower body… or another way to restrict your lower body is to “Hold your Front Knee” while you push your arms and club back with the front shoulder.

Looking at the target while you are walking up to your ball. 
   Replace with:  Watch a spot about 2 feet in front of the ball as you approach and turn to setup to the ball. Avoid looking at the target at this point.  The reason is that most golfers misalign themselves as they are watching the target and turning to setup and almost always close their stance.  Check this out by putting a club on the ground on your toe line once you are setup.  This club line should be parallel to the target line NOT POINT AT THE TARGET.