Getting elbows back in front

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  • #12695

    Anthony225 Nov 07, 2015
    Ross,
    When you work to get the elbows back in front to point at the hips, how do I get my turn to sync with my body rotation. Do you think to feel the upper inside of the front arm to touch the outside of the front pec? Or do you focus on the feel of both elbows back in front as you rotate? I’m having a hard time getting an understanding of what it feels like so that I can know when I eventually do it correctly. I’ve practiced the Ross move but when I speed up my rotation I can’t seem to get it right. I want to develop a swing thought at least until I can make the elbows in front a habit.

    #12696
    RossRoss
    Keymaster

    Ross Nov 07, 2015
    I’m not sure what you mean in your first question:

    “When you work to get the elbows back in front to point at the hips, how do I get my turn to sync with my body rotation.”

    Your “turn” and “body rotation” are the same thing. The unwinding of the downswing, brings the arms down and around to the left (right hander)… they’re connected because of the way we wind up. So… if on the downswing you can “unwind” your body (turn), without moving your arms, then your backswing is not right. Many golfers move their hips with their shoulders on the backswing and don’t create and “windup” from top-down. This might be what you’re experiencing (guessing since I have not seen a video).

    I don’t feel anything touch on the downswing. My body has a sense where my arms/club are, and the body’s job is to “unwind them down and around”. It is all done in one continuous motion. Kind of like, I was using my body to throw something, using both arms, from right to left by turning.

    When in doubt, shorten the backswing, so the arms can be controlled. Watch the Straight Arm Drill too. It can help teach you how to control your arms using your body.

    Forget about elbows for now and lazily let the body move the arms from about 8:00 on the backswing…through impact and around to the left… in one motion.

    #12697

    Anthony225 Nov 07, 2015
    Sorry about the bad wording of my question, but you answered the intent of it. I believe it is a backswing issue where I’m getting disconnected.

    #12698
    RossRoss
    Keymaster

    Ross Nov 08, 2015
    Real common. That is why I like to shorten the backswing to the point that you regain, or start making “solid” contact (like a fallback safety net). You hit many short shots and get confidence… then let the shoulders go a bit farther, until you “lose it” (so to speak).

    Then… many times times the culprit really stands out. The culprit might be arms lifting or across your chest… or wrists hinging various directions… or both elbows bending. Once you see what going on, you can work specifically on that. You either can improve the culprit, or you’ve gotten your self, past the point of a productive backswing. Everyone has different limitations.

    #12699

    Anthony225 Nov 08, 2015
    I think that the issue may be that I was trying to not let my right (back) elbow bend. Even though I tried to squeeze my elbows together, when I tried to limit my back elbow bend I was actually becoming disconnected more and more as by backswing length increased. By squeezing and focusing on my back elbow pointing more towards the ground as I allow it to bend I believe I may be heading in the right direction. My shorter swings did not have this problem so much because my back elbow had not really reached that point. By restricting my elbow bend on longer backswings my template felt further from the front of my body and I could not get it back in front on the downswing. I was also focusing on getting the front elbow to “line-up” withe my front hip as I turned.

    When I watch your full swing videos (a thousand times!), it now appears to me that your back elbow bend allows you to kind of “lay” your template back in front as your turn pulls it down and around. The challenge is that when I allow the left arm to bend it wants to bend outward so I have to on allow it to bend downward while squeezing it close to the front elbow. This feels like a small flexibility issue.

    I could only try this in my backyard golf mat since we have been getting bombarded with rain for over a week in Baton Rouge. But I hope that the elbow bend is my smoking gun when I eventually go to the range.

    Please let me know if I am off track in my thinking.

    #12700
    RossRoss
    Keymaster

    Ross Nov 08, 2015
    Sure sounds like it might be. Yes, the elbows do bend, but never at the same time until the end of the swing. This is the ideal scenario.

    Your ideas about pointing the elbows down to help prevent “chicken wing”, is good. The elbows pointing at the hips, also helps achieve that.

    #12701

    Anthony225 Nov 13, 2015
    After watching some video of my swing, I notice that I am still not getting my arms back down in front with my body rotation. It seems that my hip turn always gets a little ahead of my arms and they never catch up. I hit the ball decently on occasion this way, but I know that it’s not correct. I’ve practiced the Ross Move drill, but I still can’t get it to work during even my easiest swings. I understand that the arms should be pulled down with the body rotation but the pull still leaves my arms behind.

    #12702
    RossRoss
    Keymaster

    Ross Nov 13, 2015
    Everything does not “line up”. The lower body will always be leading the shoulders and arms a little. This is the nature of unwinding… it is like a rubber band. So don’t fret if the arms are not exactly in front of the body… it is about the result… not the video. If you’re hitting solid… great.

    #12703

    Anthony225 Nov 14, 2015
    Ok. What I meant by “line-up” was that when I watch your swing videos your arms (elbows) look perfectly in front of your hips before and at impact. I just can’t seem to get my arms to that position because my hips seem turned too much just before and right at impact. I feel like I’m closer to “clearing the hips” which is not what you intend. I think this robs me of power.

    #12704
    RossRoss
    Keymaster

    Ross Nov 14, 2015
    Send me the videos you’re looking at so I can see. Front, and from behind looking down the target line.

    #12705

    davew Nov 14, 2015
    I feel inclined to comment because this is such a fundamental issue. If you follow the instruction ‘to the letter’ this issue will probably not arise since the arm’s will come back roughly the same way they went up – by up I mean up the plane (sorry Ross) and they will come back down the plane. One issue that complicates this is that in most cases the arms ‘lift’ with respect to the body AND the plane. This means they have to descend in two way’s on the way down – one down the plane and one back to the body. It is the latter which is prone to cause problem’s as it can easily lead to a disconnection and the body can ‘leave the arm’s behind’.
    I know Ross is not a fan of raising the arm’s and I do not do it significantly (old habit’s) but I have found a way round it is assist gravity a bit and apply a little force to bring the arm’s back to the body at the same time as the body bring’s them down the plane. This has helped me a lot because it can lead to other problem’s in addition to leaving the arm’s behind. In my case, I was very susceptible to shanking the ball as a result of coming from the outside (sorry again Ross). I can now be pretty confident of returning to the sweet spot on most occasion’s.
    Work on mastering the Ross Move and you will play some great and enjoyable golf. Cheer’s Dave

    #12707

    Anthony225 Nov 27, 2015
    I think that Davew’s statement helped:

    “If you follow the instruction ‘to the letter’ this issue will probably not arise since the arm’s will come back roughly the same way they went up – by up I mean up the plane (sorry Ross) and they will come back down the plane. One issue that complicates this is that in most cases the arms ‘lift’ with respect to the body AND the plane. This means they have to descend in two way’s on the way down – one down the plane and one back to the body. It is the latter which is prone to cause problem’s as it can easily lead to a disconnection and the body can ‘leave the arm’s behind’.”

    I thought about this for a bit and tried the Ross Move drill again in the back yard. I think I may have closed the gap on my disconnection problem. At least with short swings so far.

    That’s twice Davew helped clear something up for me. Sometimes its good to have someone who also struggled with a fundamental part of the swing to “chip” in.

    Thanks!

    #12709

    DaveF Jun 15, 2016
    Hi Ross,
    Regarding the Ross move,assuming the backswing and everything else is done correctly, at what point in the downswing are the elbows fully back in front of your hips?
    In order of how soon that occurs, Is it:
    a) “as soon as possible”
    b) some point well before the ball (similar to the gap drill position at address)
    c) close to or at impact?

    Lately I’ve been creeping toward option a) and not getting good results.

    Thanks!
    Dave

    #12710
    RossRoss
    Keymaster

    Ross Jun 15, 2016
    First… your elbows will never be right in front of you (or your hips), like setup, because the body is unwinding and rotating… so, the hips will be slightly turned when the elbows arrive. This happens very fast and is a “dynamic” or “in movement” position.

    Now, there is a moment when all body parts “sum” to move the ball. Kind of a “maximum” power moment. You can easily practice this by setting up (like the photo below), against an open door jamb, then let your hips unwind a bit (like the photo), and let your “rotation” press the club up against the door jamb…. you should feel everything unwinding to push against the door jamb equally. You don’t have to unwind too hard. Just enough to feel everything working together. There should be no leaning, or weight shift, or any hands/arms pushing… this is total unwinding into the jamb. That is what impact should feel like when done correctly… and you will see where your elbows end up to maximize impact.

    BTW… I believe that if you practice this “impact position” against anything… the couch leg, a pole, a bench out on the range… anything that will resist, and gently HOLD IT for 15-20 seconds. Your brain will start to “map” impact and you can then “recall it” and “get to that position” just by “visualizing it” right before you hit. It is like you can visualize impact because you’ve been practicing impact. Boy, if you send your brain that great visualization, it will get to it. Remember, this is “dynamic”… nothing stops there or happens there, or hits there. It’s just a moment when everything is moving the ball, while your unwinding. I’ve see many students improve just by holding the correct impact… then getting back to that position during a real swing.

    Watch Setup vs. Impact in the Swing Section for more info.

     

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