Today's question comes from David Hayes. He's having trouble slicing the ball and feels his left arm position could be the reason. So, he wanted to know if the left arm (for a right handed golfer) should be straight or slightly bent.
I have trouble with the slice no matter how I try to correct it. Should the left arm be rigid (straight) or slightly bent?
The left arm should be relatively straight. Not rigid, but also not bent. Bending implies that at some point in your backswing, the arm gives. If your arms are breaking or relaxing, it will give you all sorts of problems.
Now, on the reverse side of that, you don't want to overextend your arm to the point of it being locked either. That will tighten up all your muscles and won't allow you to swing the club up.
That's why I like to use the phrase "relatively straight." That means your left arm can have a little bend, but it never breaks. You want to make sure you maintain your finger pressure in the last three fingers. Also, your back arm should never get beyond the point of a right angle. If it does, everything will collapse inward from that point. Just be sure to remember that the left arm can have a little flexation but it cannot break.
As far as the slicing goes, it can be any number of things that are causing it. It could stem from things like bad alignment and even bad equipment that's too long, especially the driver. If your clubs are too long, it makes it harder to square the club up at impact, which causes the face of the club to be open and the ball slides across the face and goes right.
You've got to make sure you are actively engaging your muscles. If you're too loose and relaxed, your arms will collapse and you'll be forced to come over the top. Be firm, just not to the point that it will inhibit your ability to make a good swing.
Keep it vertical!
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