Tucking Elbows Not Good

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 14:00 -- Don Trahan

I don't have any emails to read today because I wanted to talk about a recent lesson I had with one of my regulars. During the lesson, I noticed that this particular Surgite was really tucking his elbows during the backswing and forward upswing. It was quite noticeable because he wasn't getting any sort of lift or vertical extension.

Tucking your elbows is not good. So, I'm going to spend today explaining why you should avoid it at all cost. It will really hurt your game, especially your ability to hit the ball with any sort of distance.

I'm going to use what I call the "towel test" to demonstrate the differences between tucking your elbows and lifting them. This was a test I first introduced over 20 years ago in my first golf instructional video.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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jgrasham747@comcast.net's picture

Submitted by jgrasham747@com... on

I've been working on keeping the club head out of the "secret burial ground." However, sometimes when I'm playing a round of golf I will fade or slice the ball. I believe this is caused because I'm swinging to hard which forces me to stand up in the middle of my swing which forces my swing path to go outside-in. Could you talk about and demonstrate this and show how to avoid doing it?

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

If you would like Surge to re-address your question, send it to customer service.
Mean while here are few of dozens all ready available from the library of daily tips.
You mentioned outside in and loss of posture (spine angle).




Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

The club head is not supposed to stay out of the SBG. The upper section of the forward arm is supposed to stop at the SBG (not the club head).

At best with the longer clubs the club head won't get behind the butt line (which is well behind the toe line and the SBG) on the back swing. On the forward swing, on the way down, the club head is going to go even deeper than that with a good swing.

Any attempt to keep the club head out of the SBG is going to produce a steep swing and an out to in swing path (causing your slice) and the spine angle to rise (to avoid hitting the ground behind the ball).

The longer the club the more enhanced the problem will be.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

This is a great drill to remind us that the armpits are "aired out," on both sides of the swing. I sometimes get a little lazy with lifting the arms on both sides of the swing.

Speaking of drills, for the last few months of swinging indoors I've been focusing on getting the club in the slot. While trying to get a better transition into the downswing I started to hit a lot of short iron pushes. All of the longer clubs were good. I tried every fix out there but could not find the cause.

Completely by accident today, I found something that I hope will be a permanent solution. My alignment rods are fairly thick ( 1 inch plastic shower rail covers). When I placed one about 2 feet left of the ball and perpendicular to the target line it gave me the feeling that I had to hit the ball over it. The visual barrier forced me to think about swinging the club up sooner in my forward upswing. The drill might also be good for anyone having trouble keeping their head behind the ball at impact.

This all of course goes back to The Surge swing being " all about up." Focusing so much on the slotting of the club for the forward upswing, apparently delayed the timing of the "up" part.

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Well Well, what a timely video, have been tucking my right elbow into the body the last two weeks and have never hit the ball longer, direction not perfect, but it never was. I'm sticking with it for a little while, just to see what transpires. For me it sets the back arm lower than the front, then sets up the
first arc movement over the toe line, from there it's all lift. It has minimised
the straightening of the body during the BUS and have no problem in the FUS.

I take your point Surge, if they remain tucked in then problems will occur, will let all know how I go, soon.

mecogolf's picture

Submitted by mecogolf on

I am a scratch player, that played D1 golf, and have won three state sanctioned events in TN. I am in my late 30s and have started having hip issues so I have started trying your swing. I have found my main problem is keeping my left arm straight, I know it is not supposed to be rigid but it needs to be somewhat straight to get good extension. When I take the club back into the catcher’s mitt and then lift up the tree my left arm hits my chin causing it to break. I know when I hit my chin I have to bump to start my downswing but my arm momentum takes the club up a few more inches causing my left arm to break. Have you ever had these issues? Any drills would be greatly appreciated.

Hal's picture

Submitted by Hal on

Mecco, if you really want Surge to answer or cover your problem with your golf swing, you would better off to go to the top of the blog and click on the support tab then type your request there and Surge will answer you direct or on the blog.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Looks like the next daily answers your question. ;-)

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Am impressed, a scratch player asking for help. There's a few guys out there that know a lot more than me, but here's my take on it:-

More outward pressure on the knees, this will limit over rotation of the hips and maybe coming up off the ball and stop your arm hitting your chin. You obviously have a lot of power in your arms in the BUS, maybe this needs to be slowed down a little also.